Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘behind a paywall’ Category

It’s happened again: Journal “cannot rule out” possibility author did his own peer review

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ijkcThomson Reuters’ online peer review system ScholarOne is having quite a year.

This summer, a scientist exploited basic security flaws in how the system accepts author suggestions for peer reviewers to review a whole pile of his own manuscripts, ultimately resulting in the retraction of 60 papers and the resignation of the Taiwan minister of education.

Now, another journal that uses the system, Wiley’s International Journal of Chemical Kinetics, has retracted a paper because the authors provided their own peer reviewers and “the identity of the peer reviewers could subsequently not be verified.”

We asked editor Craig A. Taatjes if he was concerned the authors had conducted their own peer review. His response is reflective of many of the breaches we’ve seen so far for these online systems: Read the rest of this entry »

“I kind of like that about science:” Harvard diabetes breakthrough muddied by two new papers

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Doug Melton

Harvard stem cell researcher Doug Melton got a lot of press last year for research on a hormone he named betatrophin, after its supposed ability to increase production of beta cells, which regulate insulin.

Now, the conclusions from that paper, which has been cited 59 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, have been called into question by research from an independent group, as well as follow-up work from the original team.

The interest was driven by the hormone’s potential as a new treatment for diabetes. In 2013, Melton told the Harvard Gazette that betatrophin could be in clinical trials within three to five years. Here’s Kerry Grens in The Scientist: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 10th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Quantum physics paper pulled for “serious theoretical errors,” notice accidentally paywalled

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physicalreviewlettersA paper on photonic quantum walks has been retracted over a theoretical disagreement.

The notice is also paywalled, which the editorial director has assured us is a mistake that is being corrected.

We sent the COPE guidelines on retraction to the American Physical Society, which publishes Physical Review Letters. Editorial director Dan Kulp told us the paywall was the unintentional consequence of a web redesign, and that they are in the process of restoring public access to “all Errata-types, including Retractions.”

Here’s the rest of his statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

October 27th, 2014 at 11:30 am

“Our real intention was to emphasize, not plagiarize”

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joms.13692132This one’s not a retraction, but rather a back and forth of letters to the editor concerning accusations of plagiarism.

Dentists Bryan and Paul Jacobs, a father and son team, wrote a paper describing a novel surgical technique in March 2013. In October 2013, several Croatian dentists published their own paper using the technique.

A year later, the story has gotten a little more interesting. The November issue of the Journal of Oral and Mixillofacial Surgery, which published the second article, has two letters. One, from the Jacobses, accuses the Croatian authors of plagiarism. The second is a response from author Dragana Gabrić Pandurić, claiming “our real intention was to emphasize, not plagiarize, their work.”

Here’s the letter from Bryan and Paul Jacobs (paywalled): Read the rest of this entry »

Journal expresses concerns over “possible data irregularities” in paper from Army medical center docs

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JAADThe Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has issued an expression of concern about a 2012 article reporting the experience of military burn unit treating a rare ailment called toxic epidermal necrolysis.

According to the notice, which is behind a paywall (for shame!), the paper appears to have overstated the number of cases the hospital itself has treated of the life-threatening condition: Read the rest of this entry »

Hayabusa Science retraction made official, but behind a paywall

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science 62714Science has published the retraction of a 2006 paper about an asteroid, following a report in its news pages that the study’s authors had requested the move.

Here’s the paywalled — tsk, tsk — notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 15th, 2014 at 11:30 am

Chemical engineering journal retracts paper with unknowing author

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AiChemE-logoAIChemE’s website promises, “Subscribing to the AIChE Journal is like having access to nine topical journals in the field.”

Without a subscription, though, you might miss out on some valuable topical information – like why a paper you want to cite has been retracted, something the Committee on Publication Ethics recommends be freely available.

Here’s the notice for “Flow Structure and Particle Motions in a Gas-Polyethylene Fluidized Bed,” originally published in 2007:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

September 10th, 2014 at 11:00 am

Retraction appears for psychiatrist sought for arrest in alleged fraud scheme

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Alain Malafosse, via University of Geneva

Want bogus data, million-dollar fraud allegations and a scientist on the lam? We give you Alain Malafosse.

The British Journal of Psychiatry has retracted a June 2013 paper by Malafosse and his colleagues on the genetics of bipolar disorder in children because Malafosse allegedly fabricated key data in the study.

The article, “Childhood maltreatment and methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene NR3C1 in bipolar disorder,” purported to find that people with bipolar disorder who had experienced more, and more severe, abuse early in life were more likely to show epigenetic changes. According to the abstract:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

September 4th, 2014 at 9:30 am

New method sinks newish paper…or does it?

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cover_2009_BB_viz_biomassThe timing on a recent retraction of a paper from Biotechnology and Bioengineering makes it a bit difficult to figure out what happened, but here’s a try.

An article first published online May 16th by a group of researchers at Brown University was retracted on June 1st, apparently because a new and better method for analyzing the data was developed…at some point.

The timeline is not exactly clear from the retraction, though we’ve reached out to the author and publisher and will update with any new information.

Here’s the (paywalled) notice for “High-level production of 3-hydroxypropionatein Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae by introducing part of the 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate cycle from Metallosphaera sedula”:

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Mega-correction appears for Florida leadership scholar Walumbwa following six retractions

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Fred Walumbwa, via FIU

Fred Walumbwa, via FIU

Fred Walumbwa, the leadership researcher at Florida International University who has retracted six papers for what appear to be problematic data, now has an impressive mega-correction in the form of an “addendum.”

The paper, “Relationships between Authentic Leadership, Moral Courage, and Ethical and Pro-Social Behaviors,” was published in Business Ethics Quarterly in October 2011, by Walumbwa and two colleagues, Sean Hannah and Bruce Avolio.

Here’s the abstract for the paper, which has been cited 18 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge:

Read the rest of this entry »