Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘faked data’ Category

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One of those 88 papers, we’ve discovered, has still has not been retracted.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 »

Authors pull Science paper on molecular wires for “inappropriate data handling”

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pic.mag.current-issueThis week’s issue of Science includes a retraction of a highly cited paper about manipulating the current in a string of molecules with a magnet, after an investigation by the co-authors revealed “inappropriate data handling” by the first author.

According to the note, the co-authors’ suspicions arose when they tried to follow-up on the data. Following a “thorough investigation,” they concluded that first author Rabindra N. Mahato had handled the data in such a way that they could no longer trust the conclusions. In the end, Mahato agreed to the retraction.

Here’s more from the note: Read the rest of this entry »

There’s “no evidence” research was conducted at all in retracted cancer paper

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cov200h (1)To one reader of a paper on a nerve cancer, the researchers, based at a hospital in China, seemed to have found a very large number of cases of a rare cancer to study. That observation triggered an investigation into the paper that led to its retraction — and the concern that the authors in the paper never did the research at all.

The authors say they recruited 156 patients who had a particular kind of cancer that affects the tissue around nerves, known as malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. For context on how rare that is: Other researchers found a mere 1,182 new cases over a nearly four-decade period in the U.S. The study, according to the methods section of the paper, was supposedly done with patients who had a specific type of the disease, and who were

consecutively recruited from Wuhan Union Hospital, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan (Hubei, China) between July 2000 and November 2012

According to the retraction note for “Common genetic variants in the microRNA biogenesis pathway are associated with malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor risk in a Chinese population,” the hospital where the work was done never treated all of those patients:

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Written by Shannon Palus

October 6th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Danish neuroscientist sentenced by court for lying about faked experiments

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court caseIn a rare development, neuroscientist Milena Penkowa has been sentenced by a Danish court for faking data.

The ruling, from the Copenhagen City Court, resulted from Penkowa’s publication of her 2003 thesis describing experiments that she never carried out. The court “placed weight” on the fact that she didn’t just commit fraud, but “systematically supplied false information” to avoid being caught, according to the court’s notice.

The sentence is nine months of “conditional imprisonment,” according to our translation; The University Posta newspaper affiliated with the University of Copenhagen, calls it a “nine month suspended sentence with a two years probation.”

Here’s the full summary of the new ruling, from the Copenhagen City Court (translated from Danish by One Hour Translation):

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Written by Shannon Palus

October 1st, 2015 at 9:10 am

4th ORI-flagged paper by Oregon student is retracted

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home_cover (2)The last of four papers containing data falsified by University of Oregon neuroscience student David Anderson has been retracted.

When the Office of Research Integrity report flagging the papers came out in July, Anderson told us he “made an error in judgment,” and took “full responsibility” for the misconduct.

The newly retracted paper, “A common discrete resource for visual working memory and visual search,” published in Psychological Science, has been cited 28 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. According to the abstract, it demonstrates a possible link between working memory and the ability to “rapidly identify targets hidden among distractors.”

But according to the retraction note, Anderson produced “results that conformed to predictions” by “removing outlier values and replacing outliers with mean values”  in some of the data.

Here’s the retraction note in full:

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Mirror image in plant study flagged on PubPeer grows into retraction

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djs_mpmi_28_9_cover-online.inddA 2010 paper on plant fungus has been retracted after a comment on PubPeer revealed that a study image had been flipped over and reused to represent two different treatments.

In May, a commenter pointed out the plants in Figure 2a of the paper in the journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions “look remarkably similar.” A commenter writing under the name of corresponding author, Yukio Tosa at Kobe University in Japan, posted a response two days later agreeing with the assessment and stating that the paper should be retracted.

The notice reads: Read the rest of this entry »

Science Signaling corrects data fudged by former UCSF student

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afbb251f8bc8f71e26b313c77669d48fA paper containing data fudged by former University of California San Francisco grad student Peter Littlefield has been corrected. We knew that this was coming — last month, the Office of Research Integrity issued a report that Littlefield had admitted to misconduct, and agreed to a retraction or correction of the two affected papers.

Published in Science Signaling, “Structural analysis of the /HER3 heterodimer reveals the molecular basis for activating HER3 mutations” examined the structural details of a protein associated with cancer. It has been cited two times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

According to the correction note, the concentration of a protein presented in one figure was “miscalculated;” in another figure, the error bars were “calculated incorrectly.”

A statement from the UCSF affirmed that principle investigator Natalie Jura has “not been implicated in any research misconduct finding,” and explains that Read the rest of this entry »

“Fabricated results” retract JAMA clinical trial, plus a sub-analysis of the data

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Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 11.00.11 AMA JAMA clinical trial that suggested a blood pressure drug could help patients increase their physical fitness, and a sub-analysis of those data, have been retracted after “an admission of fabricated results” by the first author on both papers.

The three-year clinical trial was published in JAMA in 2013.  It was retracted this morning.

The trial found ramipril helped patients with artery disease walk longer and with less pain, according to the abstract:

Among patients with intermittent claudication, 24-week treatment with ramipril resulted in significant increases in pain-free and maximum treadmill walking times compared with placebo. This was associated with a significant increase in the physical functioning component of the SF-36 score.

The retraction note explains how the fabricated data came to light: 

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Written by Shannon Palus

September 14th, 2015 at 12:40 pm

CDC: Falsified data did not affect C. diff results

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downloadDespite the fact that a former employee of the Oregon Health Authority falsified 56 case reports that were included in a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a re-analysis has found that the results of the report remain valid.

The report included information about 10,342 cases of potentially deadly infections due to Clostridium difficile, so removing the cases affected by the misconduct — 57 in total — “did not” alter the results, according to an analysis published today by the CDC:

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Written by Alison McCook

September 11th, 2015 at 9:30 am

“Obviously stolen” figure squashes mosquito paper in author’s second retraction

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jmr-cover2015The Journal of Mosquito Research has retracted a paper because it contains a figure that “was obviously stolen” from another paper.

The retracted paper’s first author Emtithal M. Abd El-Samiee is now up to two retractions, by our count. Last month, we reported on her fruit fly paper, felled by a faulty gene sequence. On the paper, she is listed as an entomologist at Cairo University.

The note tells us where the figure was stolen from:

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