Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘breach of ethical policy’ Category

Failure to disclose drug company sponsor among litany of reasons for cancer retraction

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tumor biologyThis one’s a real mess.

In June, a paper in Tumor Biology was retracted for at least four reasons, including bad data and hiding a trial sponsor (Merck). Some people who contributed work weren’t cited; at least one author had no idea his name would be on it. And that’s just what they tell us in the notice.

Here’s the notice for “Neutropenia and invasive fungal infection in patients with hematological malignancies treated with chemotherapy: a multicenter, prospective, non-interventional study in China:” Read the rest of this entry »

Law review paper yanked for lack of attribution despite offer of co-authorship

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Gentian Zyberi, via UiO

Gentian Zyberi, via UiO

Sometimes, retractions seem to have a juicy back story, but the explanation proves tantalizingly out of reach.

Such is the case for a law review retraction on a paper about reparations for human rights violations. After someone complained that author Gentian Zyberi “had not done sufficient justice to the substantial contribution” they made, the complainant refused both a co-author credit and a rewrite of the passages in question, insisting instead on a full retraction.

Here’s the notice for “The International Court of Justice and applied forms of reparation for international human rights and humanitarian law violations”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

July 28th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Rice researcher in ethics scrape threatens journal with lawsuit over coming retraction

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Guangwen Tang, a rice researcher at Tufts University, landed in hot water in 2012 after her team was accused of feeding Chinese children genetically modified Golden Rice without having obtained informed consent from the parents.

Now, she’s suing both Tufts and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which reportedly is retracting a paper, “ß-carotene in Golden Rice is as good as p-carotene in oil at providing vitamin A to children,” based on the federally funded research, claiming that the retraction would constitute defamation. (That retraction hasn’t happened yet.)

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the retraction = defamation line. Readers might remember Ariel Fernandez, who threatened to sue us for writing about an expression of concern. Maybe a course on the Streisand Effect should be mandatory for PhD students?
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

July 17th, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Ulrich Lichtenthaler notches retraction 13

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acad manageUlrich Lichtenthaler, the management professor who has had a dozen papers retracted, has lost another.

Here’s the notice from the Academy of Management Journal for “Absorptive Capacity, Environmental Turbulence, and the Complementarity of Organizational Learning Processes:” Read the rest of this entry »

Chemistry papers retracted for “lack of objectivity:” The authors did their own peer review

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synthreactSynthesis and Reactivity in Inorganic, Metal-Organic, and Nano-Metal Chemistry is retracting three articles for duplication — redundancy the authors, chemical engineers at Islamic Azad University, in Shahreza, Iran, appear to have gotten around by reviewing their own manuscripts. But, if they did say so themselves, those papers were really something!

Here’s the retraction notice for two of the papers, both of which appeared in 2012 and which were cited seven times and once, respectively, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge:
Read the rest of this entry »

Privacy breach prompts retraction of three papers from the trauma literature

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ejpsychtraumA group of international psychology researchers is retracting three papers in the wake of revelations that they failed to adequately safeguard the identities of the patients who participated in the studies.

So far, only one article has been formally retracted. That article, “Combining biofeedback and Narrative Exposure Therapy for persistent pain and PTSD in refugees: a pilot study,” appeared last year in the European Journal of Psychotramatology. Its authors were Naser Morina, Thomas Maier, Richard Bryant, Christine Knaevelsrud, Lutz Wittmann, Michael Rufer, Ulrich Schnyder and Julia Müller.

According to the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

French journal retracts nanomedicine paper for ethics violations, more

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bioladjcoverThe French journal Biologie Aujourd’hui — Biology Today — has retracted an article it published earlier this year after learning of ethics violations,  authorship issues with the paper and a problematic image.

The article, titled “Utilisation de dendrimères pour une nanomédecine innovatrice,” or “Using dendrimers for an innovative nanomedicine,” was written by Jean Pierre Majoral of the Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination in Toulouse. (We haven’t been able to get our virtual hands on the paper yet.)

According to the retraction notice, which in fact says “withdrawal notice“:  Read the rest of this entry »

Geneticists take HeLa sequence off-line after Lacks family notes they hadn’t given consent

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g3HeLa — the cell line that has apparently taken over any number of others commonly used in science, suggesting that many researchers may not have been studying what they thought they were studying — is back in the news. This weekend, it was the DNA sequence of the cells that’s made headlines, with a quiet unpublishing of data.

As Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks — Lacks’s name is where “HeLa” comes from, as they’re her cells — wrote in the New York Times Sunday, a group of researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory published an analysis of the HeLa cells’ genome on March 11 in G3: Genes, Genomes, Geneticsa new journal from the Genetics Society of America.

That genome, of course, could be very useful in research, given how widely used HeLa cells are. But the problem was Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 25th, 2013 at 11:31 am

Transplant journal retracts three papers over possible organ trafficking

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exptclintransThe journal Experimental and Clinical Transplantation has retracted three papers by a group of Lebanese researchers who appear to have been engaging in illicit trafficking of human kidneys.

According to the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Authors dispute ethical lapse in case of double physics publication that wasn’t

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Plasma Processes and Polymers has retracted a paper it published in March 2012 for what it describes as a “possible breach of ethics.”

That certainly sounds bad — if inconclusive — but the authors maintain the whole thing was a simple misunderstanding.

The article, “Plasma Acid: Water Treated by Dielectric Barrier Discharge,” came from the lab of Gary Friedman, a physicist at Drexel University in Philadelphia. The first, and corresponding, author was Natalie Shainsky, an award-winning graduate student at the school.

As the notice states: Read the rest of this entry »