Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘wiley retractions’ Category

What turned a cancer researcher into a literature watchdog?

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Jennifer Byrne

Sometime in the middle of 2015, Jennifer Byrne, professor of molecular oncology at the University of Sydney, began her journey from cancer researcher to a scientific literature sleuth, seeking out potentially problematic papers.

The first step was when she noticed several papers that contained a mistake in a DNA construct which, she believed, meant the papers were not testing the gene in question, associated with multiple cancer types.  She started a writing campaign to the journal editors and researchers, with mixed success. But less than two years later, two of the five papers she flagged have already been retracted.

When asked why she spent time away from bench research to examine this issue, Byrne told us:  Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract tanning-UV radiation study for lacking approval

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Researchers have agreed to pull a 2015 study exploring whether a plant extract can safeguard tanners from ultraviolet exposure after not obtaining formal approval from an ethics committee.

According to the first author, the problem lay in a misunderstanding – when they originally applied for approval six years ago, the researchers believed they didn’t need to go through a formal approval process, since the compound was commercially available without a prescription. Once they realized their mistake, they chose to retract the paper.

Here’s the retraction note for “Oral Polypodium leucomotos increases the anti-inflammatory and melanogenic responses of the skin to different modalities of sun exposures: a pilot study,” published in Photodermatology Photoimmunology & PhotomedicineRead the rest of this entry »

A first for us: Journal retracts obituary (but not for the reasons you think)

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journalofdigestivediseasesOn December 31st 2014, a pioneer in the study of inflammatory bowel disease passed away. An obituary published in the Journal of Digestive Diseases shortly thereafter is typical enough: It describes his achievements, importance to his patients, and battle with pancreatic cancer.

But “Loss in the Last Day of 2014: a Eulogy for Prof. Bing Xia” has now been retracted.

This is the first time we’ve seen an obituary pulled from a journal. Unfortunately, this was not a case of a premature obituary (which happens more often than you’d think)– the researcher did actually die, but it appears the journal published the obituary in the wrong place.

The retraction notice, published earlier this year, explains:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

December 5th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Materials researcher falsified data in two studies, probe reveals

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advanced-materialsA materials journal has retracted two 2013 papers, citing an investigation at Pennsylvania State University that concluded the first author falsified data.

According to the retraction notice in Advanced Materials, Mehdi Ghaffari — formerly based at Penn State — was solely responsible for the misconduct. Ghaffari’s LinkedIn page says he finished his PhD at Penn State in 2014, and now works as an independent consultant in New York, after a stint as a postdoc at Procter and Gamble.

A Penn State spokesperson sent us this statement:  Read the rest of this entry »

Two more retractions bring bone researcher’s total to 12

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jbmrA bone researcher based in Japan with 10 retractions under his belt has retracted two more papers for similar reasons — problems with the underlying data, and including co-authors who didn’t participate in the project.

In both notices, Yoshihiro Sato is pegged as responsible for the content of the papers. The newly retracted research covers a long timespan — one paper was published in 2000, the other in 2013.

Here’s the first notice, issued by the Journal of Bone and Mineral ResearchRead the rest of this entry »

Five more retractions for researcher who sued PubPeer commenters brings tally to 18

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Fazlul Sarkar

Fazlul Sarkar

A cancer researcher who tried to sue PubPeer commenters for criticizing his work has earned five more retractions, bringing his total to 18. 

All of the new retractions for Fazlul Sarkar, formerly based at Wayne State University in Michigan, appear in the International Journal of Cancer. All cite an institutional investigation, and relate to issues with images.

With 18 retractions, Sarkar has now earned a spot on our leaderboard.

We first encountered Sarkar when he subpoenaed PubPeer to reveal the names of anonymous commenters that potentially cost him a job at the University of Mississippi. Earlier this month, a Wayne State spokesperson confirmed to us that Sarkar has now retired from the university. (To get up to speed, check out our timeline on the major events in this case.)

Here’s the first of the retraction notices, issued today: Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Saudi institution didn’t clear genotyping study

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Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

A journal is retracting a paper that sought to validate genotyping techniques after learning the authors skipped a key step.

The authors scanned blood samples from 500 people who visited “the Blood Bank of our institution,” as they note in the abstract, to validate the use of genotyping techniques in the Saudi population. But the authors didn’t obtain the proper clearance from their institution, King Faisal Specialist Hospital, to publish the work.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Genotyping of CYP2C19 polymorphisms and its clinical validation in the ethnic Arab population:”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

July 28th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Neuroscientist in Serbia earns 8th retraction amid investigation

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RadenovicA neurobiologist has notched her eight retraction in the midst of an ongoing investigation into her work by her institution, the University of Belgrade in Serbia.

As we reported previously, a mass clean-up by the Archives of Biological Sciences (ABS), the official journal of the Serbian Biological Society resulted in six retractions of papers co-authored by Lidija Radenović. (Radenović served as vice president of the Serbian Biological Society until July 2014.)

In April, we reported that Radenović was about to notch her seventh retraction in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica; that paper has now been pulled, and ABS has retracted another one of her papers.

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

Author, among others, loses four papers for “compromised” peer review

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Annals of human geneticsJournals have retracted four papers from an author after uncovering evidence the peer review process had been compromised. Three papers have all common authors. 

In one notice, issued last month, Annals of Human Genetics said it had reason to believe the paper had been reviewed by unqualified reviewers. Last year, another journal, Molecular Biology Reports, pulled two papers by the same group — all based at the China Medical University in Shenyang — all for peer-review issues. Additionally, Molecular Biology Reports also retracted another paper co-authored by Peng Liu last year, which did not include her other colleagues on the three other papers. All papers describe the epigenetic changes — modifications in expressions of genes — that may underlie cancer.

Here’s the retraction notice in the Annals of Human Genetics, published June 27: Read the rest of this entry »