Archive for the ‘springer plus’ Category
A scientist working for the U.S. government says he was told not to work on climate research during working hours, nor reveal his government affiliation when presenting results. So he published his research under a pseudonym instead.
The researcher explains all this in a recent erratum for one of the papers he published under a different moniker — confirming why he and his co-author used the same pseudonyms to publish another now-withdrawn paper that presented some controversial climate findings. That withdrawal — which we covered in in September (as did the Washington Post) — raised eyebrows after Twitter users began pointing out that the authors — Den Volokin and Lark ReLlez — have similar names to another pair of researchers: Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller.
Nikolov’s use of a pseudonym even prompted a misconduct investigation by his employer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Here’s the erratum, issued last week for a 2014 paper in SpringerPlus:
In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Plant has flagged a 2004 article that was “accidentally” duplicated from another paper published earlier that year — but did so in the form of a publisher’s erratum, not a retraction.
The editor of the journal justified the decision by arguing that the duplicated paper had been cited “over a dozen times” and was old enough to not warrant a retraction:
Considering that both articles were published over a decade ago and both have been referenced by other papers over a dozen times each, it seems like a retraction of one manuscript may damage the integrity of the literature more than using the erratum to point out the error to future scientists.
The study, “In vitro shoot regeneration from cotyledonary node explants of a multipurpose leguminous tree, Pterocarpus marsupium roxb,” developed a protocol for effectively growing shoots of the Indian Kino tree.
Three of the retractions are from the journal Tumor Biology, one is from the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, and one from Anticancer Research.
Takai is the first author on all 5 papers.
As has been the case with Takai’s retractions, and there’s evidence that all were felled by issues with figures. In all, according to the retraction notices, “original data were processed inappropriately.” Four end with the following sentence (or some close variation thereof):
The retraction notice indicates that the patients never consented, there was no ethical review, and the university supposedly overseeing the study had no knowledge of it: