Archive for the ‘behind a paywall’ Category
The authors of a 2007 PNAS paper that provided molecular details for how calorie restriction may act on Sir2 enzymes to extend life are now retracting their research after discovering a figure was compromised by “several unintentional anomalies in the background image.”
According to study author David W. Piston at Vanderbilt University, first author Qinghong Zhang cut and pasted images together to beautify a figure showing how a form of sugar affects the expression of SIRT1, the mammalian version of the Sir2 enzyme: Read the rest of this entry »
According to the notice, the corresponding author, David Shima, now at University College London, brought his concern to the journal. He called it a “genuine error” and stated that all the findings had been reproduced.
Unfortunately, Shima claimed the original data are missing, because the institution that owned the information — Eyetech Research Center — has “since gone through several acquisitions.”
Ocular neovascularization occurs when growth signals in the eye stimulate the creation of many new blood vessels. Over time these blood vessels break, causing bleeding and scarring that limits vision. This is called “wet” macular degeneration.
The scientists found that giving patients drugs to limit two different growth factors at the same time is more effective than one at stopping the progression of AMD. This combination method is in stage three clinical trials, though with different drugs than the authors used here.
The paper, published in 2006, has been cited 130 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the EoC for “Inhibition of Platelet-Derived Growth Factor B Signaling Enhances the Efficacy of Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapy in Multiple Models of Ocular Neovascularization”:
Two papers by an overlapping group of researchers in Italy have been retracted for manipulated figures.
In late 2013, perennial tipster Clare Francis sent their concerns about several papers, including the two that have been retracted, by authors who frequently publish together. One of the papers, in the Journal of Neurochemistry, is from a team led by Ferdinando Nicoletti; four other papers from the group have been criticized on PubPeer for image manipulation, which he addressed via email with us.
The second retracted paper, from the Journal of Immunology, has shares one author with the first: Patrizia Di Iorio of the University of Chieti, though according to Nicoletti she had no role in preparing the figures.
Here’s the April 2014 notice for “Neuroprotection mediated by glial group-II metabotropic glutamate receptors requires the activation of the MAP kinase and the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase pathways” in the Journal of Neurochemistry. It’s behind a paywall, but the journal has assured us this is against policy and they will be fixing it shortly:
Read the rest of this entry »
The Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy has retracted a 2014 paper by a group of South Korean researchers after determining that the authors had doubled up on their publishing odds by submitting the manuscript to a competing journal.
The article was titled “A comparative study of low-fluence 1064-nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser with or without chemical peeling using Jessner’s solution in melasma patients,” and it purported to find that:
This study suggests Jessner’s peel is a safe and effective method in the early course of treatment for melasma when combined with low-fluence 1064-nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser.
A graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver faked data in his work at a drug research lab that has notched two retractions and an expression of concern over “data integrity,” according to an extensive university investigation.
Water under the bridge? Hydrology journals won’t retract plagiarized papers despite university request
In April 2014, we wrote about the case of a former hydrologist at the University of Kansas (KU), Marios Sophocleous, who had plagiarized in at least seven studies, two of which were retracted by the journal Ground Water.
At the time, we mentioned two other articles, in the Hydrogeology Journal, that appeared destined for retraction — not least because KU requested that the journal yank them. But in a rather surprising move, the journal is declining to do so, and another publication, the Journal of Hydrology, is taking the same approach.
The notice is clear on the problems with the science, which together “call into question the main conclusions of the paper.” Three of the paper’s five authors were employed at Novartis at the time of publication.
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 »
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 »
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 »