Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘elsevier’ Category

Geology dust-up: Second sand paper swept away for duplication

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GeomorphologyCiting an “abuse of the scientific publishing system,” the editors of Geomorphology have retracted a paper from a quartet of geologists in China for containing “significant similarity” to four other papers.

It is the second recent retraction for the group: In a loop of self-plagiarism, the Geomorphology paper was cited as a source of copied material in a retraction last month from Sedimentary Geology.

This most recent retraction is of a January 2014 paper, “The influence of sand bed temperature on lift-off and falling parameters in windblown sand flux,” analyzing the rise and fall of windblown sand based on the temperature of the sand bed.

Here is the full text of the notice:

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Written by Megan Scudellari

May 27th, 2015 at 11:30 am

ORI-sanctioned former UT-Southwestern cancer researchers up to 10 retractions

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CLThere’s been a 10th retraction from two former postdocs at a UT-Southwestern cancer research center who were sanctioned by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) last September, in part due to observations and comments from Retraction Watch readers.

It’s a 2008 Cancer Letters paper, “Methylation of apoptosis related genes in the pathogenesis and prognosis of prostate cancer,” retracted at the request of Makoto Suzuki, the first author who has claimed responsibility for falsifying data in this and five other papers. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Megan Scudellari

May 18th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Retraction-plagued management researcher hit with expression of concern

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OrgBehav_ak13The editor-in-chief of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes has issued an Expression of Concern about a 2011 paper that explores the link between ethical leadership and employee performance.

The paper, “Linking ethical leadership to employee performance: The roles of leader–member exchange, self-efficacy, and organizational identification,” is one of seven that were flagged in a report by Arizona State University (ASU) that investigated the corresponding author, Frederick Walumbwa, for possible research misconduct, as we noted in November.

“The fit statistics reported in the article contain many errors,” the notice says. It goes on to say that “it is difficult to understand the implications of these errors unless the raw data is made available” — but that the authors were not able to provide it. Here’s the full text of the expression of concern: Read the rest of this entry »

Double-dipping equals double retraction for fracking paper

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tran por medTransport in Porous Media and the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering have retracted two articles on shale gas by Chinese researchers for duplication and other “mistakes.”

The articles came from a group at the State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation at Southwest Petroleum University, in Chengdu. The articles share a corresponding author.

According to the abstract of the TPM paper, “Pressure Transient Analysis for Multi-stage Fractured Horizontal Wells in Shale Gas Reservoirs”:

The presented model could be used to interpret pressure signals more accurately for shale gas reservoirs.

Make that a double, according to its notice:

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Editor of Medical Journal of Australia fired after criticizing decision to outsource to Elsevier

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Stephen Leeder

Stephen Leeder

Public health expert Stephen Leeder has been ousted as editor of Australia’s top medical journal after he questioned the decision to outsource the journal’s production and other tasks to publishing giant Elsevier.

Leeder, emeritus professor at the University of Sydney, told the Medical Observer he was asked to leave when he and the journal’s publisher, AMPCo, couldn’t see eye to eye on the decision:

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Written by Alison McCook

May 1st, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Drug study pulled after researchers admit altering trial protocol

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egypt anaesthesiaThe Egyptian Journal of Anaesthesia is retracting a 2014 paper by a pair of researchers at Cairo University who appear to have tinkered with their protocol after having received ethics approval.

The paper, titled “Can Sugammadex improve the reversal profile of Atracurium under Sevoflurane anesthesia?” was written by Heba Ismail Ahmed Nagy and Hany Wafik Elkadi, both in the department of anesthesiology.

Sugammadex, or Bridion, is given to rapidly reverse the effects of drugs that keep patients motionless during surgery. It is available throughout the world but not, as it happens, in the United States, where the Food and Drug Administration has refused to approve the agent because of fears that it might provoke severe allergic-like reactions.

According to the retraction notice:

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Skeleton crew’s second paper broken over methodology issues; more retractions to appear

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Olga Panagiotopoulou, via University of Queensland

Bone researcher Olga Panagiotopoulou of the University of Queensland has lost a second paper over “errors in the validation protocol and data.”

The retracted paper in the Journal of Biomechanics, about primate jaws, was subject to an expression of concern in May 2014 November 2013, one of two Panagiotopoulou’s group issued last year over methodological problems. The other paper was later retracted. According to Panagiotopoulou, there will be two more retractions forthcoming, both in the Journal of Anatomy. 

According John Hutchinson, last author of the other retracted paper, that withdrawal was the result of an investigation at his school, the Royal Veterinary College.

Panagiotopoulou emailed us with an explanation:

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Cancer team loses two papers for image manipulation

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bba_2A team spread across multiple institutions in China and McGill University in Canada has retracted two cancer papers over “inaccurate and inappropriately processed Western Blots.”

Some of the figures were also reused between the two articles, both in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta General Subjects.

The articles both tested the cancer-fighting properties of a derivative of the active compound present in Boswellia serrata gum resin.

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Nature retracts epigenetics paper by author who lost two Science papers last year

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cover_natureFrank Sauer, formerly of the University of California, Riverside, has had a 2002 letter on epigenetics retracted from Nature due to “inappropriate image manipulation.”

Sauer had two papers retracted from Science last year following a university investigation. Here’s the Nature notice for “Histone methylation by the Drosophila epigenetic transcriptional regulator Ash1:” Read the rest of this entry »

Two more retractions bring lab break-in biochemist up to eleven

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bbrcKarel Bezouška, the Czech biochemist who was caught on hidden camera breaking into a lab fridge to fake results, has turned it up to eleven with two new retractions.

Both retractions appeared in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, one in October 2014 and one in January 2015.  His story began two decades ago in 1994, when he published a paper in Nature that couldn’t be reproduced, and was eventually retracted in 2013.

The best part of the story, of course, is that when his university was attempting to recreate his experiments, Bezouška broke into a lab fridge to tamper with the experiments. Unbeknownst to him, he was caught on hidden camera.  Read the rest of this entry »