Archive for the ‘wiley’ Category
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 But less than two years later, two of the five papers she flagged have already been retracted.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 »
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 & Photomedicine. Read the rest of this entry »
According to the EOC notice in New Phytologist, two figures in the paper contained “some anomalies,” and the corresponding author has acknowledged that there are problems with the images.
An ecologist in Australia realized a database he was using to spot trends in extinction patterns was problematic, affecting two papers. One journal issued an expression of concern, which has since turned into a retraction. So far, the other journal has left the paper untouched.
The now-retracted paper concluded that medium-sized species on islands tend to go extinct more often than large or small mammalian species. But a little over a year ago, Biology Letters flagged the paper with an expression of concern (EOC), noting “concerns regarding the validity of some of the data and methods used in the analysis.”
On 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:
Researchers have retracted their third paper due to missing original data, following an investigation at their former institution in New York.
We’ve previously reported on two retractions of papers co-authored by Bhagavathi Narayanan and Narayanan K. Narayanan, previously based at the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine. The studies were pulled when the pair couldn’t provide original images to investigators at NYU School of Medicine. One author has blamed the lack of original data on the abrupt closure of her previous institution in 2004, after it allegedly misspent millions in federal grants.
However, the latest retraction affects a paper published eight years later in the International Journal of Oncology. Its coauthors include Bhagavathi Narayanan, Narayanan K. Narayanan and Rajkishen Narayanan; we haven’t been able to uncover if there is a relation between them.
A spokesperson for the NYU School of Medicine sent us this statement: Read the rest of this entry »
Several duplications in the work of a prominent diabetes researcher were the result of negligence, but there is not enough evidence to support charges of misconduct, according to an investigation at her university in Germany.
Recently, we’ve reported on several notices for papers co-authored by Kathrin Maedler, a researcher at the University of Bremen. So far, Maedler has one retraction, multiple corrections, and two expressions of concern to her name, after several of her papers were questioned on PubPeer. Previously, the University of Zurich in Switzerland — where Maedler completed her PhD in 2002 — determined there was a lack of evidence to support allegations of misconduct in papers that were part of her doctoral thesis.
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 »
Journals have flagged two papers by prominent social psychologist Jens Förster — whose work has been subject to much scrutiny — over concerns regarding the validity of the data.
Förster already has three retractions, following an investigation by his former employer, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) in the Netherlands. In 2014, we reported on the first retraction for Förster for one of three studies with odd patterns that were flagged by the UvA investigation, a 2012 paper in Social Psychological and Personality Science; subsequently, the Netherlands Board on Research Integrity concluded that data had been manipulated. Three statistical experts from the UvA then carried out a more in-depth analysis of 24 publications by Förster, and found eight to have “strong evidence for low scientific veracity.”
Last year, Förster agreed to retract two more papers as part of a deal with the German Society for Psychology (DGPs); those retractions appeared earlier this year. All three papers that Förster has lost until now are from the “strong evidence for low scientific veracity” category. Recently, two more of Förster’s papers from the same category were flagged with notices, but not retracted.
The scientific literature has seen its share of child prodigies – such as a nine-year-old who published a study in JAMA, and a group of eight-year-olds who reported on bumblebees in Biology Letters. But Alexandre Martin of the University of Kentucky sought to help his seven-year-old son get published in a non-traditional way – by submitting his school report to a journal on Jeffrey Beall’s predatory list, the (now-defunct) International Journal of Comprehensive Research in Biological Sciences. They recount the story in a recent paper in Learned Publishing, giving young Martin his first taste of academic publishing, and helping his father expose its flaws.
Retraction Watch: As part of your experiment, you reformatted a booklet written by your seven-year-old about bats. In an excerpt in your paper, one line says “Bats are really cool animals!” The entire paper was only 153 words, according to The Times Higher Education. Did you think the paper would be accepted by the journal? Read the rest of this entry »