Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘sociology’ Category

So-kalled research: French sociology journal retracts hoax article

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societeThe world, it seems, cannot get enough of Sokal-type hoaxes.

A French journal, Sociétés, has retracted an article allegedly penned by one Jean-Marc Tremblay but actually written by two sociologists, Manuel Quinon and Arnaud Saint-Martin, who spoofed the work of the journal’s editor, Michel Maffesoli.

As the Crooked Timber blog explains, the article, “Automobilités postmodernes: quand l’Autolib’ fait sensation à Paris,” published in the Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 12th, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Second retraction appears for Mart Bax

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ethnosRetired Dutch anthropologist Mart Bax made a career out of making up papers, many of them on the Bosnian genocide.

He retired from the Free University in Amsterdam in 2002. It wasn’t until 2013 that the university published a report indicating that Bax never published 61 of the papers he listed on his CV, and many of the real articles were based on fabricated data.

Publisher Taylor and Francis retracted one of Bax’s papers from Ethnic and Racial Studies in April. Now they’re retracting a second, from Ethnos, using almost identical language.

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

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 29th, 2014 at 11:30 am

Mistaken punctuation, misreferencing, and other euphemisms for plagiarism

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soas_logo_3It’s always amusing to see how far a journal will bend over backward to avoid coming out and calling something “plagiarism.”

We’ve got two notices for you that exemplify the phenomenon, which we discussed in our Lab Times column last year.

The first, an article about apartheid, was presented at a student conference and published in the Polyvocia: The SOAS Journal of Graduate Research. It was later retracted because the author “should have used quotation marks around material written verbatim from that source.”

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

Don’t walk this way: Stalking paper halted for plagiarism

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MSLPro tip: If you’re going to write about stalking, it’s probably best if you don’t get too close to your material.

That’s a lesson a group of researchers in Italy was forced to learn the hard way. They lost their 2013 article in Medicine, Science and the Law for being too similar to a 2008 paper by different authors in another journal.

According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

June 25th, 2014 at 11:00 am

Terrorism journal retracts paper on Boko Haram for plagiarism

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conflictterrorStudies in Conflict & Terrorism has retracted a 2013 article about Boko Haram, the Nigerian extremist group accused of massacres and, recently, the kidnapping of approximately 276 schoolgirls in that country.

Here’s the notice, which pretty much says it all: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

June 9th, 2014 at 9:30 am

A retraction involving Sarah Palin

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prqFormer U.S. vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin is no stranger to retractions, or perhaps “walk backs,” as politicians usually call them. There was her apology for comments about Pope Francis, a clarification about comments thought to be directed at Rush Limbaugh, and a walk back on her behalf from her running mate, Sen. John McCain.

Now, a paper in the academic literature that refers to her has been retracted. Here’s the notice from Political Research Quarterly: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 14th, 2014 at 12:40 pm

The “sins and virtues of authors span a rather colorful palette”: New editor yanks plagiarized paper

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scientometricsWhat a difference a new editor can make.

Consider the case of a paper in Scientometrics that came to the attention earlier this year of Jeffrey Beall.

Beall, a research librarian and scourge of the predatory publishing world, had previously posted on his blog about his frustrations with the journal’s seeming indifference to the word theft. (He also helped bring about another plagiarism retraction we covered earlier this year.)

The article was titled “Educational reforms and internationalization of universities: evidence from major regions of the world,” and was written by a group from China and Pakistan.It has been cited just once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, by another paper in Scientometrics.

Read the rest of this entry »

Unusual: Journal withdraws Expression of Concern about child development paper

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child devIn December, the journal Child Development posted an Expression of Concern about a study because of “possible inaccuracies in its data.” A few months later, however, that changed. Here’s what now appears where the Expression of Concern did: Read the rest of this entry »

First retraction appears for Dutch anthropologist Mart Bax

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ethnicracstudLast September we wrote about the case of Mart Bax, an anthropologist once of the Free University in Amsterdam who allegedly fabricated elements in some of his papers, and claimed to have written more than 60 that do not exist:

Bax, who studied an Irish town he called Patricksville, a Dutch pilgrimage site he called Neerdonk, and Medjugorje, a Bosnian pilgrimage site, retired from the Free University in 2002. The university began investigating Bax’s work last year after science journalist Frank van Kolfschooten published Ontspoorde Wetenschap (“Derailed science”). In that book, van Kolfschooten raised questions about Bax’s work into an alleged massacre at Medjugorje during the Bosnian War. Bax responded to those questions in April of this year.

Here’s the university’s 67-page report, in Dutch. The university will not take legal action against Bax. It is unclear from the translations we’ve seen whether any of the papers will be retracted, but we’ll update with anything we learn.

Well, at least part of that ambiguity has cleared, with the retraction of a 2000 paper by Bax in Ethnic and Racial Studies. The article was titled “Warlords, priests and the politics of ethnic cleansing: a case-study from rural Bosnia Hercegovina” and has been cited 20 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s its abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Scholar in Sweden appears to face inquiry for plagiarism retraction

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njmrThe Nordic Journal of Migration Research has retracted a 2012 paper by a Swedish researcher who lifted text from another author.

The article, “Swedish Employers and Trade Unions, Varieties of Capitalism and Labour Migration Policies,” was written by Jesper Johansson, of Linnaeus University in Växjö. It’s available as a PDF here, but not on the website of the publisher, De Gruyter — nor is it listed on Johnansson’s own site.

We chose a sentence a random from the abstract:

Read the rest of this entry »