“Knowledgeable informant” outs researchers for falsifying data

A pathology journal has retracted a 2015 paper from researchers in China after concluding the authors had falsified and copied some of the data and text.

According to the notice, a “knowledgeable informant” told the journal about the overlap and “fraudulent” aspects of the paper, which the editors were able to confirm. The journal retracted the paper last month.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Genistein attenuates glucocorticoid-induced bone deleterious effects through regulation Eph/ephrin expression in aged mice:”

Continue reading “Knowledgeable informant” outs researchers for falsifying data

“We made big mistakes:” Gastric paper pulled with unusual notice

Sometimes we come across a real head-scratcher.

That happened this week, when we saw a retraction notice for a 2015 paper on gastric cancer in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, which only says the authors “made big mistakes” and contains two fairly significant typos.

Although there’s no sign of a retraction on PubMed, the table of contents for the latest issue of the journal lists the retraction — but includes no hyperlink to the notice. The only way to see it is via a Web cached version. Here’s the text:

Continue reading “We made big mistakes:” Gastric paper pulled with unusual notice

What turned a cancer researcher into a literature watchdog?

Jennifer Byrne

Sometime in the middle of 2015, Jennifer Byrne, professor of molecular oncology at the University of Sydney, began her journey from cancer researcher to a scientific literature sleuth, seeking out potentially problematic papers.

The first step was when she noticed several papers that contained a mistake in a DNA construct which, she believed, meant the papers were not testing the gene in question, associated with multiple cancer types.  She started a writing campaign to the journal editors and researchers, with mixed success. But less than two years later, two of the five papers she flagged have already been retracted.

When asked why she spent time away from bench research to examine this issue, Byrne told us:  Continue reading What turned a cancer researcher into a literature watchdog?

You’ve been dupe’d: Meet authors who like their work so much, they publish it twice

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When our co-founders launched the site in 2010, they wondered whether there would be enough retractions to write about on a regular basis. Five+ years and three full-time staffers later, and we simply don’t have the time to cover everything that comes across our desk.

In 2012, we covered a group of duplication retractions in a single post, simply because duplications happen so frequently (sadly) and often don’t tell an interesting story. So in the interest of bookkeeping, we’re picking up the practice again.

Here are five unrelated retractions for your perusal: all addressing duplications, in which the same – or mostly the same – authors published the same – or mostly the same – information in two different – or sometimes the same – journals.

So, on the buffet table we offer the following entrees: Continue reading You’ve been dupe’d: Meet authors who like their work so much, they publish it twice

Authors retract antioxidant paper after more work reverses their conclusion

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The authors of a paper about the benefits of an antioxidant found in blueberries known as pterostilbene have retracted it after their subsequent research suggested the antioxidant might actually be harmful.

The paper presented evidence that the antioxidant might help rats after heart attack, in part by inhibiting cell death (apoptosis). But according to the retraction note, more work

found that pterostilbene might induce apoptosis in the heart and can be harmful, and we are now focusing on the phenomenon.

The rest of the retraction note for “Pterostilbene attenuates inflammation in rat heart subjected to ischemia-reperfusion: role of TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway,” published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, suggests that the authors would consider republishing their findings if they became more confident in the data:

Continue reading Authors retract antioxidant paper after more work reverses their conclusion

“Knowledgeable informant” topples ovarian cancer paper

ijcepA group of cancer researchers in China has lost their 2013 paper in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology after someone tipped off the journal that the data were copied.

The article, “Importance of spondin 1 and cellular retinoic acid binding protein 1 in the clinical diagnosis of ovarian cancer,” came from Ting-Ting Jiao, Ye-Min Zhang, Lin Yao, Yuan Gao, Jian Sun, Dong-Fang Zou, Guo-Ping Wu, Dan Wang, Jun Ou, Ning Hui, who work at various Shanghai hospitals.

Here’s the retraction notice: Continue reading “Knowledgeable informant” topples ovarian cancer paper