Archive for the ‘data issues’ Category
It’s been a busy few months for Brian Wansink, a prominent food researcher at Cornell University. A blog post he wrote in November prompted a huge backlash from readers who accused him of using problematic research methods to produce questionable data, and a group of researchers suggested four of his papers contained 150 inconsistencies. The scientist has since announced he’s asked a non-author to reanalyze the data — a researcher in his own lab. Meanwhile, criticisms continue to mount. We spoke with Wansink about the backlash, and how he hopes to answer his critics’ questions.
Retraction Watch: Why not engage someone outside your lab to revalidate the analysis of the four papers under question?
Study about words’ effect on mood to be retracted after investigation finds evidence of data manipulation
A study examining whether the verb tense you use to describe a positive or negative experience influences your current mood will be retracted after a university investigation found the data had been manipulated.
By whom is the question — the notice cites an unnamed graduate student as the source of the manipulation, and says the only author, William Hart, was unaware of what had occurred.
We spoke with Hart, based at the University of Alabama, who declined to identify the student, nor say whether he or she was still working at the university. He did say the experience has been trying:
To Brian Wansink of Cornell University, a blog post he wrote in November, 2016, was a meant as a lesson in productivity: A graduate student who was willing to embrace every research opportunity submitted five papers within six months of arriving to his lab, while a postdoc who declined two chances to analyze a data set left after one year with a small fraction of the grad student’s publications.
But two months and nearly 50 comments on the post later, Wansink — known for so much high-profile nutrition research he’s been dubbed the “Sherlock Holmes of food” — has announced he’s now reanalyzing the data in the papers, and will correct any issues that arise. In the meantime, he had to decline requests to share his raw data, citing its proprietary nature.
As Wansink writes in the second addendum to the November blog post, “The Grad Student Who Never Said ‘No’:”
A paper describing the construction of a material that could be used in nuclear fuel containers has been retracted after the authors left out key details.
According to the editor, the omission made the authors’ method seem more novel than it was.
The material is described in “Structure and Mechanical Properties of Thick Copper Coating Made by Cold Spray.” It was published in the January 2016 issue of the Journal of Thermal Spray Technology.
According to the retraction notice, the authors did not specify in the paper how the first layer of copper was sprayed onto the steel:
An oncology journal has retracted a 2014 paper that contained a potentially fatal mistake.
Specifically, the paper suggested that a chemotherapy drug be injected intrathecally — i.e., in the spine. But according to the retraction notice, the medical literature has unequivocally shown that that form of treatment is “uniformly fatal.”
The retraction comes approximately 18 months after the journal published a letter to the editor alerting readers to the risky wording in the 2014 paper.
Here’s the notice, issued by Hematological Oncology:
Gearóid Ó Faoleán, ethics and integrity manager at Frontiers, which publishes Frontiers in Plant Science, told us:
In accordance with our complaints protocol, the Field Chief Editor led the investigation that resulted in the decision to retract the paper.
A journal has retracted a surgery study by researchers at Brown University after noticing it included data that was not intended for research purposes. (Incidentally, the data were collected by the publisher of the journal.)
Ingrid Philbert, managing editor of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education — which published the paper — told Retraction Watch that senior staff at the publisher alerted the journal that they suspected the authors had used data from a confidential source:
This is a fairly new set of case log data, and as the collector [of] the data, the [Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)] gets to determine the use and it has decreed that this data be used solely for accreditation decisions.
Philbert said the journal asked the authors where they got the data:
Following a journal probe and questions on PubPeer about their work, authors in Spain have issued four corrections, citing missing raw data for experiments conducted more than 10 years ago.
All papers include the same last two authors, Mireia Duñach at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Antonio García de Herreros at the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques.
Three of the corrections were issued by the Journal of Biological Chemistry, from which the authors retracted three papers earlier this year after a journal investigation concluded they contain reused images, designed to represent different experiments.
Duñach told us the latest corrections are the result of her own initiation:
An ecologist in Australia realized a database he was using to spot trends in extinction patterns was problematic, affecting two papers. One journal issued an expression of concern, which has since turned into a retraction. So far, the other journal has left the paper untouched.
The now-retracted paper concluded that medium-sized species on islands tend to go extinct more often than large or small mammalian species. But a little over a year ago, Biology Letters flagged the paper with an expression of concern (EOC), noting “concerns regarding the validity of some of the data and methods used in the analysis.”
A journal posted an abstract online suggesting a link between vaccines and autism. After a firestorm of criticism, it removed the abstract, saying it was going to be re-reviewed. Now, the journal has decided to formally reject it.
As we reported last month, Frontiers in Public Health removed the abstract after it sparked criticism on social media. After doing so, the journal released a public statement claiming that the paper was “provisionally accepted but not published,” noting that the journal had reverted it to peer review to ensure it was re-reviewed.
Now, Gearóid Ó Faoleán, ethics and integrity manager at Frontiers (the journal’s publisher), told Retraction Watch that after consultation with an external expert, the journal has rejected the paper, adding: Read the rest of this entry »