Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘authorship issues’ Category

“Significant errors in the data” stop Hurricane Isaac paper

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1-s2.0-S0169809515X0010X-cov150hThis version of Hurricane Isaac — based on the force of nature that hit Louisiana in 2012 —  didn’t get very far. Atmospheric Research has retracted a paper on a simulation of the hurricane just a few months after it was published.

The paper included two features that commonly get a paper retracted: erroneous data, and a dispute over authorship.

The 2014 paper only has one author: O. Alizadeh-Choobari, a climatologist at the University of Tehran.

Here’s the retraction note, which provides a few more details on what went wrong:

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When a paper is retracted, so is its previous correction–sometimes

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1-s2.0-S0968089612X0018X-cov150hSometimes, the path to correcting the scientific record takes a few turns. In the case of a paper about a new cancer compound, authorship issues led to a correction and, ultimately, a retraction — along with a double-back to retract the earlier correction.

We reported on the first part of the story back in January: A 2011 paper that described a novel compound that could work as a drug for the side effects of chemotherapy was corrected in 2012 to add additional authors. But once the authors realized their supposedly novel compound had actually been synthesized by another author, they decided to retract the paper from Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry earlier this year, concluding “these facts made the paper inappropriate and unfaithful.”

Apparently, around the same time, the authors decided to retract the earlier correction, as well:

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Authors object to duplication verdict by environmental journal

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10661An environmental journal has pulled a 2011 paper following an investigation, which revealed it contained “extensive similarities” with another paper published two years earlier by some of the same authors.

Two of the authors of the newly retracted paper — Zulfiqar Ahmad from Quaid-i-Azam University and Arshad Ashraf of the National Agricultural Research Center, both in Islamabad, Pakistan — were the sole authors of a 2008 paper about modeling groundwater flow in Indus Basin, Pakistan. The 2011 paper  — posted online in 2010 — focused on the same topic, but included two additional authors, one of whom told us he was unaware of the previous paper and agrees with the journal’s decision. Ahmad, however, has defended the 2011 paper and asked that the journal remove the retraction note.

Here’s the note, published in April by Environmental Monitoring and Assessment: Read the rest of this entry »

Journal reviewing papers by researcher who sexually assaulted disabled author

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.10.00 PMA disability journal is “paying significant attention” to papers authored by Anna Stubblefield, a former Rutgers researcher recently convicted of sexually assaulting a disabled man who participated in her research.

Stubblefield was convicted of sexually assaulting “DJ,” a man in his thirties with cerebral palsy who was “declared by the state to have the mental capacity of a toddler,” according to a lengthy piece in the New York Times. Stubblefield and DJ published papers in Disability Studies Quarterly; in one, Stubblefield describes a controversial technique which she claimed helped DJ communicate. But when she eventually used the technique to say DJ was in love with her, his family took her to court, and she was convicted of aggravated sexual assault.

Here is the note from Disability Studies Quarterly, which was published this morningRead the rest of this entry »

P53 researcher submitted paper “without permission from his co-authors”

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One issue that we see pretty regularly is a paper submitted by one author without the permission of the others.

That’s what’s happened with “p53-induced Rap2B positively regulates migration in cells exposed to glucose deprivation,” published in July by Molecular Carcinogenesis. The paper looks at a protein called p53, well-known to regulate cell growth and, when mutated, cause cancer.

Here’s the pretty straightforward retraction note:

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Boldt’s retraction count upped to 94, co-author takes legal action to prevent 95th

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We’ve found two recent retractions and an expression of concern for Joachim Boldt, former prominent anesthesiologist and currently Retraction Watch leaderboard’s 2nd place titleholder. He now has 94 retractions.

One of the retracted articles contains falsified data, along with a researcher who didn’t agree to be a co-author, according to an investigation by the Justus Liebig University Giessen, where Boldt used to work. The expression of concern is regarding some questionable data. The other new retraction is actually one of 88 papers that a group of editors agreed to retract back in 2011, after they were “unable to verify” approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the studies.

One of those 88 papers, we’ve discovered, has still has not been retracted. According to an editor at the journal, they haven’t removed it because one of Boldt’s co-authors has threatened them with legal action. Read the rest of this entry »

“Irresolvable authorship dispute” leads to retraction of tropical disease paper

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Microbiology AustraliaA paper on schistosomiasis, a tropical disease spread by parasitic worms that live in freshwater snails, has been pulled because of an “irresolvable authorship dispute.”

Microbiology Australia published the retraction earlier this month in an agreement with the editors and the authors. Unfortunately, the notice doesn’t provide many details and that’s pretty much all we know.

Here’s the notice in full:

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Author appeals retraction after co-authors dispute Nature Comm paper

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Two weeks after Nature Communications published a paper on asymmetric cell division in July, it posted a retraction notice saying the paper was submitted “without the knowledge or consent” of all but the corresponding author.

The following day the journal “amended” the retraction note to include the initials of the corresponding author, Aicha Metchat, then based at European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany.

The final notice for “An actin-dependent spindle position checkpoint ensures the asymmetric division in mouse oocytes” reads:

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Three retractions for geriatric medicine researcher

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Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 11.51.11 AMA trio of papers on health issues in elderly patients, all sharing an author, have been retracted from Geriatrics & Gerontology International. 

The reasons for the retractions range from expired kits, an “unattributed overlap” with another paper, “authorship issues,” and issues over sample sizes.

Tomader Taha Abdel Rahman, a researcher at Ain Shams University in Cairo, is the first author on two of the papers, and second author on the third.

Here’s the retraction note for a paper that showed elderly adults with chronic hepatitis C are at risk of having cognitive issues:

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Authors’ pharma ties cause Cochrane to withdraw two diabetes reviews

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Cochrane_LogoThe Cochrane Library has withdrawn two reviews evaluating the effectiveness of diabetes treatments because some of the papers’ authors work with pharmaceutical companies.

Bianca Hemmingsen, first author on both reviews, told us the Cochrane Library asked the authors to remove the researchers with ties to pharma, but after one “refused to withdraw,” both papers were pulled entirely.

However, Hemmingsen insists that their employment had no impact on either paper.

This breaks the typical mold for Cochrane withdrawals, which are usually only pulled to indicate updates and show that older reviews no longer represent the best evidence.

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