Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘springer retractions’ Category

You’ve been dupe’d: Results so nice, journals published them twice

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With so many retraction notices pouring in, from time to time we compile a handful of straight-forward retractions.

Once again, this list focuses on duplications — but unlike other duplications, these authors were not at fault. Rather, these retractions occurred because the publishers mistakenly published the same paper twice — the result of a transfer between publishers, for instance, or accidentally publishing the unedited version of the paper. We’re forced to wonder, as we have before, whether saddling researchers’ CVs with a retraction is really the most fair way to handle these cases.

So without further ado, here’s five cases where the journal mistakenly duplicated a paper, and had to retract one version: Read the rest of this entry »

A headache: Brain paper retracted over author argument

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neurochemical researchResearchers have retracted a paper following an argument over who deserves top billing, according to the last author of the paper.

The last author added the authors plan to republish the paper once they work things out.

The work for the paper — about cell death in the aftermath of a brain hemorrhage — was started in one lab at the Department of Neurology at the Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, and completed in another.

That led to a dispute, reports the retraction notice, issued by Neurochemical Research:

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A researcher sued critics of his work. Now he has 13 retractions.

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Fazlul Sarkar

Fazlul Sarkar

A cancer researcher who sued PubPeer commenters for criticizing his work has lost six more papers, bringing his total to 13 retractions. 

Four of the new retraction notices issued by the journal Cancer cite an investigation at Wayne State University in Michigan into the work of Fazlul Sarkar and some of his colleagues. All the new notices, including the other two in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, are for image-related issues.

Retraction Watch readers will recognize the name Fazlul Sarkar, who took PubPeer to court to unmask the anonymous critics whose comments cost him a job at the University of Mississippi. According to this document, Sarkar retired from Wayne State this year.  

Here’s the first of the four Cancer retraction notices, all of which were issued on July 29: Read the rest of this entry »

Biotech journal pulls well-cited review that plagiarized from several sources

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Applied Microbiology and BiotechnologyA biotechnology journal has retracted a 14-year-old review after an investigation concluded that the authors had plagiarized from numerous sources.  

The last author of the paper — which has been cited 289 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science — told us the authors took a few lines from other reviews, and unintentionally left off the references.

In June 2011, the same author was denied a prestigious fellowship after an anonymous plagiarism allegation was filed against him. 

Here’s the retraction notice in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology for “The nitrile-degrading enzymes: current status and future prospects:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

August 1st, 2016 at 9:30 am

Biochem journal retracts paper for “striking level of similarity” with another

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Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry CoverA biochemistry journal has pulled a paper after deciding that its layout and content overlapped significantly with a previously published paper.

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.

Here’s the retraction notice for “TNF receptor-associated factor 6 regulates proliferation, apoptosis, and invasion of glioma cells:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

July 27th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Nutrition study pulled after statistical flaws emerge

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Nutrition JournalA paper that suggested that eating flaxseed could reduce inflammation in men at risk of heart disease has been retracted, after researchers pointed out the paper’s flaws.

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

Here’s the retraction notice for “Impact of weight loss diet associated with flaxseed on inflammatory markers in men with cardiovascular risk factors: a clinical study:” Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve been dupe’d: Nice data — let’s see them again

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As we’ve said before, with hundreds of retractions per year, there are simply too many for us to cover individually.

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:

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Institute director loses third paper following investigation

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Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 4.16.03 PM

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.”

This is Li’s third retraction, all of which she shares with W. Ted Brown, the director of  IBR. The pair lost two articles in 2013.

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: 

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Researcher hired lawyers to try to get journal to run correction he wanted

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BMCLogoWhen a researcher suspected a paper on fireflies had borrowed some of its methodology, he called lawyers to help him convince the publisher to craft a correction notice that was to his satisfaction.

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:

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“Great shock and sadness:” Publishing gadfly to retract paper for duplication

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untitledA 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:

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