Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘author unresponsive’ Category

Journal retracts gastric cancer study with multiple duplications, authors MIA

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An oncology journal has decided to retract a 2012 paper on gastric cancer after discovering duplicated data in multiple figures.

According to the retraction notice, the journal’s editorial board received a tip from a reader regarding the potential figure issues. Oncology Reports launched an investigation, which confirmed the allegations. The authors failed to respond to the journal’s multiple requests for more information.

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

Journal pulls cancer paper that used others’ data; authors MIA

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A journal has retracted a paper after a reader pointed out some of the data looked familiar — and the authors never responded to the allegations.

According to the retraction notice in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, the reader showed the journal that the histological data in two of the figures were from another published paper by different researchers. But when the journal contacted the authors on several occasions, they didn’t hear back. 

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

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

December 15th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Second retraction for bone researcher with lifetime funding ban

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via WCH

via WCH

A researcher banned from funding by a Canadian agency for misconduct has earned her second retraction, after a reanalysis uncovered problems with the paper’s conclusions.

The retraction follows an investigation by Sophie Jamal‘s former workplace, the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, which has led to a recent retraction of a JAMA paper due to data manipulation, and a lifetime funding ban from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The latest retraction stemmed from a re-analysis of the paper by the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study Group, of which the paper was a part; all authors but Jamal have requested the retraction. In the notice, the authors say that they believe no patients were harmed as a result of the “possibly invalid conclusions” in the paper, which showed patients with kidney problems were at higher risk of bone loss. A researcher told us a third paper by Jamal is also due to be retracted soon.

Here’s the retraction notice, issued by the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD): Read the rest of this entry »

Patients did not okay publishing brain surgery details

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Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 2.37.02 PM

BioMed Central has retracted a paper after realizing it shared details on the brain surgeries of four patients without their consent.

Darlene Lobel, a neurosurgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, agreed to the retraction, and told us she didn’t know that she needed consent from the patients since all identifying details had been removed. The paper describes a technique for craniotomy — opening up the skull to access the brain — and included CT scans of hemorrhaging and swelling that the patients experienced, as well as other details such as their gender and age.

Here’s the retraction notice:

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Poll: If authors don’t address mistakes, is that misconduct?

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cover_natureIn an interesting letter printed in today’s Nature, biologists Sophien Kamoun and Cyril Zipfel suggest that “failure by authors to correct their mistakes should be classified as scientific misconduct.”

They note that this policy is already in place at their institute, The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL).

We contacted Kamoun to ask what constituted a mistake, given that numerous papers have received queries, such as on sites like PubPeer, but it’s not clear whether those are legitimate mistakes. He told us: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

March 10th, 2016 at 1:00 pm

STAP stem cell researcher Obokata loses another paper

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Nature protocols

The first author of two high-profile Nature retractions about a technique to easily create stem cells has lost another paper in Nature Protocols.

Haruko Obokata, once “a lab director’s dream,” according to The New Yorker, also had her PhD revoked from Waseda University last fall.

After learning of concerns that two figures are “very similar” and “some of the error bars look unevenly positioned,” the rest of the authors were unable to locate the raw data, according to the note. The journal could not reach Obokata for comment before publishing the retraction.

Reproducible subcutaneous transplantation of cell sheets into recipient mice” has been cited 21 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. It was published in June 2011, soon after Obokata earned her PhD. 

Here’s the note:

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Surgery journal publishes — then retracts — response to letter that never appeared

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Annals of Surgery

How’s this for confusing: A surgery journal is retracting researchers’ response to a letter about their paper, because the letter was never actually published.

According to the managing editor of the Annals of Surgery, the letter — about a 2011 analysis of IV fluids in trauma patients — was accepted, prompting the journal to ask for a response from the authors of the 2011 paper. But the letter-writers never supplied required forms, such as conflict of interest. After spending two years trying to track them down, the journal decided not to publish the letter.

In the meantime, however, the authors’ response to the letter was “inadvertently published,” forcing the journal to retract it. Read the rest of this entry »

Eighth retraction published for former physiology researcher

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International Journal of CancerA lung cancer paper in the International Journal of Cancer has been retracted because of “serious errors related to image duplication.” This marks the eighth retraction for first author, ShouWei Han.

The decision was made by the journal’s editor-in-chief, the publisher Wiley and co-author Jesse Roman (a co-author on Han’s other retracted papers). According to the notice, Han didn’t respond “to requests by the journal or the co-author.”

In 2011, Han was the target of an investigation by his former employer, the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology have been retracted.

Here’s the full retraction notice for the latest retraction:

Read the rest of this entry »

Data “mismatch” and author’s illness pluck bird sex-ratio study from literature

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coverInaccessible data and an author’s illness are to blame for the retraction of a paper on sex ratios of baby finches, according to the authors.

The paper, “Experimental evidence that maternal corticosterone controls adaptive offspring sex ratios,” published in Functional Ecology, outlined how a hormone in mother finches can “skew” the number of males vs females that hatch from the eggs in her nest.

But after questions about the data were raised, the authors were unable to address the “mismatch” between the experimental data and those that were published. Compounding the situation is the fact that, while working on the paper, first author Sarah Pryke at the Australian National University “was suffering from a medical condition that likely impaired her cognitive abilities,” according to a statement from Pryke’s co-authors.

An email to Pryke was met with an out-of-office reply:

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Yup, this happened: “Mystery” writer impersonated cardiovascular pathologist, penned published letter

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A 2014 letter in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has been retracted because editors aren’t sure who wrote it.

“Can Grayscale IVUS Detect Necrotic Core-Rich Plaque?”, a letter on the potential of intravascular ultrasound, was submitted under the name of a researcher at the University of Copenhagen, Erling Falk. The paper was sent with a Gmail account (a technique used by some academics to conduct fake peer reviews), and editors communicated with the author through the acceptance process.

Shortly after the letter was published, Erling Falk of Aarhus University contacted the journal and asked who wrote the letter. They discovered that nobody by that name worked at the University of Copenhagen and emails to the author’s Gmail address went unanswered. So the journal issued a retraction.

Here’s the complete notice:

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