Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘faked data’ Category

Science chemistry paper earns retraction after expression of concern, marking second for UT group

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scienceThe authors of a 2011 Science paper that proposed a new way to direct chemical bonds have withdrawn the paper after concerns about the data prompted an investigation and Editorial Expression of Concern last year from the journal. The retraction is the second for the group, which has also had seven other expressions of concern.

After a reader emailed the editors to raise suspicions about the data, corresponding author Christopher W. Bielawski, then based at the University of Texas at Austin, led an investigation of all the figures. It found substantial problems: “In over 50% of the figure parts, the authors deemed the data unreliable due to uncertainty regarding the origin of data or the manner in which the data were processed,” according to the retraction notice.

UT Austin concluded that there had been misconduct, but did not elaborate.

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More evidence scientists continue to cite retracted papers

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Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 2.38.46 PMA new paper in the MDPI journal Publications reports that the only controlled study on the effect of giving COPD patients Omega-3 has been cited 52 times since being retracted. Of those, only two mentioned the retraction.

In 2005, Chest published an article that found that COPD patients who took omega-3 supplements for 2 years experienced improvements in their condition, such as better walking tests and a decrease in sputum cytokines. But when an institutional investigation found the lead author had falsified the data, the journal retracted the paper in 2008.

That’s news to many researchers in the field. Among the 50 papers that cited the research after 2008 without stating it had been retracted, 20 included “specific data” from the paper, while the other 30 “cited the reference in passing.” Articles citing the retracted study have themselves been cited 947 times total, pointing to the ripple effect this kind of unwitting mention can have throughout the literature.

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Fraud retraction appears for deceased Maryland dental researcher

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osomoporeA former dental researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, has lost a 2009 paper in the journal Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontology for fabricating his data on an NIH-funded study.

The researcher, Mark A. Scheper, is not identified in the retraction notice as the person implicated in the university investigation. However, one of his co-authors confirmed his involvement. Scheper died in January 2014 at age 45 of natural causes, according to the Maryland State Medical Examiner.

The article was titled “The oncogenic effects of constitutive Stat3 signaling in salivary gland cancer cells are mediated by survivin and modulated by the NSAID sulindac.” It appeared online in March 2009, and has been cited six times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

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

Written by amarcus41

January 29th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Georgia State student paper retracts article for faked quotes, fires writer

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Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 2.53.55 PMGeorgia State University student newspaper The Signal pulled an article and dropped a writer after discovering he lied about talking to a school spokesperson and made up quotes.

The paper tells Retraction Watch that the undergraduate, Rico Johnson, has been removed from the staff of the paper.

Here’s the notice for “Georgia State planning renovation for new media production center”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 27th, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Second retraction appears for former accounting professor James Hunton

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James Hunton, via Bentley University

James Hunton, via Bentley University

It took five months, but in December a second retraction popped up for disgraced accounting professor James H. Hunton.

Hunton resigned his teaching post at Bentley University in December of 2012. An extensive investigation by Bentley showed that not only was the data in two papers falsified. Hunton also lied about non-existent confidentiality agreements and tried to destroy evidence of his lies by unsuccessfully wiping his laptop and changing metadata on files.

The first paper Hunton was accused of faking, ironically about accounting fraud, was retracted in 2012.

Here’s the notice for “The relationship between perceived tone at the top and earnings quality”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 27th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Former Pitt cancer researcher admits to faking findings

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Dong Xiao

Dong Xiao

A former researcher at the University of Pittsburgh inflated the number of mice used in his experiments, and faked data in a number of images in a paper reporting the results, according to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

Dong Xiao admitting to having

intentionally fabricated data contained in a paper entitled ‘Guggulsterone inhibits prostate cancer growth via inactivation of Akt regulated by ATP citrate signaling,’ specifically Figure 6G,

the ORI reports. The paper was published in  in July 2014 in Oncotarget. Here’s Figure 6: Read the rest of this entry »

Oklahoma postdoc admits to faking data in grant application, submitted paper

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bin kang

Bin Kang

A postdoc at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation faked data in a submitted paper and in a grant application, according to a new report from the Office of Research Integrity.

Bin Kang admitted to the misconduct, in which he Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 18th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Heaven still waiting: Publisher pulls book after boy recants on visit to heaven

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malarkeyTyndale House says it will be recalling copies of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven after the boy in question, Alex Malarkey (yes, that’s really his name), said he didn’t make the trip after all.

Malarkey made the claim after having been injured in a car accident when he was 6. The book became a best-seller for Tyndale, which, according to NPR, called it Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

January 16th, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in faked data

U Colorado “golden boy” grad student faked data in drug lab, says investigation

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u coloradoA graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver faked data in his work at a drug research lab that has notched two retractions and an expression of concern over “data integrity,” according to an extensive university investigation.

It seems like many more retractions are on the horizon for grad student Rajendra Kadam, who worked in the lab of Uday Kompella, a pharmaceutical researcher at the university.  

Here’s an excerpt from the report, which you can read in full (but redacted) here: Read the rest of this entry »

Chemists Bielawski and Wiggins up to eight expressions of concern, one retraction

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Christopher Bielawski

Two researchers who already had three expressions of concern under their belts have five more, plus a retraction.

Kelly Wiggins and Christopher Bielawski share authorship on all the papers in question. After the first set of EoCs, Bielawski, at the time a PI at UT Austin, told Chemistry and Engineering News that a “former lab member” had admitted to faking the data. The recent retraction indicates that University of Texas at Austin’s Office of Research Integrity formally investigated the lab, and determined that Bielawski was telling the truth about a former lab member being to blame.

Bielawski has since taken a post at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. He told us that move was unrelated to anything that happened at UT Austin, but declined to answer other questions. Wiggins got a postdoc at the University of Illinois, which an Illinois spokesperson confirmed lasted from July 1 2013 to January 22 2014; we’re waiting to hear back on our question about whether her departure had anything to do with misconduct.

Here’s the retraction notice for “A Mechanochemical Approach to Deracemization,” in Wiley journal Angewandte Chemie: Read the rest of this entry »