Prominent video game-violence researcher loses another paper to retraction

Brad Bushman

If you read this space, you probably know the name Brad Bushman. He studies the effects of violent video games on the people who play them. He also has just retracted his third paper, and significantly corrected another.

Although Bushman remains a prominent voice in a highly contentious field — prompting numerous media to consult him after school shootings or other violent acts — he’s retracted two papers, one following an investigation at his institution, the Ohio State University (OSU), which prompted OSU to strip his co-author of her PhD. (There’s a lot more to tell about that story, including the backlash outside critics faced for taking their concerns about the paper public. To read more, check out our in-depth piece in Motherboard.)

Bushman’s third retraction came this month; he nearly had a fourth as well, but attorneys for the publisher decided that a massive correction (to a paper which previously had been flagged with an expression of concern) would be more appropriate.

The retraction notice from Current Opinion in Psychology states the paper showed too much similarity to a 2016 paper in the same journal by Bushman and Arlin James Benjamin, based at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. It notes that although Bushman was the guest editor of the issue of the journal:

Continue reading Prominent video game-violence researcher loses another paper to retraction

UConn prof “recklessly” used false data in NIH grant applications, says Federal watchdog

Li Wang (via UConn)

A liver physiologist at the University of Connecticut with millions of dollars in Federal U.S. funding included false data in half a dozen grant applications, according to the U.S. Office of Research Integrity.

Li Wang, according to the ORI, Continue reading UConn prof “recklessly” used false data in NIH grant applications, says Federal watchdog

Cancer researcher at OSU up to nine retractions

Samson Jacob

A cancer researcher and emeritus professor at The Ohio State University has retracted four more papers, bringing his total to nine from a single journal.

The four retractions of work by Samson Jacob appear in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, from which Jacob retracted five papers in March. The original papers — one of which has been cited more than 250 times — date back to 2002.

OSU declined to say whether Jacob’s work was under investigation: Continue reading Cancer researcher at OSU up to nine retractions

Distraction paper pulled for clerical error

The authors of a 2018 paper on how noisy distractions disrupt memory are retracting the article after finding a flaw in their study.

The paper, “Unexpected events disrupt visuomotor working memory and increase guessing,” appeared in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, a publication of the Psychonomic Society. (For those keeping score at home, psychonomics is the study of the laws of the mind.)

The article purported to show that an unexpected “auditory event,” like the sudden blare of a car horn, reduced the ability of people to remember visuomotor cues. Per the abstract:

Continue reading Distraction paper pulled for clerical error

A medical school put a scientist found guilty of misconduct in charge of an NIH grant

Santosh Katiyar

After a scientist was found guilty of misconduct at one university, a new institution asked to take over his grant and put him in charge of it.

But the new institution — the Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta, Georgia — denies they ever employed him. Continue reading A medical school put a scientist found guilty of misconduct in charge of an NIH grant

Nobel Prize winners correct the literature, too

Paul Nurse

If you’re ever cringing at the thought of having to correct a paper, here’s a story that may help you work through that pain.

Paul Nurse shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 2001. While holding posts at Oxford University, the Rockefeller Institute and elsewhere, and now as director of the Francis Crick Institute, he has continued doing research. And earlier this month, he corrected a 2017 paper in the Journal of Cell Science, “Screening and purification of natural products from actinomycetes that affect the cell shape of fission yeast.”

Here’s the correction notice: Continue reading Nobel Prize winners correct the literature, too

Former VA postdoc committed misconduct, banned from agency research for four years

A former postdoc at the U.S. VA Health Care System in Albuquerque, N.M., committed misconduct in three papers, the agency announced today.

Alba Chavez-Dozal, who studied the basic science underpinnings of infectious diseases, had three papers retracted between 2015 and 2016. In findings dated July 18, 2018, but released today, the VA said that Chavez-Dozal, “a post-doctoral research fellow who formerly held a VA without compensation appointment, engaged in research misconduct by intentionally and/or knowingly:” Continue reading Former VA postdoc committed misconduct, banned from agency research for four years

Are non-breadwinners more likely to cheat? 2015 study said yes; newly corrected version says “maybe”

A few years ago, you may remember some news headlines discussing a study that suggested people — especially men — are more likely to cheat if their spouses earn more money. Well, it turns out those findings are less convincing than they initially appeared. But they’re not getting retracted.

In a six-page correction notice, author Christin Munsch at the University of Connecticut explains that she made “several errors related to the coding of missing data,” which weakened most of her conclusions in the original paper.

The paper earned some attention from mainstream news outlets. For example, in 2015, The Washington Post wrote:

Continue reading Are non-breadwinners more likely to cheat? 2015 study said yes; newly corrected version says “maybe”

Study claiming “abortion reversal” is safe and effective temporarily withdrawn for ethical issues

A journal has temporarily removed a study by a researcher who has long championed a highly controversial “abortion reversal” method over concerns about its ethical approval.

The study, “A Case Series Detailing the Successful Reversal of the Effects of Mifepristone Using Progesterone,” appeared in Issues In Law And Medicine in April. Its first author, George Delgado, is the medical director of Culture of Life Family Services, which operates a ‘‘crisis pregnancy center,’ according to a 2017 New York Times Magazine article about “abortion-pill reversal.”

Medical abortion consists of two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, taken some time apart. In order to see if its effects could be undone, here’s what the authors of the withdrawn study say they did: Continue reading Study claiming “abortion reversal” is safe and effective temporarily withdrawn for ethical issues

Researchers pull Nature paper over first author’s objections

Researchers have retracted a 2015 Nature paper about the molecular underpinnings of immune function after discovering they could not replicate key parts of the results.

The first author, Wendy Huang — who started working as an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego, only months after the paper appeared — did not sign the retraction letter, published last week. The research was conducted while Huang was working as a postdoctoral fellow at New York University, home of last author Dan Littman (also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute).

What happened appears to be a case of “he said, she said:” Littman asked to retract the paper after his lab couldn’t reproduce it, and Huang insists the data remain correct, saying the process had been “unfair and done without due process:”

Continue reading Researchers pull Nature paper over first author’s objections