Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘sage’ Category

Author withdraws entire issue after overseeing his own peer review

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home_cover-31The editor and author of most of the papers in a special issue of a math journal told us he is withdrawing the entire issue following revelations that he had coordinated the peer-review process.

The articles, published online earlier this year, recently received an expression of concern after the journal realized the guest editor David Gao, at the Federation University Australia, had coordinated the peer-review process. This was a major no-no, since Gao was also an author of 11 of the 13 papers. Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids slated the articles to be peer reviewed again, by reviewers not chosen by Gao.

Gao told us what happened next, from his perspective — he changed his mind about publishing the papers in MMS:

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Can linguistic patterns identify data cheats?

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JLAPSCunning science fraudsters may not give many tells in their data, but the text of their papers may be a tipoff to bad behavior.

That’s according to a new paper in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology by a pair of linguists at Stanford University who say that the writing style of data cheats is distinct from that of honest authors. Indeed, the text of science papers known to contain fudged data tends to be more opaque, less readable and more crammed with jargon than untainted articles.

The authors, David Markowitz and Jeffrey Hancock, also found that papers with faked data appear to be larded up with references – possibly in an attempt to make the work more cumbersome for readers to wade through, or to tart up the manuscript to make it look more impressive and substantial. As Markowitz told us: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

November 11th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Author’s coordination of peer review flags 13 math papers

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home_cover (3)Thirteen papers in Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids now have an expression of concern, after it came to light that an author on most of the papers coordinated the peer-review process.

David Y. Gao, a well-known and prolific mathematician at the Federation University Australia, is the author of 11 of the papers, and also the guest editor of the special issue in which they were set to appear. The papers were published online earlier this year.

A spokesperson for SAGE, which publishes the journal, confirmed that the publisher decided to re-review the papers after learning about Gao’s role in the peer-review process:

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Divorce study felled by a coding error gets a second chance

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home_cover (1)A journal has published a corrected version of a widely reported study linking severe illness and divorce rates after it was retracted in July due to a small coding error.

The original, headline-spawning conclusion was that the risk of divorce in a heterosexual marriage increases when the wife falls ill, but not the husband. The revised results — published again in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, along with lengthy explanations from the authors and editors — are more nuanced: Gender only significantly correlates with divorce rate in the case of heart disease.

The authors’ note, from Iowa State’s Amelia Karraker and Kenzie Latham, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, explains that the coding error led them to over-estimate how many marriages ended in divorce:

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Paper on narcissistic CEOs earns big correction

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home_coverIt may not be much of a surprise that narcissistic CEOs of pharmaceutical companies will make bold choices, such as adopting radically new technology. That idea remains true, despite a lengthy correction to a paper that supports it.

The paper, “CEO Narcissism, Audience Engagement, and Organizational Adoption of Technological Discontinuities,” in Administrative Science Quarterly, found support for the following hypothesis:

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17 retractions from SAGE journals bring total fake peer review count to 250

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sage-journals-logoOn Monday, we reported on 64 new retractions from Springer journals resulting from fake peer reviews. Yesterday, SAGE — which retracted 60 papers for the same reason just over a year ago — added 17 additional retractions to their list.

The articles were published in five different journals, and one retraction involved authorship fraud in addition to peer review fraud, according to a SAGE spokesperson: Read the rest of this entry »

“To our horror”: Widely reported study suggesting divorce is more likely when wives fall ill gets axed

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home_coverA widely reported finding that the risk of divorce increases when wives fall ill — but not when men do — is invalid, thanks to a short string of mistaken coding that negates the original conclusions, published in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

The paper, “In Sickness and in Health? Physical Illness as a Risk Factor for Marital Dissolution in Later Life,” garnered coverage in many news outlets, including The Washington Post, New York magazine’s The Science of Us blog, The Huffington Post, and the UK’s Daily Mail 

But an error in a single line of the coding that analyzed the data means the conclusions in the paper — and all the news stories about those conclusions — are “more nuanced,” according to first author Amelia Karraker, an assistant professor at Iowa State University.

Karraker — who seems to be handling the case quickly and responsibly —  emailed us how she realized the error:

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Retraction of monkey paper linked to problems at shuttered research institute

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Veterinary Pathology.Evidence of poorly treated lab animals has led researchers to retract a 2014 article in Veterinary Pathology that explored the neurological effects of dehydration in squirrel monkeys.

The study was pulled after Frederick Wang, the former director of the New England Primate Research Center, unveiled reports of a dozen squirrel monkeys that were found dehydrated and dead in their cages or euthanized between 1999 and 2011.

Wang told the Boston Globe in April that “human error” and “inadequate animal care” might have compromised the results of the study:

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“Values were outside expected ranges”: Toxicology paper spiked after audit

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Toxicological PathologyResearchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences have retracted a 2014 article after a review unearthed unresolved problems with the study’s control material.

The retracted paper, “Effect of Temperature and Storage Time on Sorbitol Dehydrogenase Activity in Sprague-Dawley Rat Serum and Plasma,” looked to test the durability and stability of sorbitol dehydrogenase, an enzyme used to detect cancerous liver damage in rats.

Here’s the complete retraction notice from Toxicologic Pathology :

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Written by Ross Keith

June 30th, 2015 at 11:30 am

“This article was published in error”: Economics paper defaults

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EDQ_ak14An economist in Taiwan has retracted a paper about from Economic Development Quarterly because it was “published in error.”

The paper — first published online March 5, 2013 — addresses the influence of information and communication technology on economic growth.

According to the notice, the paper included “the original dataset and excerpts from an earlier draft of the paper co-written by the author and colleagues.” The only listed author, Yi-Chia Wang, asked that the article be retracted before making it into print, but it looks like it was included in the February, 2015 issue of the journal.

Here’s the notice for “How ICT Penetration Influences Productivity Growth: Evidence From 17 OECD Countries”: Read the rest of this entry »