Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘sage’ Category

Columbia investigation reveals researcher faked data — and a degree

with 7 comments

InnateImmunityA researcher faked data and a masters degree, according to an investigation by Columbia University.

He’s also earned his fourth retraction. The new notice, along with one we’ve uncovered from 2014, provide some information on the extent of the deception of Robert Frumento, who left Columbia a decade ago, around the time that the now-retracted papers were published.

Here’s the new retraction notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Conservative political beliefs not linked to psychotic traits, as study claimed

with 21 comments

American Journal of Political Science

Researchers have fixed a number of papers after mistakenly reporting that people who hold conservative political beliefs are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness.

As one of the notices specifies, now it appears that liberal political beliefs are linked with psychoticism. That paper also swapped ideologies when reporting on people higher in neuroticism and social desirability (falsely claiming that you have socially desirable qualities); the original paper said those traits are linked with liberal beliefs, but they are more common among people with conservative values.

We’re not clear how much the corrections should inform our thinking about politics and personality traits, however, because it’s not clear from the paper how strongly those two are linked. The authors claim that the strength of the links are not important, as they do not affect the main conclusions of the papers — although some personality traits appear to correlate with political beliefs, one doesn’t cause the other, nor vice versa.

In total, three papers have been corrected by authors, and a correction has been submitted on one more.

We’ll start with an erratum that explains the backstory of the error in detail. It appears on “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies,” published by the American Journal of Political Science: Read the rest of this entry »

Concerns attached to three more papers by retraction-laden management researcher

with 6 comments

Fred Walumbwa

Fred Walumbwa

Fred Walumbwa, a management researcher with eight seven retractions, has received three expressions of concern from two journals after he failed to provide raw data following an investigation into potential errors.

In the past, Walumbwa has said he only keeps data until his papers are published, but a lack of raw data has become a common theme in his notices, which now also include four corrections, and one other EOC (making a new total of four). There are no standard rules about how long to store raw data, but one journal that issued two of the new EOCs has since updated its submission policy to require that authors keep data for at least five years.

Walumbwa currently works at Florida International University. When concerns about the statistics were raised about five of his papers in Personnel Psychology, the journal conducted an investigation that led to flagging two of those articles, the expression of concern explains:

Read the rest of this entry »

Makeup use linked to testosterone levels? Not so fast, says retraction

with 17 comments

Psych SciA psychology journal is retracting a 2015 paper that attracted press coverage by suggesting women’s hormone levels drive their desire to be attractive, after a colleague alerted the last author to flaws in the statistical analysis.

The paper, published online in November, found women prefer to wear makeup when there is more testosterone present in their saliva. The findings were picked up by various media including Psychology Today (“Feeling hormonal? Slap on the makeup”), and even made it onto reddit.com.

However, upon discovering a problem in the analysis of the data, the authors realized that central finding didn’t hold up, according to Psychological Science‘s interim editor, Stephen Lindsay: Read the rest of this entry »

Math journal retracts entire issue following peer-review problems

without comments

home_coverThe editor of a special issue of a math journal — and author of many of the papers in it — has officially retracted the entire thing, after promising to withdraw it last year following issues with the review process.

According to the note in Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids, the peer-review process was “less rigorous than the journal requires.” Indeed, that process was coordinated by guest editor David Y. Gao, a mathematician at the Federation University Australia, who was also author on 11 of the 13 papers present in the issue.

Gao told us in November that he was withdrawing the issue because he thought it would be better suited as a book.

Here is the official retraction note, which focuses on the conflict of interest:

Read the rest of this entry »

Eight retractions for fake reviews lead journal to suspend author nominations

with 4 comments

home_cover (1)

An investigation has uncovered fake reviews on 21 papers submitted to the Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin Aldosterone System.

After taking a second look at accepted papers with an author-nominated reviewer, the journal discovered that the listed reviewers on the 21 papers, though real people, had never submitted a report.

Eight of the papers have been retracted by JRAAS. The rest had not yet been published, and have now been rejected, explains a commentary by the journal editors. The journal has also stopped allowing authors to nominate reviewers.

The retraction note — the same on all eight papers — explains how the authors “seriously compromised” the review process:

Read the rest of this entry »

Management researcher with 7 retractions issues “clarifications” to 2013 paper

with one comment

home_cover

The authors of a paper on supportive supervisors just want readers to “better understand the reported findings,” and so have issued multiple “clarifications” in a corrigendum note.

Some of the issues addressed in the note have been raised on PubPeer.

The paper’s author list includes one Fred Walumbwa, formerly an Arizona State University management researcher, some of whose work has succumbed to scrutiny in the the past two years. His current list: seven retractions, a megacorrection, an expression of concern, and now this.

Unraveling the relationship between family-supportive supervisor and employee performance,” published in Group & Organization Management, has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the note in full:

Read the rest of this entry »

Author withdraws entire issue after overseeing his own peer review

without comments

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

Can linguistic patterns identify data cheats?

with 5 comments

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

without comments

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:

Read the rest of this entry »