Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘fake credentials’ Category

Imposter edits journal in latest peer review scam

with 8 comments

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 5.49.05 PMWhen a computer scientist approached a journal about editing a special issue, little did the journal know he — or she — was using a stolen identity.

Before the jig was up, someone posing as a researcher named Xavier Delorme had edited three articles on optimization problems for The Scientific World Journal. The scammer used a fake email address, the publisher told Retraction Watch — a common strategy for duping journals in peer review scams. When the real Delorme, who works at École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne in France, began receiving correspondence about articles he had no involvement in, fake Delorme’s cover was blown.

Upon closer look, the publisher found evidence that peer reviews for some articles may have been submitted using phony identities, as well. The publisher has been unable to identify anyone responsible for the scam.

Here’s the retraction notice, which now appears on five articles from the special issue:

Read the rest of this entry »

Author appeared to use phony Caltech co-authors, up to 8 retractions

with 3 comments

ACBEA journal has retracted three articles from a chemist in Portugal with a history of problems with co-authors and data — the exact problems cited by the new notices.

Specifically, it appears as if Rodrigo J.G. Lopes made up the affiliations of multiple co-authors from the California Institute of Technology, causing the journal to “doubt the existence of the authors.”

Lopes first came to our attention in 2013, when he lost a paper in the Chemical Engineering Journal for including data he couldn’t have produced, as the lab lacked the necessary equipment. That had followed a previous retraction, when Lopes added co-authors without their permission. We’ve since found other retractions for Lopes, bringing his total to eight, by our count. Read the rest of this entry »

Doctor suspended in UK after faking co-authors, data

with 13 comments

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 11.04.56 AMA doctor in Manchester, UK has received a year’s suspension by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

Gemina Doolub admitted that she fabricated research data and submitted papers without the knowledge of her co-authors, including faking an email address for a co-author, a news story in the BMJ reports. The research in question was part of two retractions that Doolub received in 2013, one of which we covered at the time.

Doolub’s research examined ways to treat and avoid microvascular obstruction — that is, blocked arteries. Doolub did the work while at Oxford.

Intracoronary Adenosine versus Intravenous Adenosine during Primary PCI for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction: Which One Offers Better Outcomes in terms of Microvascular Obstruction?” was published in International Scholarly Research Notices Cardiology and has not yet been cited, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

As the BMJ reports, in that paper,

Read the rest of this entry »

News site The Intercept says reporter created fake quotes, sources

with one comment

interceptThe Intercept is apologizing to readers after an investigation revealed one of its reporters fabricated multiple quotes and even created a fake email address for a source to deceive his editors.

The online news site is retracting and correcting several articles by former staff writer Juan Thompson, who was employed there from November 2014 until last month.

In a note issued earlier today, editor Betsy Reed revealed some details of the results of the investigation to readers:

Read the rest of this entry »

Yup, this happened: “Mystery” writer impersonated cardiovascular pathologist, penned published letter

with 6 comments

A 2014 letter in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has been retracted because editors aren’t sure who wrote it.

“Can Grayscale IVUS Detect Necrotic Core-Rich Plaque?”, a letter on the potential of intravascular ultrasound, was submitted under the name of a researcher at the University of Copenhagen, Erling Falk. The paper was sent with a Gmail account (a technique used by some academics to conduct fake peer reviews), and editors communicated with the author through the acceptance process.

Shortly after the letter was published, Erling Falk of Aarhus University contacted the journal and asked who wrote the letter. They discovered that nobody by that name worked at the University of Copenhagen and emails to the author’s Gmail address went unanswered. So the journal issued a retraction.

Here’s the complete notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Final report in Smeesters case serves up seven retractions

with one comment

smeestersErasmus University in Rotterdam has issued its final report on psychologist Dirk Smeesters, concluding that the former Erasmus faculty member had committed research misconduct in a total of seven papers. Three of those articles already have been retracted in the case, as we reported in December 2012.

The committee investigation is in fact a follow-up inquiry — thus its name, the Smeesters Follow-Up Investigation Committee — prompted by concerns that an initial probe was incomplete. According to the report, the four-member panel conducted an “in-depth analysis” of every paper Smeesters, who left the university’s Rotterdam School of Management in July 2012, was “actively” involved in. That turned out to be 22 articles (not including three others already retracted).

The final report is worth reading, presented here as a pdf. The four articles are: Read the rest of this entry »

Paper by fake cardiologist retracted

with 9 comments

j patient safetyRetraction Watch readers may recall the case of William Hamman, the United Airlines pilot who claimed to be a cardiologist until the Associated Press uncovered him in late 2010. Hamman had published at least six papers, and since the revelations has had one retraction and one erratum, by our count.

Now comes another retraction, in the Journal of Patient Safety. Here’s the (paywalled) notice, signed by journal editor Charles Denham: Read the rest of this entry »

Remember William Hamman, the pilot who claimed to be a cardiologist? A retraction appears

without comments

In December, we reported on the case of William Hamman:

It’s a mind-boggling story: A United Airlines pilot claims to be a cardiologist and was eagerly sought after for medical conferences at which he taught doctors teamwork. He shared millions in grants, according to the Associated Press. But as the AP reports, William Hamman wasn’t a cardiologist at all, having never even finished medical school.

Hamman had published at least six papers using false credentials, including an MD and a PhD. In December, Jean Gayton Carroll, editor in chief of Quality Management in Health Care, told us that the journal would be “reviewing and evaluating” a paper by Hamman it published last year, “Using in situ simulation to identify and resolve latent environmental threats to patients safety: case study involving operational changes in a labor and delivery ward.” That review, we learned today, has led to a retraction.

According to the notice, which is refreshingly detailed (we added a link): Read the rest of this entry »

Journal will remove fake cardiologist William Hamman’s credentials, but paper will remain in print

with one comment

Earlier this week, we asked what is likely to happen to papers published by William Hamman, the United pilot who claimed — falsely — to also be a cardiologist. Read more about the episode here.

One of the journals in which Hamman published, the American Journal of Medical Quality, will “amend the paper to correct” Hamman’s credentials — or lack thereof, a journal staffer told us today. The journal hasn’t dealt with this sort of thing before, so is checking with the publisher before making the change. They “plan to get it done as quickly as they can do it.”

We haven’t seen this sort of thing either. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 14th, 2010 at 10:06 am

Catch Me If You Can: What happens to fake cardiologist William Hamman’s published papers?

with 4 comments

photo of Frank Abagnale, Jr., whose story is the basis of Catch Me If You Can, by marcus_jb1973 via flickr

It’s a mind-boggling story: A United Airlines pilot claims to be a cardiologist and was eagerly sought after for medical conferences at which he taught doctors teamwork. He shared millions in grants, according to the Associated Press. But as the AP reports, William Hamman wasn’t a cardiologist at all, having never even finished medical school.

Hamman’s career seems to be collapsing, now that he resigned from his post as a researcher and educator at Royal Oak, Michigan’s William Beaumont Hospital once the hospital found out he had misled them. (Just last year, Beaumont touted a $150,000 grant Hamman nabbed with a colleague, Marc Abramson at Improbable Research notes.) United has also grounded him.

The storyline is reminiscent of 2002’s Catch Me If You Can, in which Frank Abagnale Jr. (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) forges millions of dollars’ worth of checks around the world, in the process impersonating a Pan Am pilot and a doctor. In Hamman’s case, there are apparently no questions over whether his pilot credentials are legit, according to the AP.

Our interest at Retraction Watch is what happens to the papers Hamman has published over the years. There are at least six, including two published this year. The AP reported that Read the rest of this entry »