Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘elsevier’ Category

Researcher who unsuccessfully sued journal to stop retractions earns another expression of concern

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Mario Saad

Mario Saad

A journal has added expressions of concern (EOCs) to four papers about diabetes, including one co-authored by an author who previously sued a different journal when it took a similar action on his papers.

The Journal of Physiology flagged the papers after an investigation “could not rule out the possibility” that they contained duplicated Western blots. Though the three other papers do not include Mario Saad on their author list, he plays a role: The papers include blots duplicated from other papers of Saad’s. And they reveal that Saad may have published those blots multiple times in his own work.

The EOCs all start out with the same statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Peer review scam leader now up to 20 retractions

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Khalid Zaman

Khalid Zaman

We’ve unearthed four more retractions for Khalid Zaman, an economist who lost 16 papers in 2014 for orchestrating fake peer review.

That brings Zaman’s total to 20, and ties him at the #18 spot on our leaderboard.

One of the more recently discovered retractions is for fake peer review, attributed to Zaman; one is for plagiarism, and two other papers were withdrawn while in press, for reasons that are unclear. (Note bene: These retractions are all at least one year old.)

First, the retraction notice for peer review issues, published in April 2015 for “Environmental Indicators and Energy Outcomes: Evidence from World Bank’s Classification Countries:”

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Data manipulation flushes paper on gut bacteria

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cell reportsData manipulation in a Cell Reports paper blew the importance of a kind of bacteria out of proportion.

Retracted this month — less than three months after it was published — the paper showed, according to a summary on the cover page:

B. subtilis is a symbiont that resides in the gut of C. elegans and generates nitric oxide that is essential for the host. Xiao et al. demonstrate that nitric oxide promotes defense against pathogenic bacteria by activating p38 MAPK, demonstrating the importance of commensal bacteria in host immunity.

But B. subtilis — a member of the Bacillaceae family — aren’t actually as plentiful as they appeared, explains the retraction notice for “Gut-Colonizing Bacteria Promote C. elegans Innate Immunity by Producing Nitric Oxide:”

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Cancer paper that doctored image from Science story earns retraction

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lungcancercoverHere’s a joke for all you middle-schoolers out there. How are doctored images like bad pennies? They keep cropping up!

Here’s the latest one we’ve picked up: Lung Cancer has retracted a 2014 paper on the genetics of tumors after concluding the authors cribbed a figure that had appeared in a 2005 feature story in Science.

The paper, “ß-elemene against human lung cancer via up-regulation of P53 protein expression to promote the release of exosome,” drew attention on PubPeer last September from a reader who noticed striking similarities between one of the images the authors used and a figure in the Science piece (subscription required). According to the PubPeer commenter: Read the rest of this entry »

Team in Japan earns third retraction for misconduct

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JSRA team of researchers has earned its third retraction after an investigation at Oita University in Japan found instances of misconduct in their research.

The most recent notice mentions the investigation, and specifies that the first author, Satoshi Hagiwara, was responsible for the problematic figures in the paper. Hagiwara is also the first author on two retracted papers we reported on last year; one of the earlier retractions also mentions the investigation, but does not assign responsibility to any particular author. All three papers share three authors.

The retraction notice for “Continuous Hemodiafiltration Therapy Ameliorates LPS-Induced Systemic Inflammation in a Rat Model,” published in the Journal of Surgical Research, explains the issues with the paper:

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Einstein grad student admits cooking data, settles with Office of Research Integrity

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Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 1.05.49 PMOne Friday in January, graduate student Meredyth Forbes was reviewing material for her dissertation with her mentor when she decided to make a confession.

She “burst out with a statement that some of the data was fabricated,” said Edward Burns, research integrity officer at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where Forbes worked. It was, Burns told Retraction Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction count for Shigeaki Kato climbs to 39

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Shigeaki Kato

Shigeaki Kato

We’ve found another retraction for Shigeaki Kato, number seven on our leaderboard.

Our count for Kato has now risen to 39; we added five retraction notices to our count for Kato last month. These notices follow an investigation at the University of Tokyo, where Kato used to work, which found 43 papers contained “likely altered or forged materials,” according to a 2013 news article from The Asahi Shimbun.

Here’s the retraction note for “1alpha,25(OH)2D3-induced DNA methylation suppresses the human CYP271B1 gene,” published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology:

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Economics paper retracted due to “extensive changes”

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727710An article has been retracted from a proceedings of an economics conference after the publisher identified errors in several parts of the study.

The retraction follows criticism from a Romanian blogger, who contacted the journal about several issues, and posted communications she received about the paper, “Sustainability of Social Enterprises: A Discourse Analysis.” It was part of a volume of Procedia Economics and Finance from a 2014 conference, “Economic Scientific Research – Theoretical, Empirical and Practical Approaches,” also known as ESPERA 2014.

According to the paper, peer review was

under responsibility of the Scientific Committee of ESPERA 2014.

Apparently, the peer review process missed a few errors. The retraction note explains:

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Written by Shannon Palus

April 25th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Two more retractions bring total to 9 for neuroscience duo

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Journal of Neuroscience CoverAfter the first author admitted to fraud, his colleagues have retracted a 2013 paper in the Journal of Neuroscience, as well as a 2015 book chapter about working memory.

The retractions come as part of a backstory of pulled papers authored by psychologist Edward Awh and his former graduate student David Anderson when he was based at the University of Oregon in Eugene. The pair retracted four papers last year after Anderson admitted to misconduct during an investigation by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (and spoke to us about it last July). This led Awh — now based at the University of Chicago in Illinois — to take a second look at the other publications he’d co-authored with Anderson; earlier this year, Awh retracted two others, and informed us more would be coming, including the two most recent publications

First, let’s take a look at the retraction note for the Journal of Neuroscience paper, about remembered items and task performance: Read the rest of this entry »

How did two papers on same gene with different authors, publishers, end up with identical retraction notices?

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1-s2.0-S0006291X16X00058-cov150h1Here’s an interesting case: We’ve found two retracted papers that describe the same gene, and both have nearly identical retraction notices. What’s unusual is that the two papers don’t have any authors in common, and appeared in two different journals published by two different companies.

The cause of both papers’ demise: Plagiarism, and use of unpublished data without permission “from an unnamed source,” who wishes to remain that way. The author of one of the papers confirmed to us that the unnamed source is a “3rd party service company.” Springer told us that the third party in the other paper, however, is another researcher.

It’s a puzzling case, to be sure. We think we have uncovered some of what happened, but remain slightly fuzzy on the details.

Here’s the first retraction, for “KDM3A interacted with p53K372me1 and regulated p53 binding to PUMA in gastric cancer,” originally published online September 30 by Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications:

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