Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘jama’ Category

“Think of the unthinkable:” JAMA retraction prompts author to urge others to share data

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A few months ago, a researcher told Evelien Oostdijk there might be a problem with a 2014 JAMA study she had co-authored.

The study had compared two methods of preventing infection in the intensive care unit (ICU). But a separate analysis had produced different results.

Oostdijk, from the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands, immediately got to work to try to figure out what was going on. And she soon discovered the problem: The coding for the two interventions had been reversed at one of the 16 ICUs. This switch had “a major impact on the study outcome,” last author Marc Bonten, also from the University Medical Center Utrecht, wrote in a blog post about the experience yesterday, because it occurred at “one of the largest participating ICUs.”

When Oostdijk and a researcher not involved in the study analyzed the data again, they discovered a notable difference between the revised and original findings: The new analysis revealed that one of the interventions had a small but significant survival benefit over the other.

Oostdijk and Bonten, who supervised the re-analysis, notified their colleagues of the revised study outcomes and contacted the journal requesting a retraction and replacement, which was published yesterday in JAMA.

According to the notice of retraction and replacement:

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Written by Victoria Stern

April 19th, 2017 at 12:45 pm

JAMA article on zinc for the common cold retracted

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Authors have retracted a JAMA article summarizing the evidence behind the benefits of a supplement, after the systemic review upon which it was based was withdrawn.

The 2014 paper, “Oral Zinc for the Common Cold,” drew from a 2013 Cochrane Review, considered the gold standard for rigorous analyses of clinical treatments. That Cochrane review was withdrawn last year, a decision that the editors upheld this past September. Both were co-authored by Rashmi Ranjan Das, of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, in Bhubaneswar, and Meenu Singh, of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, in Chandigarh, India.

JAMA editor in chief Howard Bauchner told Retraction Watch that this week’s retraction followed an investigation by the journal: Read the rest of this entry »

Reviewers may rate papers differently when blinded to authors’ identities, new study says

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Kanu Okike

Kanu Okike

Although previous research has suggested peer reviewers are not influenced by knowing the authors’ identity and affiliation, a new Research Letter published today in JAMA suggests otherwise. In “Single-blind vs Double-blind Peer Review in the Setting of Author Prestige,” Kanu Okike at Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center in Hawaii and his colleagues created a fake manuscript submitted to Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research (CORR), which described a prospective study about communication and safety during surgery, and included five “subtle errors.” Sixty-two experts reviewed the paper under the typical “single-blind” system, where they are told the authors’ identities and affiliations, but remain anonymous to the authors. Fifty-seven reviewers vetted the same paper under the “double-blind” system, in which they did not know who co-authored the research. We spoke with Okike about some of his unexpected results.

Retraction Watch: You found that reviewers were more likely to accept papers when they could see they were written by well-known scientists at prestigious institutions. But the difference was relatively small. Did anything about this surprise you? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

September 27th, 2016 at 11:00 am

Canada funding agency bans researcher for fraud, and in first, reveals her name

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via WCH

via WCH

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has banned a bone researcher for life following a finding of misconduct. And in a first, the agency has named her, in their report out today.

The case of Sophie Jamal may be familiar to Retraction Watch readers, as we covered it in October of last year following reporting by The Toronto Star. JAMA retracted a 2011 study by Jamal and colleagues in December, as we reported, and she resigned her positions at Women’s College Hospital (WCH) and the University of Toronto.

Jamal, according to the an investigating committee at WCH: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 19th, 2016 at 8:30 pm

JAMA: No plan to pull elephant-cancer risk paper after PETA protest

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JAMAJAMA has decided not to retract an article about cancer risk in elephants after receiving a request to do so from an animal rights group.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently protested the 2015 paper, which found that higher levels of a tumor suppressor gene could explain why elephants have a lower risk of cancer. According to PETA, the paper contained inaccurate information that could be used to justify inhumane treatment of elephants. At the time, the journal told us it considers all calls for retraction.

In an email sent to a representative of PETA over the weekend, Howard Bauchner, Editor in Chief at JAMA and The JAMA Network, wrote: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

June 22nd, 2016 at 10:15 am

Retract – and replace? JAMA may expand use of this tool

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Annette Flanagin

Remember last week, when JAMA replaced an article about the impact of moving homes on kids’ mental health after discovering some errors in the analysis? We’re going to see more of these somewhat unusual notices coming out of JAMA journals in the near future – the JAMA Network journals may   issue more “retract and replace” decisions for papers, in which it pulls an old version of an article and replaces it with a corrected one. But it’s not a correction — we spoke with Annette Flanagin, the Executive Managing Editor for The JAMA Network, to learn more. 

Retraction Watch: We’ve spotted three “retract and replace” notices in JAMA journals, including one issued earlier this year for a highly cited paper that contained “pervasive errors,” and the one last week about the impact of moving on kids’ mental health. How do you decide whether a paper will be retracted and replaced, or just retracted? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

June 20th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

JAMA authors retract (and replace) paper about moves and kids’ mental health

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JAMAJAMA authors have retracted — and replaced — a 2014 paper about the mental health effects of household moves on kids, after they found errors while completing an additional analysis.

The original paper concluded that in “families who moved out of high-poverty neighborhoods, boys experienced an increase and girls a decrease in rates of depression and conduct disorder,” according to a press release issued by the journal along with the paper (which also got some press attention from Reuters). But part of that conclusion is wrong.

The authors write in a notice for “Associations of Housing Mobility Interventions for Children in High-Poverty Neighborhoods With Subsequent Mental Disorders During Adolescence” that:

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JAMA: No plan to retract article on fetal pain, despite outcry from anti-abortion activists

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JAMAJAMA has announced it does not intend to retract a 2005 review article about fetal pain, despite requests from anti-abortion activists who claim it has been misused in debates about the procedure.

Earlier this month, JAMA told one anti-abortion critic that it would take a look at the paper, which suggested that fetuses can’t feel pain before the third trimester. Critics have argued that newer findings have shown pain sensation appears earlier in gestation, yet the 2005 data continue to be cited in the discussion around abortion. What’s more, critics have lamented that some of the authors failed to mention their ties to the abortion industry.

But in a letter sent yesterday to James Agresti, Howard Bauchner, Editor in Chief at JAMA and The JAMA Network, writes: Read the rest of this entry »

Pro-lifers call for JAMA to retract 2005 paper about fetal pain

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JAMAPro-life activists have asked JAMA to retract a 2005 paper that suggested fetuses can’t feel pain before the third trimester.

Critics are arguing that newer findings have shown pain sensation appears earlier in gestation, yet the 2005 data continue to be cited in the discussion around abortion. What’s more, they note, some of the authors failed to mention their ties to the abortion industry.

The 2005 paper has been cited 191 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. We spoke with Howard Bauchner, Editor in Chief at JAMA and The JAMA Network, who told us something similar to what he said last week, when PETA asked to retract a paper they claim could be harmful to elephants: Read the rest of this entry »

JAMA journals pull 3 papers by same authors for misconduct

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JAMAJAMA and another journal in its network have retracted three 2005 papers about preventing hip fractures, after an admission of scientific misconduct. 

All papers are being retracted over concerns about data integrity, and “inappropriate assignment of authorship.” Four of the authors — all based in Japan — have co-authored all of the three newly retracted papers, and also share authorship of a previous retraction from 2015

The JAMA paper was tagged with an Expression of Concern last year, regarding the “conduct, integrity, and scientific validity” of the paper. 

Here’s the retraction notice for the JAMA paper, “Effect of Folate and Mecobalamin on Hip Fractures in Patients With Stroke:” Read the rest of this entry »