Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘elsevier’ Category

Labor pains study brought into this world twice

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YJPAI_v16_i6_COVER.inddA group of authors published two articles about one study on pain during childbirth, so one journal is retracting it.

This may seem like a standard case of salami slicing — but this one comes with a nearly 600-word commentary co-authored by the editors of the two journals in question.

The commentary lays out — in a refreshingly transparent way — exactly why the journals came to a joint decision to retract one of the papers:

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Authors used wrong dataset in study on shock therapy, exercise in depression

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J psych resA psychiatric journal has pulled a 2014 paper that found electroconvulsive therapy and exercise helped people with depression, after the authors determined they had mistakenly analyzed the wrong data.

According to the retraction notice from the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the researchers had “erroneously analyzed” data from a previous study they had published the year before.

Here’s more from the note for “Electroconvulsive therapy and aerobic exercise training increased BDNF and ameliorated depressive symptoms in patients suffering from treatment-resistant major depressive disorder:” Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve been dupe’d: Data so nice, you see them twice

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j repro infertLast Friday we resurrected a previous feature of Retraction Watch, compiling five retractions that appeared to be simple acts of duplication.

This week, we spotlight another five unrelated retractions which, as we said last week, cover duplications in which the same – or some of the same – authors published the same – or some of the same – information in two different papers.

Most duplications are straightforward — all authors simply send the same or similar study to two or more journals, a violation of most journals’ terms of use.  For instance: Read the rest of this entry »

Lancet retracts 24-year-old paper by “father of nutritional immunology” after reopening inquiry

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lancetFollowing questions from outside experts, a retraction of a related paper, a university investigation and a court case, The Lancet has decided to retract a 1992 paper by Ranjit Kumar Chandra, the self-proclaimed “father of nutritional immunology.

In a lengthy retraction note included in the January 30 issue, the journal explains that:

the balance of probabilities in our judgment is that the reliability of the 1992 Lancet paper by Chandra can no longer be assured.

Chandra is objecting to the retraction.

This retraction was a long time coming, so sit back and relax as we fill in the backstory. Read the rest of this entry »

Investigation of undisclosed conflicts in catheter paper uncovers flawed data, too

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cov150hAn investigation into a paper that compared infection rates from different types of central lines started with an allegation about a failure to disclose a conflict of interest, and ended up concluding that the science in the paper was flawed.

The 2013 paper — now retracted by the American Journal of Infection Control — suggested a particular kind of connector between the catheter and the patient could reduce some of the notoriously deadly bloodstream infections associated with the procedure, according to a press release that publicized the work. But last year, the journal issued an expression of concern for the paper, noting there were questions about the data. The retraction note reveals an investigation at Georgia Regents University — now known as Augusta University — started looking into undisclosed conflicts of interest in the paper, and ultimately concluded the science was flawed.

Here’s the retraction note, published in the January 1st 2016 issue of the journal, for “Comparison of central line-associated bloodstream infection rates when changing to a zero fluid displacement intravenous needleless connector in acute care settings

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Paper on the adhesiveness of a material doesn’t stick

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1-s2.0-S0169433215X00213-cov150hApplied Surface Science has retracted an article that looks at the structure of thin tungsten-titanium coating, because it was submitted without all of the co-authors’ consent.

According to the introduction of the paper, “Structure adhesion and corrosion resistance study of tungsten bisulfide doped with titanium deposited by DC magnetron co-sputtering,” such thin films are “widely used as a surface treatment for optimizing base material properties.”

Here’s the retraction note in full, published in the September issue of the journal:

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

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fertility and sterility

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: Read the rest of this entry »

Satellite paper grounded for plagiarizing — from the same journal

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1-s2.0-S0094576515X00129-cov150hPlagiarism happens; we see it a lot. But some cases stand out from the crowd.

For instance, we just came across an example where authors plagiarized from a paper in the same journal. Specifically, a 2015 paper on satellite orbits was found to have “extensive overlap” with another paper published in Acta Astronautica four years earlier. The last authors of the papers have connections, too — they used to work together at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in India, and in 2006, they co-authored a paper together.

M. Xavier James Raj is author on the retracted paper. He was a PhD student under R.K. Sharma, author of the paper he borrowed from. Sharma currently works at Karunya University in India.

Here’s the retraction note for “Analytical orbit predictions for low and high eccentricity orbits using uniformly regular KS canonical elements in an oblate atmosphere:”

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Written by Shannon Palus

January 18th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

List of retractions, corrections grows for Duke researchers

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cov200hDuke researcher Michael Foster and his former co-author Erin Potts-Kant are adding to their notice count with a major correction from late last year to a paper on how certain cells in mice respond to a pneumonia infection, citing “potential discrepancies in the data.”

The correction is actually a partial retraction: The note explains that parts of three figures should be discounted.

We’ve also recently unearthed multiple corrections and two retractions from the pair that we missed from earlier in 2015.

After questions about the data in the corrected paper arose, the authors were able to replicate most of the experiments in the paper, according to the note. But since the paper was published, the senior author passed away, closing her lab, so they couldn’t repeat all of the work.

Here’s the correction notice for “Mast cell TNF receptors regulate responses to Mycoplasma pneumoniae in surfactant protein A (SP-A)−/− mice,” published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology:

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Renewable energy researcher recycled material, agrees to withdraw 10 papers

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S13640321Investigations at two institutions at Taiwan determined in 2013 that a renewable energy researcher duplicated his own work; the researcher agreed to pull 10 papers. A total of six have been withdrawn or retracted, two in November, 2015.

Shyi-Min Lu is the corresponding author on the two newly retracted papers, from Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. The retractions follow investigations at the Industrial Technology Research Institute, where Lu used to work, and National Taiwan University, his former employer. Lu admitted to committing offenses in 10 papers. He was fired from NTU, where he was a research assistant at the university’s Energy Research Center.

First author Falin Chen — also a co-author on the paper duplicated by the retractions — was not aware that the papers bearing his name had been submitted. He told us how he found out:  Read the rest of this entry »