Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘springer retractions’ Category

Major methods error prompts retraction of lung radiation paper

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nmmiOne of the authors of a 2014 case series on lung disease following radiation in Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging is retracting the paper for what the the journal is calling “honest error.” That may be true, but it’s a big error — so big, it’s amazing no one detected it sooner.

The paper was titled “A Case Series of Four Patients With Clinically Significant Radiomicrosphere Pneumonitis After Yttrium-90 Radioembolization from the Perspective of Lung Dosimetry,” and it came from a group in Singapore and Australia.

According to the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Concurrent submission and publication squashes nano paper

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CoverIssueJExptNanoSciA group of materials researchers at Solapur University in India have lost a paper because they submitted an identical manuscript to two journals. Both journals published the paper, though only one has retracted it.

Taylor and Francis journal Journal of Experimental Nanoscience retracted the 2012 paper in February this year; the notice doesn’t explain the delay, or how the editors learned about the overlap.

The retraction indicates the editor of the journal that published the other version of the paper was informed of the overlap, but the journal — – Journals of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics — has not issued a retraction.

Here’s the notice for “Development of nanostructured CdS sensor for H2S recognition: structural and physical characterizations”: Read the rest of this entry »

Journal retracts part of molecular bio paper due to “unsubstantiated conclusions”

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j mol evAll but one of the authors of a 2013 Journal of Molecular Evolution paper have requested a partial retraction due to “erroneous data” and “scientific misconduct” on the part of the remaining author.

The note blames second author Michael Kolesnikov for falsifying data on the formation of ATP. According to the notice, the misconduct was confirmed by a “thorough investigation” by the Bach Institute of Biochemistry in Russia, which no longer employs Kolesnikov.

Here is the note for “Abiotic Photophosphorylation Model Based on Abiogenic Flavin and Pteridine Pigments”: Read the rest of this entry »

BioMed Central retracting 43 papers for fake peer review

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bmc logoBioMed Central is retracting 43 papers, following their investigation into 50 papers that raised suspicions of fake peer review, possibly involving third-party companies selling the service.

In November 2014 we wrote about fake peer reviews for Nature; at that point there had been about 110 retractions across several journals. The addition of 16 retractions by Elsevier for the same reason, and today’s 43 from BMC, brings retractions resulting from the phenomenon up to about 170.

BMC has also contacted institutions regarding 60 additional papers that were rejected for publication, but seem to be part of the same kind of scam. Regarding the third-party agents, BMC senior editor of scientific integrity Elizabeth Moylan writes: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

March 26th, 2015 at 12:05 pm

An end to fake papers? New software to check for SCIgen-created manuscripts

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springerSorry, fans of papers by Maggie Simpson and I. P. Freely, your days of chortling may be coming to an end.

Springer, responding to a case last year in which it and IEEE had to eventually retract more than 120 papers created by SCIgen, is making software that detects such manuscripts freely available.

From a Springer press release: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 23rd, 2015 at 11:30 am

Updated: Springer journal on hold for “pattern of inappropriate and compromised peer review”

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cbbSpringer has put a cell biology journal on hold, “effective immediately,” after finding a “pattern of inappropriate and compromised peer review.”

Here’s the brief statement from the publisher: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 13th, 2015 at 12:46 pm

Chinese heavy metal contamination paper purged for data theft

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Environmental_Monitoring_and_AssessmentAn environmental journal has retracted a paper about pollution in China after it discovered the authors lifted the dataset from another group.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Misconduct forces retraction of health behavior paper

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j behav medA pair of psychology researchers at West Virginia University have lost their 2013 article in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine after one of the authors was found to have cooked the data.

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.

That promise might go unfulfilled. According to the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Forged author list blows up explosives contamination paper

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WWII poster for Ravenna Ordnance Plant, via Wikipedia

WWII poster for Ravenna Ordnance Plant, via Wikipedia

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 »

Cry me a retraction: Scientists pull Cry protein paper for irreproducibility

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world journal of microbialA paper on the biological insecticide Cry protein — most famously produced by genetically modified “Bt” corn — has been retracted because the authors couldn’t reproduce the findings.

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.

Here is the notice: Read the rest of this entry »