Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘elsevier’ Category

Head of major diagnostic lab in Canada steps down amid investigation

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AJPA_v185_i7_COVER.inddA prominent endocrinologist pathologist has resigned from running the largest hospital diagnostic laboratory in Canada following an investigation that has uncovered evidence of falsified data in two papers, Retraction Watch has learned.

Sylvia Asa was the Program Medical Director of the Laboratory Medicine Program at the University Health Network, affiliated with the University of Toronto, until this past spring when she stepped down, according to UHN spokesperson Gillian Howard:

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Written by Ross Keith

July 24th, 2015 at 4:17 pm

“Part of a paper that had already appeared”: Materials paper pulled for plagiarism

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1-s2.0-S1387181115X00035-cov150hMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials has retracted a 2015 paper after it was discovered the authors “have plagiarized part of a paper that had already appeared.”

The paper, “Ionic liquid assisted synthesis of flexible and super-hydrophobic porous gels,” described the synthesis of a form of flexible aerogels “through a facile one-pot preparation,” according to the abstract. According to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge it has been cited zero times.

Here is the retraction note, in full:

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Half of anesthesiology fraudster’s papers continue to be cited years after retractions

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ethicsIn yet more evidence that retracted studies continue to accrue citations, a new paper has shown that nearly half of anesthesiologist Scott Reuben’s papers have been cited five years after being retracted, and only one-fourth of citations correctly note the retraction.

According to the new paper, in Science and Engineering Ethics: Read the rest of this entry »

Lancet journal removes Buddha cover art following protest

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Lancet inf disThe Lancet Infectious Diseases has removed a cover illustration of the Buddha contemplating a mosquito from its June, 2015 issue — a complement to a paper about malaria treatment in Cambodia — after receiving emails from readers who protested the depiction of the statue in a non-religious context.

After publishing the cover, the journal received “several emails” protesting the image, such as this one from Arjuna P R Aluwihare:

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Written by Alison McCook

July 2nd, 2015 at 9:30 am

Macchiarini co-author objects to investigation’s misconduct verdict

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dr-paolo-macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

One of Paolo Macchiarini’s co-authors on a 2011 Lancet paper describing an allegedly groundbreaking procedure to transplant an artificial trachea seeded with stem cells is objecting to a recent investigation that concluded Macchiarini had committed misconduct.

Ola Hermanson, who studies neural stem cells at Karolinska Institutet, argued in a report dated June 29 that the investigation contained “serious flaws and formal errors.”

Hermanson’s lengthy response (uploaded here except for supporting emails) is to the findings of an external review of allegations about Macchiarini’s work, conducted by Bengt Gerdin, of Uppsala University. In regards to the 2011 Lancet paper, Gerdin’s investigation found:

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Written by Alison McCook

July 1st, 2015 at 8:30 am

A tale of two journals: Elsevier retracts paper after publishing it in the wrong journal

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EMIf you happen to pick up this month’s issue of Economic Modelling, there’s a little surprise on page 307—blank pages. Publisher Elsevier has retracted a paper from that space because it “inadvertently published” the paper in the journal. In fact, Elsevier meant to include the paper in the pages of its other journal, Energy Economics.

The paper, “An Approach to Computing Marginal Land-Use Change Carbon Intensities for Bioenergy in Policy Applications,” is most assuredly not about economic modeling. Rather, it describes an approach for assessing carbon emissions from the production of bioenergy crops.

Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Lancet Oncology updates conflicts of interest statement for cancer-cell phone paper

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lanoncThe Lancet Oncology is correcting a 2011 article about the cancer risks of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those from cell phones, to clarify information about potential conflicts of interest for one of the experts who was involved in its preparation.

The assessments appeared as a monograph for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

However, after the 2011 paper “Carcinogenicity of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields” appeared, a reader raised allegations of conflicts of interest among its participants, which sparked a reconsideration of their disclosures.

The correction concerns the conflicts of interest for Niels Kuster of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, also a board member of the non-profit IT’IS foundation.

Kuster told Retraction Watch he disclosed everything upfront:

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Written by Alison McCook

June 24th, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Food fight: Animal nutrition author disputes two retractions

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LSA pair of animal nutrition researchers in India have now had a second paper on the nutritional value of a fungal treatment for wheat straw retracted, and one of the authors is very unhappy about it.

M.S. Mahesh of the National Dairy Research Institute at Deemed University claims a co-author issued “abusive letters” to an editor of the journal where the first paper was retracted (which said co-author denies), and that editors responsible for the second retraction removed the paper “unscientifically and unethically.”

The second paper, in Livestock Science, describes the treatment of wheat straw, a wheat by-product, with a fungus in an effort to improve the nutritional worth of the straw. It has a similar title, subject, and conclusions to those of a 2013 paper from the journal Tropical Animal Health and Production, which was retracted because the authors “had no permission to use the data presented in the Table 1.”

We described that earlier retraction from TAHP, and the similarity with this most recently retracted paper, in a post from early last year.

Here is the LS retraction notice for “Nutritional evaluation of wheat straw treated with white-rot fungus Crinipellis sp. RCK-SC in Sahiwal calves”: Read the rest of this entry »

Plagiarism identified in computer face recognition paper

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A paper about computerized facial recognition has been pulled because “most of the contents of this article is plagiarized from an article under consideration elsewhere,” according to the retraction statement.

Applications of computer face recognition include surveillance and criminal identification. The authors propose a new method for picking out facial features in the original 2013 article, “Pose invariant face recognition using biological inspired features based on ensemble of classifiers.”

The retraction note offers few details on what went wrong. Here it is, in full:

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Yup, this happened: “Mystery” writer impersonated cardiovascular pathologist, penned published letter

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A 2014 letter in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has been retracted because editors aren’t sure who wrote it.

“Can Grayscale IVUS Detect Necrotic Core-Rich Plaque?”, a letter on the potential of intravascular ultrasound, was submitted under the name of a researcher at the University of Copenhagen, Erling Falk. The paper was sent with a Gmail account (a technique used by some academics to conduct fake peer reviews), and editors communicated with the author through the acceptance process.

Shortly after the letter was published, Erling Falk of Aarhus University contacted the journal and asked who wrote the letter. They discovered that nobody by that name worked at the University of Copenhagen and emails to the author’s Gmail address went unanswered. So the journal issued a retraction.

Here’s the complete notice:

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