Archive for the ‘wiley retractions’ Category
The “worst moment of my scientific career:” Two bird migration articles brought down by analytical error
Evolutionary and conservation biologists in Spain are retracting two articles – one from the Journal of Avian Biology and the other from Ardeola – because they discovered a fatal flaw in their analysis.
The Journal of Avian Biology article, “Are European birds leaving traditional wintering grounds in the Mediterranean?” aimed to determine whether the abundance of passerines had decreased in recent decades, but failed to control for birds that may have gotten killed by hunters. Although it was published in January, we can only find an abstract from its acceptance by the journal in November 2014.
ChemPhysChem is retracting a pair of articles by a group of researchers in China and their colleagues who pieced together the work from two previously published articles.
The papers appeared in 2012 and 2015, and were flagged by a reader whose own work had been improperly cited, according to the editor of the journal.
The 2012 article was titled “Adsorption Features of Flavonoids on Macroporous Adsorption Resins Functionalized with Ionic Liquids,” and has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The senior author was Duolong Di, of the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics in Qingdao. According to the retraction notice:
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An article that ranked University of Missouri-Kansas City number one in an area of business school training is set to receive an expression of concern. The move follows months of questions over the ranking’s legitimacy, following revelations such as a relationship between the authors and both the school and its top ranked researcher in the field.
In 2011, the business world got a bit of a surprise: In the field of innovation management, the study of how entrepreneurs convert good ideas into profit, the number one school – according to an article in the Journal of Product Innovation Management — was UMKC. Not Harvard, not Stanford, not any other institution that normally tops these types of rankings. UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management was also home to the number one researcher in that field, Michael Song.
The school, of course, was elated, immediately issuing a press release titled “UMKC Ranked No. 1 in the World.”
But after publication, a UMKC professor raised concerns about the paper’s methodology. An investigation by the Kansas City Star uncovered some issues:
The first retraction, in Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, went live in February. The researchers, currently based at Tulane University, were originally tapped by pseudonymous tipster Juuichi Jigen, who created a website in 2012 to chronicle the allegations.
The blog lists six papers by the pair with supposedly questionable figures. According to Jigen, this latest retraction, in the Journal of Cellular Physiology, contains a figure (2A) that appears to reuse data from another paper, and another figure (3) where the data appear to be manipulated.
We recently wrote about three papers on heart health and exercise that came under fire for reporting the same trial in three different ways. Actually, make that four ways (so far).
The Wiley journal Nursing and Health Sciences has retracted a fourth paper from the group, saying the “main study” was “previously published.” The notice mentions all three previous papers, one of which has already been retracted and another withdrawn from publication.
The frequent plagiarism tipster Juuichi Jigen (a pseudonym) set up a blog in 2012 alleging that the pair inappropriately reused images in six other papers, though none of those have been retracted. The recent notice, issued at the end of January by the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, states that the figure duplication was confirmed by the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Research Integrity. Han, the first author, was at UPitt when the paper was published in 2008, though she moved to join Wu at Tulane in 2009.
Scientists at the National University of Singapore and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University certainly found one, but we really can’t recommend it: doing one randomized controlled trial (RCT) with several outcomes, and publishing them as three separate 2014 papers with “considerable overlap.”
So far, one paper has been retracted, and another withdrawn.
It took five months, but in December a second retraction popped up for disgraced accounting professor James H. Hunton.
Hunton resigned his teaching post at Bentley University in December of 2012. An extensive investigation by Bentley showed that not only was the data in two papers falsified. Hunton also lied about non-existent confidentiality agreements and tried to destroy evidence of his lies by unsuccessfully wiping his laptop and changing metadata on files.
The first paper Hunton was accused of faking, ironically about accounting fraud, was retracted in 2012.
Two papers by an overlapping group of researchers in Italy have been retracted for manipulated figures.
In late 2013, perennial tipster Clare Francis sent their concerns about several papers, including the two that have been retracted, by authors who frequently publish together. One of the papers, in the Journal of Neurochemistry, is from a team led by Ferdinando Nicoletti; four other papers from the group have been criticized on PubPeer for image manipulation, which he addressed via email with us.
The second retracted paper, from the Journal of Immunology, has shares one author with the first: Patrizia Di Iorio of the University of Chieti, though according to Nicoletti she had no role in preparing the figures.
Here’s the April 2014 notice for “Neuroprotection mediated by glial group-II metabotropic glutamate receptors requires the activation of the MAP kinase and the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase pathways” in the Journal of Neurochemistry. It’s behind a paywall, but the journal has assured us this is against policy and they will be fixing it shortly:
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Former University of Tokyo researcher Shigeaki Kato continues to put big numbers on the board.
Last month, we reported on his 26th, 27th, and 28th retractions, all in Nature Cell Biology and cited close to 700 times. Yesterday, EMBO Journal and EMBO Reports published a total of five more retractions for the endocrinology researcher, who resigned from the university in 2012 following investigations found he had faked images.