Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘Frontiers in Public Health’ Category

Journal reverses acceptance of study linking vaccines to autism

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A journal posted an abstract online suggesting a link between vaccines and autism. After a firestorm of criticism, it removed the abstract, saying it was going to be re-reviewed. Now, the journal has decided to formally reject it.

As we reported last month, Frontiers in Public Health removed the abstract after it sparked criticism on social media. After doing so, the journal released a public statement claiming that the paper was “provisionally accepted but not published,” noting that the journal had reverted it to peer review to ensure it was re-reviewed.

Now, Gearóid Ó Faoleán, ethics and integrity manager at Frontiers (the journal’s publisher), told Retraction Watch that after consultation with an external expert, the journal has rejected the paper, adding: Read the rest of this entry »

Study linking vaccines to autism pulled following heavy criticism

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Frontiers in Public HealthA study linking vaccines to autism and other neurological problems has been removed by a Frontiers journal after receiving heavy criticism since it was accepted last week. 

The abstract — published online in Frontiers in Public Health after being accepted November 21 — reported findings from anonymous online questionnaires completed by 415 mothers of home-schooled children 6-12 years old. Nearly 40 percent of children had not been vaccinated, and those that had were three times more likely to be diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, the study found.

After receiving criticism on Twitter, Frontiers released a public statement, noting that the study was only “provisionally accepted but not published,” and is being re-reviewed. When asked for a comment, a Frontiers spokesperson referred us to the statement. Read the rest of this entry »

Author loses 2nd paper on supposed dangers of chemtrails

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Frontiers in Public HealthAgainst the author’s wishes, a journal has retracted a paper about chemtrails, a long-standing conspiracy theory about the dangers of cloud trails released from jet planes.

After the paper was scrutinized on librarian Jeffrey Beall’s blog and social media last week, Frontiers in Public Health issued an expression of concern (EOC). The paper was published June 30, and retracted yesterday, in a relatively rare case of rapid action by a journal. 

Last year, we reported on another retraction of a paper about chemtrails by the same author — J. Marvin Herndon, a geophysicist and self-described “independent researcher” at the Transdyne Corporation in San Diego, California.

Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

July 18th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Controversial chemtrails paper flagged by journal

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Frontiers in Public HealthA journal has published an expression of concern (EOC) for a 2016 paper providing evidence for a long-standing conspiracy theory about the dangers of cloud trails from jet planes.

A similar paper by the same author was retracted last year by another journal.

Both papers focused on the “chemtrails” emitted from jet planes, which conspiracy theorists have long believed contain toxic coal fly ash rather than harmless ice crystals, as the government claims. According to a press release about the 2016 paper, released by author J. Marvin Herndon, a geophysicist and “independent researcher” at the Transdyne Corporation in San Diego, California, the paper presents evidence the chemtrails contain coal fly ash, linked to a number of health problems.

But many people disagree with the findings — Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver, criticized the paper on his blog.

Here’s the EOC, published today by Frontiers in Public Health: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

July 15th, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Frontiers lets HIV denial article stand, reclassifies it as “opinion”

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frontiers phFollowing an investigation sparked by criticism for its decision to publish a paper questioning the link between HIV and AIDS, a Frontiers journal has decided to not retract the article but rebrand it as an “opinion.”

In September, 2014, Patricia Goodson, a professor of health education at Texas A&M University, published an article called “Questioning the HIV-AIDS hypothesis: 30 years of dissent.”

The paper was quickly called into question, and the journal, Frontiers in Public Health, issued a statement of concern and promised to look into the problem. Now, they’ve announced their solution: call the paper an “opinion” and publish an argument against it.

Read the rest of this entry »