Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘applied mathematics letters retractions’ Category

Math paper retracted because some of it makes “no sense mathematically”

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What do you do when a math paper that contains some “constructions and arguments [that] make no sense mathematically” gets published?

If you’re Applied Mathematics Letters, you retract the paper, “For the origin of new geometry.” Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Applied Mathematics Letters posts apology for retracting Intelligent Design-friendly paper

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Applied Mathematics Letters, which agreed to apologize to Intelligent Design-friendly Texas professor Granville Sewell and have its publisher, Elsevier, pay $10,000 in legal fees, has posted the text of its apology (Of note: Elsevier has the apology behind a paywall. So if 318 people fork over the $31.50 fee, they’ll have their $10,000 back.): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 13th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Elsevier apologizes for Applied Mathematics Letters retraction, pays author’s legal fees

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Elsevier, the publisher of Applied Mathematics Letters, which retracted a paper questioning the second law of thermodynamics earlier this year, will issue an apology and pay $10,000 in legal fees.

According to John West at the Discovery Institute’s blog, which broke the story: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 8th, 2011 at 1:07 pm

How to get dodgy math papers published: An algorithm

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Last week, Retraction Watch readers will recall, we covered two retractions in Applied Mathematical Letters. They were both of papers that made many wonder just how they were published in the first place. One concluded that “Both science and spirituality came from space,” while the other claimed to have demonstrated violations of the second law of thermodynamics.

Given the attention to what we can reasonably conclude is a flawed peer review process at Applied Mathematical Letters, we hope that process will improve moving forward. That means one less outlet for questionable papers. So where might a researcher publish dodgy work?

We figured we’d start with Rejecta Mathematica, which describes itself as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 25th, 2011 at 9:30 am

More on Applied Mathematics Letters: Journal retracted paper questioning second law of thermodynamics

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Have you read yesterday’s post on a retraction in Applied Mathematics Letters yet? (If you haven’t, you’ve missed the explanation of how “Both science and spirituality came from space,” along with other oddities. We’ll wait while you go read it.) But for those of you who have, it turns out that this wasn’t the first retraction of a bizarre paper in the journal this year.

In January, Granville Sewell, of the University of Texas, El Paso’s math department, published a paper there called “A Second Look at The Second Law.” Its abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Faked data, unsubstantiated claims, and spirituality add up to a math journal retraction

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Sometimes, things just don’t add up. Take this retraction notice, from the March 2011 issue of Applied Mathematics Letters:

This article has been retracted at the request of the editor as the authors have falsified mathematical findings and have made unsubstantiated claims regarding Euclid’s parallel postulate (Appl. Math. Lett. 23 (2010) 1137–1139. doi:10.1016/j.aml.2010.05.003). This article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.

There’s actually only one author, an M. Sivasubramanian, of Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, India, but we’re not PhDs in math, so we figured we were missing something important. Fortunately, Ben Steinberg, a high school friend of one of ours — Ivan’s — is a bit of a math rock star and a professor at Carleton University. We asked him for his take:

I am not sure which is more amusing, the article or the retraction. I cannot understand how this could possibly be published anywhere. It seems like a practical joke to test whether articles are actually refereed. Not a single statement in the author’s “proof” makes sense. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 15th, 2011 at 9:30 am