Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘taylor and francis’ Category

Editors retract algae study, citing “issues with the data”

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International Journal of PhytoremediationThe International Journal of Phytoremediation  has issued a retraction for a 2013 article suggesting algae could shield against gamma radiation better than lead.

Sadly, such an innovation was not to be — the editors have pulled the paper, saying:

We are now cognizant that there are issues with the data and determinations made within the manuscript that cannot be corrected through a corrigendum.

The paper is now covered by a dizzying watermark. (The first page can be seen here.)

Here’s more from the retraction for “Shielding Property of Natural Biomass Against Gamma Rays”, authored by a group of professors at Amasya University, Aksaray University, and Suleyman Demirel University in Turkey:

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Fungus among us, but what kind? Typing error spawns retraction for mushroom paper

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natprodresAs every mushroom lover knows, weekend mycology is no sport for the lily-livered. Tasty species often look awfully like their deadly cousins. Turns out, typing can even be problematic for the experts.

Natural Products Research is retracting a 2014 paper on shelf fungus because… well, it wasn’t about shelf fungus after all.

The paper, “Chemical constituents: water-soluble vitamins, free amino acids and sugar profile from Ganoderma adspersum,” was written by Ibrahim Kivrak, a food chemist at Mugla Sitki Kocman University in Mugla, Turkey. It analyzed the nutritional components of G. adspersum, and found, per the abstract:

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Asphalt paper paved over for allegedly plagiarizing a student’s thesis

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PSTThe publishers of the journal Petroleum Science and Technology have retracted a paper because one of the authors “did not agree to co-author this manuscript,” and did not even communicate with the other three authors.

According to one involved party, the problem is bigger than just lack of communication: The paper, “Fatigue and Low Temperature Fracture in Bitumen Mastic,” authored by a dean of civil engineering in Iran, was “copied word for word” from a Canadian student’s master thesis, according to the student’s advisor.

Three of the authors on the paper are engineers at the Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University in Tehran, Iran, including the dean of civil engineering, Saeed Ghaffarpour Jahromi. The fourth author, B. J. Smith, is listed as a member of the Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

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Written by Megan Scudellari

June 2nd, 2015 at 11:30 am

Poll: What to do when peer review feels inadequate?

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How should scientists think about papers that have undergone what appears to be a cursory peer review? Perhaps the papers were reviewed in a day — or less — or simply green-lighted by an editor, without an outside look. That’s a question Dorothy Bishop, an Oxford University autism researcher, asked herself when she noticed some troubling trends in four autism journals.

Recently, Bishop sparked a firestorm when she wrote several blog posts arguing that these four autism journals had a serious problem. For instance, she found that Johnny Matson, then-editor of Research in Developmental Disabilities and Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, had an unusually high rate of citing his own research – 55% of his citations are to his own papers, according to Bishop. Matson also published a lot in his own journals – 10% of the papers published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders since Matson took over in 2007 have been his. Matson’s prodigious self-citation in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders was initially pointed out by autism researcher Michelle Dawson, as noted in Bishop’s original post.

Short peer reviews of a day or less were also common. Matson no longer edits the journals, both published by Elsevier.

Bishop noted similar findings at Developmental Neurorehabilitation and Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, where the editors (and Matson) frequently published in each others’ journals, and they often had short peer reviews: The median time for Matson’s papers in Developmental Neurorehabilitation between 2010 and 2014 was a day, and many were accepted the day they were submitted, says Bishop.

Although this behavior may seem suspect, it wasn’t necessarily against the journals’ editorial policies. This is the peer review policy at RIDD:

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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 »

Data “irregularities” sink paper on water treatment

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desal water treatmentDesalination and Water Treatment has retracted a paper it published in January by a pair of Turkish researchers for “irregularities in the methodology and data management.”

The article, “Molecular simulation of Zn2+, Cu2+, Pb2+, and NH4+ ion-exchange in Clinoptilolite,” investigated how well different natural forms of the zeolite Clinoptilolite remove heavy metals from wastewater. It came from the lab of Mehmet Göktuğ Ahunbay, of Istanbul Technical University, accompanied by first author Barış Demir.

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

Bitter herbs: Parsley paper retracted after authors omit colleague

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ljfp20.v018.i06.coverA pair of plant experts at Uludag University, in Turkey, has lost a paper on techniques for drying parsley because they evidently left a key contributor off the manuscript.

The article, “Effect of Vacuum, Microwave, and Convective Drying on Selected Parsley Quality,” was published online in June 2011 by the International Journal of Food Properties.

During the study, the authors subjected parsley (Petroselinum crispum Mill.) to the various drying techniques, then measured how much each degraded the sample.  Ascorbic acid — a particularly “important indicator of quality,” according to the authors — was lowest after convective drying, and highest after using the microwave. “At the end of the study, microwave drying at 750–850 W ensured the shortest drying time and the best overall quality of parsley; thus, it was chosen as the most appropriate technique for parsley drying.”

But as the retraction notice states: Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction after education researcher tries to repeat a grade–er, paper

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AEHEAn education journal has yanked a 2014 article by a pair of scholars in Asia after discovering one had already published a “substantially similar” article.

The article, “Dynamic nature of washback on individual learners: the role of possible selves” in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, is about how taking a major English test influenced learning in Chinese undergraduate students. Author Ying Zhan is listed at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, in mainland China; Zhi Hong Wan, at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Biofuels paper burned by “improper citation methods” – ie, plagiarism

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crestCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology (CRESThas retracted a paper on biofuels for “improper citation methods.”

Given the journal’s track record, we’re guessing this is just another euphemism for plagiarism. (Also because the retraction notice flags a “breach of warranties made by the authors with respect to originality.”) In 2013, CREST retracted two papers for failing to use “proper citation,” which earned it top billing in our Lab Times column about publishers’ seemingly allergic reactions to the P-word.

Here’s some of the notice for “Promising Unconventional Pretreatments for Lignocellulosic Biomass”, which described new ways to process plant biomaterials into fuel: Read the rest of this entry »

Acid studies burned by duplication test in corrosion papers

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ldis20.v034.i07.coverPetroleum engineers in Iran have lost a pair of papers in the Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology for duplication and misuse of data.

The authors, whose various and varying affiliations include the National Iranian Oil Company, the Iranian Offshore Oil Company and Karaj Azad University, appear to have plagiarized not once, but twice: Two 2014 papers are both “substantially similar” to a 2013 paper, all published in the same journal. Which says plenty about both parties, we think.

What’s more, both retracted papers lifted data from a 2013 article in another journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, “without proper citation.”    Read the rest of this entry »