Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘company complaints’ Category

Geoscience paper pulled over apparent lack of company consent

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A 2016 paper has been retracted at the request of a company that provides geoscience solutions because the authors—who are employees of the company—included proprietary information and didn’t obtain proper permission.

Often in extenuating circumstances such as publishing something without permission, the article is taken offline. But this article, which according to the retraction notice “contains information, data and intellectual property belonging to the company and its client,” remains available. What’s more, the authors seem to think they had the company’s okay to publish.

Here’s the complete retraction notice for “High resolution seismic imaging of complex structures: a case study of the South China Sea data” published by Marine Geophysical Research:

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Written by Victoria Stern

January 27th, 2017 at 11:30 am

If you use this research tool without permission, you’ll hear about it

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Sometimes, a seemingly run-of-the-mill retraction notice turns out to be much less straightforward.

Such was the case with a recent retraction of a 2016 paper in a journal published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, apparently over permission to use an evaluation scale designed to test whether patients take their medications as prescribed. But when we looked into this story, we learned this retraction was only the tip of the iceberg – a representative of the evaluation scale (titled “Chief Investigator”) told us he has contacted hundreds of so-called “infringers” over the last year who used the scale without permission. The authors must then apply retroactively and show they’ve used it correctly, and may even have to pay fees. Or, in the case of the retraction we saw (and at least one other in 2016), pull the paper.

According to the chief investigator, Steve Trubow, who oversees licensing and use of the scale worldwide, for some uses, there is no fee – but depending on what the researchers are using the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8) for, it can cost up to $100,000. Once they’ve used it without permission, there are fees for that, too, Trubow told us:

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Physics journal removes study for breach of confidentiality

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applied-physics-lettersA physics journal has retracted a 2016 study after learning that the author published it without the knowledge or permission of the funder, which had a confidentiality agreement in place for the work.

According to the retraction notice in Applied Physics Letters, the paper also lifted content from other researchers without due credit. Given the “legal issue” associated with the breach of confidentiality, the journal has decided to remove the paper entirely. 

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

Authors pull two papers about faulty glucose meters after industry prompts

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4.coverTwo papers evaluating glucose meters — used by diabetics to monitor blood sugar levels — suggested that a couple of the devices don’t work as well as they should. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the companies that sell those meters objected to how the studies were conducted. By all accounts, the companies appear to be justified in their complaints.

In both cases, researchers used blood drawn from veins to test the meters. But manufacturers of the WaveSense JAZZ and GlucoRx glucose meters said their devices are designed to work with fresh blood from a finger-prick. Both papers have now been retracted.

The retraction notice for “Technical and clinical accuracy of five blood glucose meters: clinical impact assessment using error grid analysis and insulin sliding scales,” published in 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, hints at the issue:

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Author objects to retraction of heart study, implies industry played role

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JACC

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) has retracted a recently published paper that questioned the effectiveness of a treatment for irregular heartbeat, against the last author’s wishes. 

Andrea Natale, the study’s last and corresponding author and Executive Medical Director of Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia at Austin, took to social media today to express his frustration in the retraction of the July paper, which showed electrical rotors were less effective at fixing irregular heartbeat than other treatments. On Twitter, Natale implied industry played a role in its demise.

However, according to the retraction notice, the paper was felled by problems with randomization; Natale has admitted that some patients were removed from the analysis after one center included them incorrectly.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Impact of Rotor Ablation in Nonparoxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Patients Results From the Randomized OASIS Trial:” Read the rest of this entry »

Did an author retract a paper at company’s behest? Retraction notice says yes, author now says no

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The author of a paper whose retraction notice says it was pulled at the behest of a company now says that wasn’t the case.

It’s a bit difficult to get this story straight: Although the retraction notice says a company complained the 2006 paper was “giving business inputs to their competitors,” the corresponding author told us no one asked him to retract the paper. Instead, he said, he was concerned about the inclusion of plant materials that belong to a previous employer, and did a “poor job” of explaining the reason for retraction. But since the results of the paper remain valid, Santosh Rajput — now a plant breeder at Dryland Genetics LLC in Ames, Iowa — told us he regrets asking to retract it:

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Upon request, NEJM added note to help Texas distance itself from Planned Parenthood article

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The New England Journal of Medicine added a disclaimer to a recent article about the effects of funding cuts to Planned Parenthood, after a request from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, saying it wanted to distance itself from the paper.

Since the paper was published in February, one author has stepped down from his position at HHSC after facing disciplinary action.

The article suggested that birth rates among a group of lower-income women increased after the state cut down on support for Planned Parenthood. It drew a significant amount of media attention — and concern from the HHSC, which asked the journal to add a disclaimer to the article soon after publication. The journal complied, but embargoed the announcement of the change until 5 p.m. eastern time today.

Here’s the disclaimer that NEJM added to the article:

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Sperm paper impaired by “corporate company” analysis

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2.coverWithout a certain protein, mouse sperm have motility disorders. That’s the conclusion of a paper that has itself been stopped — by errors in the data analysis, carried out by a third-party company.

The retraction note pins the analysis, which led to faulty data, on a “corporate company.” Aside from the companies that sell the kits used for substrates, assays, and detection, there’s only one company mentioned in the paper:

Generation of the mouse model was performed by the Cyagen Company (Guangzhou, China)

However, a representative of Cyagen says it does not offer the type of analysis described by the retraction note.

Here’s the full retraction note for the 2015 paper in Biology of Reproduction (which is paywalled — tsk, tsk):
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3-D printing paper accidentally includes secrets

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A paper on 3-D printing has been pulled because it “inadvertently” included some sensitive material.

We’re not sure which parts of the paper were the specific problem. But the sensitive material may have something with how to improve the surfaces of 3-D printed products, which is the subject of “Feasibility of using Copper(II)Oxide for additive manufacturing.”

Here’s what the paper, published in the International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing contains, according to the abstract:

Additive manufacturing, in spite of its ever wider application range, is still plagued by issues ranging from accuracy to surface finish. In this study, to address the latter issue, the feasibility of using Copper(II)Oxide powder with a polymer binder deposited through a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing technique is explored.

Here’s the retraction note:

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Northwestern pulls bioethics publication with oral sex essay, reposts one year later

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atrium-issue12Northwestern University has reposted a publication from the Medical Humanities & Bioethics Program at the Feinberg School of Medicine that included a controversial essay about oral sex, after it was pulled for more than a year.

The essay was included in an issue guest edited by faculty member Alice Dreger—who penned a post for us in March about the ways in which attacks on academic freedom have increased, during the time her own publication had been taken offline.

The essay, “Head Nurses,” presents the story of William Peace, who wrote that he received oral sex from a nurse after he became paralyzed at the age of 18:

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Written by Alison McCook

June 23rd, 2015 at 2:30 pm