Archive for the ‘springer retractions’ Category
The researcher who reported the similarity to Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry has sent us his correspondence with the journal. After a “thorough investigation,” the journal felt the paper was worth retracting.
The retraction is part of a large initiative on the part of nutrition researcher David Allison and colleagues to clean up the literature, which we’ve previously covered. Regarding this paper, he told us:
When we looked at the study…it was very clear that the statistical methods used were not correct. These are not matters of debate or opinion, these are just…verifiably incorrect.
The Nutrition Journal published the paper in January 2015, and retracted it in June 2016, one day after publishing a letter by Allison and a colleague critiquing the paper.
So from time to time we’ll compile a list of retractions that appeared relatively straightforward, just for record-keeping purposes.
Often, these seemingly straightforward retractions involve duplications, in which authors — accidentally or on purpose — republish their own work elsewhere.
Sometimes journals and authors blame this event on “poor communication,” our first example notes:
An autism researcher is retracting a paper she shared with the director of a New York institute, following a misconduct investigation.
In 2011, suspicions raised by peer reviewers triggered the investigation into several papers by Xiaohong Li at the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR) in New York. The probe concluded in 2013 that there was no evidence of misconduct, but the committee recommended the institute review all relevant papers. This additional review led to the latest retraction, the result of problems with figures which “underpin the conclusions of the study.”
Here’s the retraction notice for “Alteration of astrocytes and Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in the frontalcortex of autistic subjects,” published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation:
Although the authors submitted a correction to BMC Plant Biology acknowledging Robert Birch as the original author of some material, as we reported previously, the publisher instead issued an expression of concern (EOC), noting that there was an “authorship dispute.”
When our post ran earlier this year, we didn’t know why a request for correction had turned into an EOC, which — as its name states — is typically more cause for concern than a correction. We’re still not sure exactly why, but we have learned that Birch disputed the content of the authors’ suggested correction, and hired lawyers to try to change the wording. From his perspective, there are several problems with the paper, he told us:
A vociferous advocate for correcting the literature — who has been banned by two publishers for his persistent communications — has asked journals to retract one paper and correct three others for duplications.
After a reader flagged his 2004 paper on PubPeer last month, author Jaime Teixeira da Silva “immediately” contacted the journal to alert it that the paper had been duplicated, as he noted on a recent comment on our site:
After a prominent researcher was dismissed due to multiple instances of misconduct in his studies, how are journals responding?
When an investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found multiple issues with the work of psychiatry researcher Alexander Neumeister, New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center shut down eight of his studies. (Disclosure: The author of this post is an NYU journalism student, but has no relationship with the medical school.) The agency concluded the studies, which involved using experimental drugs to relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), were tainted by lax oversight, falsified records, and inaccurate case histories, according to the New York Times. (Neuroskeptic also recently analyzed the case.)
We reached out to the journals that have published Neumeister’s papers, to ask if these recent events have caused them to take a second look at his work. Several have responded, with some noting they plan to investigate, or will do so if asked by the institution. But many believe there is little cause for concern. Read the rest of this entry »
We can’t keep up with the growing number of retraction notices, so we’ve compiled a list of recent duplications to update our records.
1. Authors don’t always intentionally duplicate their own work, of course. The first paper on our list was retracted after the authors included a figure from a previous paper by accident, according to the publisher: Read the rest of this entry »
In one notice, issued last month, Annals of Human Genetics said it had reason to believe the paper had been reviewed by unqualified reviewers. Last year, another journal, Molecular Biology Reports, pulled two papers by the same group — all based at the China Medical University in Shenyang — all for peer-review issues. Additionally, Molecular Biology Reports also retracted another paper co-authored by Peng Liu last year, which did not include her other colleagues on the three other papers. All papers describe the epigenetic changes — modifications in expressions of genes — that may underlie cancer.
BioMed Central has retracted a paper after realizing it shared details on the brain surgeries of four patients without their consent.
Darlene Lobel, a neurosurgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, agreed to the retraction, and told us she didn’t know that she needed consent from the patients since all identifying details had been removed. The paper describes a technique for craniotomy — opening up the skull to access the brain — and included CT scans of hemorrhaging and swelling that the patients experienced, as well as other details such as their gender and age.
Here’s the retraction notice: