Irony? The Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention retracts a paper

Irony machine, start your engine: A pair of engineers have lost a 2017 paper in the Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention over a failure to determine who owned the data.

The article, “Solder selection for reflowing large ceramic substrates during PCB assembly,” was written by Prashant Reddy Gangidi and Noy Souriyasak, both listed as working at a semiconductor firm called FormFactor Inc., based in Livermore, Calif.

Evidently, at least one of the authors lacked the okay to publish the data.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading Irony? The Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention retracts a paper

One retraction notice says plagiarism. The other says it was an error in an algorithm. Which was it?

For the second time in a week, we’ve come across a retraction notice that gave the wrong reason for the retraction.

Last week, it was an Elsevier journal that called a plagiarized paper a duplicate of work by the same authors who’d written the original. Today, here’s the story of a chapter in a book published by Springer Nature that manages to list two different reasons for retraction.

According to one notice for “In-silico Analysis of LncRNA-mRNA Target Prediction” in: D. Reddy Edla et al. (eds.), Advances in Machine Learning and Data Science, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 705, the chapter was retracted for plagiarism.

But according to the other notice, the retraction happened because Continue reading One retraction notice says plagiarism. The other says it was an error in an algorithm. Which was it?

Distraction paper pulled for clerical error

The authors of a 2018 paper on how noisy distractions disrupt memory are retracting the article after finding a flaw in their study.

The paper, “Unexpected events disrupt visuomotor working memory and increase guessing,” appeared in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, a publication of the Psychonomic Society. (For those keeping score at home, psychonomics is the study of the laws of the mind.)

The article purported to show that an unexpected “auditory event,” like the sudden blare of a car horn, reduced the ability of people to remember visuomotor cues. Per the abstract:

Continue reading Distraction paper pulled for clerical error

A journal waited 13 months to reject a submission. Days later, it published a plagiarized version by different authors

When a researcher submitted a manuscript to a journal about multimedia tools, she was frustrated to wait 13 months for the journal to make a decision — only to have it reject the paper outright. So imagine how she felt when, days after the paper was rejected, she saw the journal had published a plagiarized version of the paper by a group of different authors.

Clearly, something went very awry here — especially since the journal, Multimedia Tools and Applications (MTAP), has retracted three papers by the same group of authors, all of which plagiarized from unpublished manuscripts by other people.

Of course, one possibility is that an author was a peer reviewer of the manuscripts, and stole the unpublished material — something that unfortunately does happen.

There are four authors in common to all three manuscripts, but only one — corresponding author Chao Xiong of the Changzhou Institute of Technology in China — has responded to any queries from MTAP, according to the retraction notices. As the notices state, Xiong agrees with one of the the retractions, but not the other two. (All of the papers cover similar topics and were submitted around the same time, so it’s unclear why Xiong didn’t object to one retraction.)

Here’s a sample notice, for “Image-based reversible data hiding algorithm toward big multimedia data:”

Continue reading A journal waited 13 months to reject a submission. Days later, it published a plagiarized version by different authors

The mystery of the mistaken retraction is solved — sort of

We finally have some clarity on the case of the erroneous retraction over at the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

Last week, we reported that the journal, and its publisher, Springer Nature, were having some trouble with a retracted presentation from a 2017 cancer meeting. Turns out, the issue involved crossed wires for similar articles in the journal by the same trio of researchers.

Elizabeth Hawkins, a spokeswoman for Springer Nature, told us:

Continue reading The mystery of the mistaken retraction is solved — sort of

Oops: Springer Nature journal retracts the wrong paper

The Annals of Surgical Oncology (ASO) owes an apology to a group of researchers at two hospitals in South Florida.

Last month, the journal retracted a conference presentation about a device, from a company called Cianna Medical, that is designed to allow surgeons to home in to suspicious lumps in the breast and avoid needless damage to the surrounding tissue. According to the notice for “SAVI SCOUT RADAR – A non-wire non-radioactive localization device can be used for axillary lymph node surgery,” the authors of the study had failed to obtain ethics approval for the research, which was originally presented in April 2017 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

Trouble is, that part about lack of ethics approval is not true.

Continue reading Oops: Springer Nature journal retracts the wrong paper

Caught Our Notice: Make love, not fake reviews — semen papers retracted

Titles: 

1) Study of enzyme activities and protein content of beluga (Huso huso) semen before and after cryopreservation

2) Determination of some blood and seminal plasma ions in the beluga, Huso huso (Linnaeus, 1758)

3) Effects of multiple collections on spermatozoa quality of Persian sturgeon, Acipenser persicus: Motility, density and seminal plasma composition

What Caught Our Attention: We won’t lie — any retractions of papers about fish semen (OK, any kind of semen) will make us stop and look. In this case, the journal retracted three papers submitted by the same researcher over concerns of fake review. In the end, the journal was concerned the papers were okayed by reviewers who weren’t “suitably qualified” to review the papers about the content and quality of semen from different fish species. (In fairness, we imagine the pool of qualified reviewers is relatively small.)

Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Make love, not fake reviews — semen papers retracted

Caught Our Notice: Gorilla paper in the mist? Journal flags ape hormone paper

Title: Biologically validating the measurement of oxytocin in western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) urine and saliva using a commercial enzyme immunoassay

What Caught Our Attention: Quite frankly, anything with “gorilla gorilla gorilla” in the title will catch our eye, even if it is just the scientific name of the western lowland gorilla. In this case, the journal issued an expression of concern over an “unintended discrepancy” that may have affected the paper, which validates the use of a tool to measure oxytocin in the apes’ urine and saliva. The authors voluntarily notified the editors of Primate of the potential issue, and the journal issued an Expression of Concern only one month after the article was published — which is pretty fast for a notice, although not a record (see this one, issued six days after publication).

We contacted the editor, who told us:

Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Gorilla paper in the mist? Journal flags ape hormone paper

Caught Our Notice: Yes, a 20-year-old article is wrong — but it won’t be corrected online

Title: AMPA receptor-mediated regulation of a Gi-protein in cortical neurons

What Caught Our Attention:  Usually, when journals publish corrections to articles, they also correct the original article, except when the original is unavailable online.  When Nature noticed that some figure panels in a 20-year-old paper were duplicated, it flagged the issue for readers — but didn’t correct the online version of the original paper. According to the notice, the duplications don’t disturb the conclusion illustrated by the figure, the original data couldn’t be found, and the last two authors had retired. We contacted a spokesperson at Nature, who told us “the information at the start of the paper clearly links to the corrigendum.”   Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Yes, a 20-year-old article is wrong — but it won’t be corrected online

Journals retract 30 papers by engineer in South Korea

An engineer in South Korea has lost 30 papers, at least seven of which for duplication and plagiarism. He has also been fired from his university position.

Soon-Gi Shin, whose affiliation was listed as Kangwon National University in Gangwon, is the sole author on the majority of the papers, published in four journals between 2000 and 2015.

Taewan Kim, the dean of international affairs at the university, told Retraction Watch that Shin was fired on August 21, 2017, over “violation[s] of research ethics.”

Continue reading Journals retract 30 papers by engineer in South Korea