Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘springer retractions’ Category

Mistaken plagiarism? Journal retracts education paper that inadvertently included others’ work

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An education journal is pulling a 2014 paper about how US funding partnerships in Africa could alleviate local poverty, after the author admitted to mistakenly lifting sentences from work presented at a 2012 conference.

Author Christopher S. Collins at Azusa Pacific University took full responsibility for the plagiarism, and told us he suggested the journal retract the paper — but also proposed alternatives, such as adding the plagiarized author as a co-author, or publishing “an error sheet” that cites the material in the sentences in question.

If it’s hard to imagine how someone could plagiarize another researcher’s work by mistake, Collins explained what happened in a 900-word statement, in which he also told us how he is moving forward professionally and personally.

Here’s how some plagiarized sentences ended up in Can funding for university partnerships between Africa and the US contribute to social development and poverty reduction?” in Higher Education, according to Collins:

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Written by Shannon Palus

March 17th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Surgery studies lacked ethics committee approval

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3Surgery Today has pulled a pair of papers that share many authors because the studies they describe were not approved by an institutional ethics committee.

One describes a case in which the researchers removed a mass from a 64-year-old woman’s small intestine; the other describes how the authors removed a growth from a patient’s pancreas. They conclude that the surgery techniques used — like a laparoscopic pancreaticoduodenectomy, a take on the “Whipple Procedure” — can be “feasible, safe, and effective” in certain patients.

The papers share several authors, including a first author, Akihiro Cho, who’s affiliation on the papers is Chiba Cancer Center Hospital in Japan. They also share a retraction note, which explains how the journal learned of the issue:

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Firefly paper flagged following Queensland investigation

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A BMC journal has added an expression of concern to a paper on firefly genes after a University of Queensland investigation determined a table should be credited to a different source.

According to a representative of the university, the investigation found no evidence of misconduct. The university submitted an erratum that the journal chose not to publish; in the EOC note, the journal says the wording of the erratum is “under dispute.”

The erratum submitted to the journal specifies that the table should be attributed to former UQ biologist Robert Birch, who was not an author on the paper. The investigation concluded that the authors had not committed misconduct and “acted in good faith” in using the table, Anton Middelberg, University of Queensland Pro-Vice-Chancellor told us.

The paper, “Synthetic versions of firefly luciferase and Renilla luciferase reporter genes that resist transgene silencing in sugarcane, published in BMC Plant Biology, has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the expression of concern:

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Paper on alleged – and paradoxical – health benefits of obesity pulled for plagiarism

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cancer causes and controlAn article that suggested there is no benefit to being overweight among cancer survivors – the so-called “obesity paradox” – is being retracted for plagiarizing large sections from another paper that explored the same topic in cardiovascular disease.

The journal Cancer Causes & Control pulled the 2014 article last June after determining it contained “large portions” of text from another paper in Preventive Medicine by a different set of authors, which suggested that evidence linking obesity to health benefits in cardiovascular disease may stem from a form of selection bias.

Here’s more from the retraction note: Read the rest of this entry »

Researchers plagiarized chapter of doctoral thesis in mol bio paper

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mol cell biochemA journal has pulled a paper about the molecular details of different types of adipose tissues after learning the researchers had plagiarized much of a Ph.D. thesis.

The researchers copied from former Ph.D. student Bettina Meissburger’s doctoral thesis in a 2013 paper in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. The retraction note for “Adipose stromal-vascular fraction-derived paracrine factors regulate adipogenesis” provides the name of Meissburger’s thesis: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mia Garchitorena

February 11th, 2016 at 11:30 am

2001 Fujii papers retracted — finally. What took so long?

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BJO

Nearly four years after an analysis of more than 160 papers by Yoshitaka Fujii concluded the chances the data were authentic were infinitesimally small, the British Journal of Ophthalmology has decided to formally retract one of the papers included in that review.

The name Yoshitaka Fujii should ring a bell — an alarm bell, in fact — for our readers. He’s firmly listed in the number one spot on our leaderboard, with more than 180 retractions.

The recently retracted paper — “Ramosetron compared with granisetron for the prevention of vomiting following strabismus surgery in children” — has been included in that retraction total for years, because it was part of a seminal 2012 analysis by J.B. Carlisle that put the odds of data occurring naturally in some of Fujii’s papers at: Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve been dupe’d: Data so nice, you see them twice

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j repro infertLast Friday we resurrected a previous feature of Retraction Watch, compiling five retractions that appeared to be simple acts of duplication.

This week, we spotlight another five unrelated retractions which, as we said last week, cover duplications in which the same – or some of the same – authors published the same – or some of the same – information in two different papers.

Most duplications are straightforward — all authors simply send the same or similar study to two or more journals, a violation of most journals’ terms of use.  For instance: Read the rest of this entry »

“Innocent mistake” leads to bioethics article retraction

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jbiA July article that incorrectly called out nine leading bioethics journals for their lack of availability to researchers in low- and middle-income countries is being pulled after editors of the indicted journals refuted the allegations.

The last author on the article, published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, told us an “innocent mistake” and difficulty navigating a website led the authors to incorrectly note that nine journals had not made their contents available through the World Health Organization’s Health InterNetwork Research Initiative database (HINARI), which gives bioethicists who live in low- and middle-income countries access to research articles either free of charge or at reduced cost. The authors argued that the mistake didn’t affect the paper’s conclusions, but the journal disagreed, and opted to pull the paper entirely.

After searching through the database, first author Subrata Chattopadhyay mistakenly determined that the journals had not made their contents available through HINARI, when in fact they were listed but on a different part of the website.

Even with the error, the authors maintain that their conclusions remain sound and that the field is shaped by a “hegemony of Western bioethics.” Read the rest of this entry »

Robot for stroke patients paper copied 3 pages of equations

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A 2014 paper on a robotic system for patients who have had a stroke contains three pages of equations that are not original.

According to the retraction note, “Cascade controller design and stability analysis in FES-aided upper arm stroke rehabilitation robotic system” copied the equations from a paper that other researchers presented at a conference in 2012. The papers both describe a system that delivers a boost of electricity to stroke patients’ arms to help them perform a task.

Here’s the note, from Nonlinear Dynamics:

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Communications researcher regrets “severe shortcomings” in three publications

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3A communications researcher in Switzerland has made a few errors in his efforts to communicate his research.

Peter J. Schulz, who works at the University of Lugano, has lost a paper which did not “appropriately acknowledge” another paper as its primary source. He has also corrected a paper with “severe shortcomings in the references.” Both papers were published in the journal Argumentation. 

In addition, he is facing allegations that a book chapter contains some unattributed material.

Schultz acknowledged the problems in a statement he emailed to us:

I regret very much the severe shortcomings in the three publications.

Here’s the retraction note for “Comments on ‘Strategic Manoeuvring with the Intention of the Legislator in the Justification of Judicial Decisions’”: Read the rest of this entry »