Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘authorship issues’ Category

Snail egg article retracted for fishing for material from six other papers

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APJTB_ak1The first author of a review article on extracting pharmacological compounds from marine organisms, published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, has retracted it due to plagiarism.

There were also some authorship issues, according to the retraction notice for the paper, which absolves the last author, based at Pondicherry University in India, from responsibility:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and the First Author. Both the first author and the journal’s editor confirmed that Dr. A Yogamoorthi is not responsible for the plagiarism since his/her name was added without consent.

There is one other author, R. Siva Sankar, also based at Pondicherry. Somewhere along the way, according to the retraction note, the paper scooped up wording from six papers previously published by researchers in Australia. Here’s more from the retraction note for “Antimicrobial secondary metabolites from marine gastropod egg capsules and egg masses”: Read the rest of this entry »

Data theft, bad authors list, and hidden funding sink mol bio paper

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dna cell biology 2A Chinese researcher has lost a paper after the journal discovered he published others’ research without permission and lied about the grant funding he used for the work.

Yihang Shen published a paper using his PhD research on the molecular biology of fetal rodent livers earlier this year in DNA and Cell Biology. Unfortunately, he didn’t have permission to publish the data. He also omitted the names of people who participated in the research, and listed an incorrect funding source.

The “cited grant,” according to the journal editor, was a grant awarded to Richard Finnell, a UT Austin researcher who often works with Shen’s PhD advisor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the well-known geneticist Fanyi Zeng.

Here’s the notice for “Characterization of Hydroxymethylation Patterns in the Promoter of b-globin Clusters in Murine Fetal Livers”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

April 23rd, 2015 at 11:30 am

Authorship issues spell retraction for breast cancer paper

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ijmponcThe corresponding author of a 2014 paper in the Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology has retracted the article because he was a bit too generous with his list of coauthors.

The article, “Outcome of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer: A tertiary care centre experience,” reviewed medical records from a local population of breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. It came from a group at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, in Chandigarh. The first author was Tapesh Bhattacharyya, followed by four other names.

According to the noticeRead the rest of this entry »

Study by deceased award-winning cancer researcher retracted because some patients were “invented”

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cancerA 2002 paper has been retracted by Cancer after some of the authors notified the journal that they hadn’t agreed to submit it — and an investigation found that a number of the patients described had been made up.

Here’s the notice for “Radioimmunotherapy of small-volume disease of metastatic colorectal cancer: results of a phase II trial with the iodine-131–labeled humanized anti–carcinoembryonic antigen antibody hMN-14:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 9th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Pain paper scratched for authorship issues

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ejacoverA group of pain researchers in Austria has lost their 2014 paper in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology because one of the authors wasn’t, well, one of the authors.

The article, “Intravenous nonopioid analgesic drugs in chronic low back pain patients on chronic opioid treatment: A crossover, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study,” came from a team at the Medical University Vienna and Evangelical Hospital Vienna.

During the study, the authors tested whether intravenous infusions of nonopioid drugs (such as paracetamol, or Tylenol) helped people with chronic back pain who take opioids regularly. They found that people’s pain levels decreased in the days leading up to treatment, when they were receiving a placebo, but not after the actual infusion. The results likely stem from “expectation-related mechanisms,” they wrote. 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 »

Troubled article ranking business schools earns expression of concern

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jpimAn 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:

Read the rest of this entry »

“Irreconcilable difference of opinion” divides math preprint

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arxivA fight over a paper posted on preprint server arXiv.org has divided two mathematicians.

The authors initially posted the paper, which looks at the mathematical properties of spheres, in 2013. And that’s when the trouble started.

Apparently, after submitting the paper to a journal and receiving reviewer feedback, co-authors Fabio Tal at the University of São Paulo and Ferry Kwakkel, who got a PhD at the University of Warwick, began to fight over the content of the paper, causing Kwakkel to post his own version, and Tal to withdraw the previous one. “I believe we are severely at odds now,” Tal told Retraction Watch.

In February 2015, Kwakkel, posted a second paper on arXiv.org that he said is his “version” of the 2013 paper, with which it has “substantial text overlap.” Tal requested that the first paper be withdrawn; the note that now appears on “Homogeneous transformation groups of the sphere” cites an “irreconcilable difference of opinion”:

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Neuro journal pulls comatose brain abstract due to “several mistakes”

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clinical neurophysiologySwiss researchers have retracted an abstract in Clinical Neurophysiology because only one of them actually knew about the paper — and what he submitted had “several mistakes.”

The abstract, about electric impulses in the brain of comatose patients, originally appeared as a poster at the June 2014 joint meeting of multiple Swiss neuroscience societies. It was submitted by first author Alexandre Simonin, who lists his affiliation as the University Hospital of Lausanne, a Swiss hospital.

The meeting proceedings ran in the October issue of Clinical Neurophysiology. Besides the issues of authorship and errors, the notice also says the abstract “potentially conflicts with another publication,” suggesting the data might have already appeared in a paper.

Here’s the notice for “P02. Predicting the outcome of post-anoxic comatose patients based on single-trial EEG analysis”: Read the rest of this entry »

More black marks against unapproved protein touted as miracle cure

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clinical immunologyA protein which is sold online as a cure for everything from autism to cancer and the focus of multiple retracted papers has earned more black marks: The UK government’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has issued a warning about its use after discovering problems in the factory, and a journal has removed the last author from a paper touting its benefits in HIV.

The protein, vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage activating factor (GcMAF), is supposedly a natural activator of macrophages. The website GcMAF.eu continues to hawk the results of treatment, while the Anticancer Fund has been pushing journals to correct the record on GcMAF. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

February 23rd, 2015 at 9:30 am