Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘oxford university press’ Category

Four retractions follow Swedish government findings of negligence, dishonesty

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242915_1uu_logoA Swedish ethical review board has censured two biologists and their employer, Uppsala University, for events related to “extensive image manipulations” in five papers published between 2010 and 2014. The case has led to criticism from an outside expert — who brought the allegations to Uppsala — over the current system in Sweden for handling such investigations.

Four of the papers have been retracted, and the authors have requested a correction in the fifth.

After an eight-month investigation, in September the government-run Expert Group for Scientific Misconduct at the Central Ethical Review Board in Stockholm, Sweden, concluded that Uppsala professor Kenneth Söderhäll — who has published more than 200 papers — and lecturer Irene Söderhäll acted “negligently” and “dishonestly” by Read the rest of this entry »

Duplicated data, “careless errors” expire lung cancer paper

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A paper about the molecular details of lung cancer is being retracted for repeating datasets and “careless errors” in a pair of figures.

According to the note, the editor of Carcinogenesis wouldn’t have known about the problems if he hadn’t been tipped off that the paper by first author, XiaoJuan Sun — a researcher at Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital in China — shared “significant similarities” with another one of Sun’s papers that was retracted years ago. After the journal investigated the paper, it discovered that the authors had reported the same data as in the retracted paper “without significant additions or amendments,” along with some errors and inconsistencies.

Here’s the detailed note for “The EDA-containing cellular fibronectin induces epithelial mesenchymal transition in lung cancer cells through integrin α9β1-mediated activation of PI3-K /Akt and Erk1/2:”

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Symposium intro pulled after author refuses to revise following changes to lineup

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Integrative and Comparative Biology

A biology journal has pulled the introduction to a symposium that was published online before the symposium papers had been finalized. After reviewers rejected multiple papers, the author of the introduction — and organizer of the symposium — refused to revise his portion accordingly, so the journal retracted it.

Suzanne Miller, an assistant editor at Integrative and Comparative Biologytold us that the journal ended up rejecting two out of the seven papers in the symposium. When editors asked the symposium organizer, Valentine Lance, to rewrite the introduction — which contained a brief background on each speaker — he told us that he refused to do the rewrite, and said that he “simply quit.”

Miller told us the journal is now changing its practice as a result of this incident: Read the rest of this entry »

The “results should not be published:” Company confidentiality agreement squashes two insecticide papers

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AMTWest Virginia University biologists have retracted two papers on insecticides for fruit pests due to a confidentiality agreement with a chemical manufacturer stating that the “results should not be published.”

The retracted 2014 articles in Arthropod Management Tests, “Control of Internal Lepidoptera and other insect pests in apple, 2013” and “Control of Oriental Fruit Moth and other insect pests in peach, 2013,” were written by WVU entomologist Daniel Frank and plant pathologist Alan Biggs.

We’ve been unable to find abstracts for the papers, but here is a sister paper Frank and Biggs published in 2012,“Control of Internal Lepidoptera and other insect pests in apple, 2012,” evaluating various insecticides for the control of internal lepidoptera on an experimental plot of Red Delicious apple trees in West Virginia.

Here’s the to-the-point retraction note, which is identical for each paper: Read the rest of this entry »

Lead poisoning article disappears for “legal” — but mysterious — reasons

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OM_ak4A 2014 article in Occupational Medicine has been pulled with no retraction notice. Instead, the text was replaced with eight ominous words:

This article has been removed for legal reasons

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Teflon toxicity paper fails to stick

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toxicological sciencesAn advanced online paper on prenatal toxicity of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), an industrial chemical used to make waterproof coatings and Teflon, is being retracted due to “some minor errors.”

High blood levels of PFOA have been tied to kidney disease in humans, as well as several cancers in animal models. The majority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific advisory board deemed PFOA “likely to be carcinogenic in humans” in 2006, though a decade later the EPA has yet to make a decision on regulations. The retracted paper found that exposing pregnant mice to PFOA altered hormone pathways in mammary glands.

According to the notice in Toxicological Sciences, there was a duplicated image in one of the figures, as well as “some minor errors.” Here’s figure 5B: Read the rest of this entry »

Two more retractions appear for prominent MIT cancer researcher Robert Weinberg

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genes and developmentTwo identical retraction notices have popped up for MIT professor Robert Weinberg, a highly-cited cancer researcher who had a retraction and a correction in 2013, both in Cancer Cell. 

These two new retractions, in Genes and Development, stem directly from another paper by Weinberg and colleagues in Cell that will apparently be retracted, as the “same analytical methodology was used,” according to the notices [see bottom of the post for an update].

Weinberg is highly regarded, and at least 20 of his papers have been cited over a thousand times.

First author Scott Valastyan was a promising postdoc at the time of the paper’s publication. He was a 2011 Runyon Fellow at Harvard, a three-year, $156,000 award for outstanding cancer postdocs. He doesn’t seem to have published anything since 2012, though he is listed as a joint inventor with Weinberg on patents filed in 2009 and 2014.

Here are the notices for “Concomitant suppression of three target genes can explain the impact of a microRNA on metastasis” (cited 73 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge) and “Activation of miR-31 function in already-established metastases elicits metastatic regression” (cited 54 times), both paywalled: Read the rest of this entry »

A ewe-turn: Researchers lose sleep, and paper, over miscounted sheep

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Suspicious sheep via John Haslam

Suspicious sheep via John Haslam

A group of Chinese cardiologists at Capital Medical University have done a quick ewe-turn, pulling a paper after mixing up both the author order and wrongly reporting how many sheep were killed in the making of this experiment.

We covered another retraction from the CMU cardiology department in September. The sheep paper was published in October.

Here’s the notice for “Mosaic tissue-engineered porcine pulmonary artery valved conduit: long-term follow-up after implantation in an ovine model”: Read the rest of this entry »

Three more retractions appear for Florida ob-gyn under investigation

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University of Florida

Nasser Chegini via University of Florida

Two Oxford journals have now put out three more retractions for ob-gyn and former University of Florida professor Nasser Chegini, who has been under ORI investigation since at least 2012. That makes a total of five retractions, by our count.

Here is the notice for “The expression profile of micro-RNA in endometrium and endometriosis and the influence of ovarian steroids on their expression” in Molecular Human Reproduction: Read the rest of this entry »

“Significant” copying forces retraction of sternotomy paper

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icatsInteractive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery has yanked a 2005 sternotomy paper by a group of researchers who plagiarized from an earlier article on the subject.

The article, “The complications of repeat median sternotomy in paediatrics: six-months follow-up of consecutive cases,” came from a team at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, England, and has been cited eight times, according to Scopus.

Here’s the notice:

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