A new paper in the MDPI journal Publications reports that the only controlled study on the effect of giving COPD patients Omega-3 has been cited 52 times since being retracted. Of those, only two mentioned the retraction.
In 2005, Chest published an article that found that COPD patients who took omega-3 supplements for 2 years experienced improvements in their condition, such as better walking tests and a decrease in sputum cytokines. But when an institutional investigation found the lead author had falsified the data, the journal retracted the paper in 2008.
That’s news to many researchers in the field. Among the 50 papers that cited the research after 2008 without stating it had been retracted, 20 included “specific data” from the paper, while the other 30 “cited the reference in passing.” Articles citing the retracted study have themselves been cited 947 times total, pointing to the ripple effect this kind of unwitting mention can have throughout the literature.
Take, for example, this retraction of a 10-year-old paper in Entropy that had been questioned since 2005. Here’s the notice for “Statistical Convergent Topological Sequence Entropy Maps of the Circle:”
The editors were made aware that a paper published in Entropy in 2004  may have plagiarized an earlier paper by Roman Hric published in 2000 . After checking with specialized plagiarism software, we found that this claim is indeed correct and almost the entire paper is a verbatim copy of the earlier one. After confirmation of this fact, the editors of Entropy have decided to retract the paper immediately.
We would like to apologize to the readers of the journal that it took so many years to notice this error and to retract the paper. Apparently there is a comment on MathSciNet (http://www.ams.org/mathscinet/) since 2005 that points out this case of possible plagiarism , however the editorial office was not aware of this until recently. We request readers of the journal to directly get in touch with the editorial office and the editors of the journal for similar cases in the future, so that they can be handled promptly.
1. Aydin, B. Statistical Convergent Topological Sequence Entropy Maps of the Circle. Entropy 2004, 6, 257–261.
2. Hric, R. Topological sequence entropy for maps of the circle. Comment. Math. Univ. Carolin. 2000, 41, 53–59.
3. MathSciNet, MR2082710 (2005f:37075), http://www.ams.org/mathscinet getitem?mr=2082710
The paper has yet to be cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Applied Sciences has retracted a 2012 article by a researcher whose efforts to model a particular kind of explosion called a shaped charge proved to be a dud.
The paper, “Steady State Analytical Equation of Motion of Linear Shaped Charges Jet Based on the Modification of Birkhoff Theory,” was written by Seokbin Lim, a mechanical engineer in the Energetic Systems Research Group at New Mexico Tech, in Socorro.
The authors of a 2013 paper in the journal Foods which sounded alarms about the concentrations of pesticides in vegetables and other commercial crops have pulled the article, citing an insurmountable mistake. To wit: the levels of pesticides they reported were, in fact, not what the data really showed.
A labeled chemical bottle may contain a genie and not the expected reagent, according to a cautionary retraction that could be a warning for all bench researchers.
Sreenivasan Sasidharan, a researcher at the Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), part of the Universiti Sains Malaysia, used a bottle labeled lantadene A, a liver-destroying chemical from the leaves of the Lantana camara plant that some livestock eat.
Sasidharan found that contrary to expectations, “lantadene A” protected livers against damage from acetaminophen — aka Tylenol.