Archive for the ‘springer retractions’ Category
The authors of the study — which chronicled the degree of heavy metal pollution on the banks of the Pearl River Delta — didn’t have permission to use the data. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment‘s notice doesn’t suggest the data are inaccurate.
The heavy metals in the soil come from the many manufacturing plants in the area, including those that provide the West with blue jeans, phones, and other electronics. The pollutants’ effects are wide-reaching: According to the South China Morning Post, industrial outfits discharge huge volumes of toxic chemicals into the Pearl River, including arsenic, copper, cadmium, and mercury.
The paper, “Preference for immediate reinforcement over delayed reinforcement: relation between delay discounting and health behavior,” was written by Shane Melanko and Kevin Larkin. It examined whether people who place less importance on the future were also less likely to adopt healthy behaviors, which come with delayed benefits. Melanko, then a doctoral candidate under Larkin, was evidently at one time a psychology student of some promise.
An environmental journal has retracted a paper on a technology that helps degrade explosives released into soil, because the first author never got the permission of his “co-authors” — oh, and used data that were “illegally obtained,” according to one of the slighted co-authors.
According to the EPA, more than 30 sites around the country are contaminated by decommissioned explosives, including weapons plants and army depots. A major source of the pollution was workers washing out old bombs into “evaporation lagoons” and then burning the resulting sludge.
The site used for the retracted paper was Ravenna Army Ammunition Plant, a decommissioned weapons factory that stored explosive waste in unlined landfills. According to the EPA, “open burning was also a common practice.”
The problems with the paper in Water, Air & Soil Pollution were uncovered after the head of the company, University of Georgia (UGA) professor Valentine Nzengung, found the paper on ResearchGate. He discovered that first author Chunhui Luo had used (now out-of-date) data without permission, and added Nzengung’s name to the paper without his knowledge. The other author is another UGA professor, Walter O’Niell, who told us he was also not informed about the paper.
Nzengung gave us further details via email: Read the rest of this entry »
The initial paper concluded that their modified gene produced a Cry protein that was significantly more toxic than the one currently spliced into food crops to make them resistant to moths, beetles, and other insects. However, when repeating the experiments, the modified proteins weren’t any more deadly than the original version.
Accusations of plagiarism spanning at least 14 years have finally caught up with Richard Lawrence Etienne Barnett, who has had 13 papers retracted from a journal he had guest edited.
The dean of the for-profit University of Atlanta has been accused of copying his own and others’ work a number of times, as we wrote in November.
We keep a list of best euphemisms for plagiarism, and this one is right up there.
Water under the bridge? Hydrology journals won’t retract plagiarized papers despite university request
In April 2014, we wrote about the case of a former hydrologist at the University of Kansas (KU), Marios Sophocleous, who had plagiarized in at least seven studies, two of which were retracted by the journal Ground Water.
At the time, we mentioned two other articles, in the Hydrogeology Journal, that appeared destined for retraction — not least because KU requested that the journal yank them. But in a rather surprising move, the journal is declining to do so, and another publication, the Journal of Hydrology, is taking the same approach.
Faked peer reviews — a subject about which we’ve been writing more and more recently — are concerning enough to a number of publishers that they’ve approached the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) to work together on a solution.
In the past, we have reported on a number of cases in which authors were able to submit their own peer reviews, using fake email addresses for recommended reviewers. But what seems to be happening now is that companies are offering manuscript preparation services that go as far as submitting fake peer reviews. And that, no surprise, worries publishers.
A group of gastroenterology researchers in Italy has lost their 2010 paper in Internal and Emergency Medicine, the journal of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine, for plagiarizing and duplicate publication.