Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘faked data’ Category

Oregon public health employee faked 56 infection case reports: ORI

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downloadA former employee in the public health division of the Oregon Health Authority committed misconduct in 56 case reports about Clostridium difficile infections in Klamath County, Oregon, as well as in a manuscript submitted to JAMA Internal Medicine and a published report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in March, 2012.

Ryan Asherin, previously a Surveillance Officer and Principal Investigator at the OHA, was a busy man. According to the details from a report by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity, Asherin:

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Written by Alison McCook

May 29th, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Science retracts troubled gay canvassing study against LaCour’s objections

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science coverFollowing revelations of data issues and other problems (which crashed our server last week), Science is retracting a paper claiming that short conversations could change people’s minds on same-sex marriage.

The co-author who admitted to faking the data “does not agree” to the retraction, according to Science. Here’s more from the note: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 28th, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Author retracts study of changing minds on same-sex marriage after colleague admits data were faked

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science coverIn what can only be described as a remarkable and swift series of events, one of the authors of a much-ballyhooed Science paper claiming that short conversations could change people’s minds on same-sex marriage is retracting it following revelations that the data were faked by his co-author.

[3:45 p.m. Eastern, 5/28/15: Please see an update on this story; the study has been retracted.]

Donald Green, of Columbia, and Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA, published the paper, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality,” in December 2014. The study received widespread media attention, including from This American LifeThe New York Times, The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post,  The Los Angeles Times, Science FridayVox, and HuffingtonPost, as LaCour’s site notes.

David Broockman and Joshua Kalla, graduate students at University of California, Berkeley, were two of the people impressed with the work, so they planned an extension of it, as they explain in a timeline posted online yesterday: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 20th, 2015 at 7:09 am

CrossFit gym owner sues Ohio State, says fraudulent data led to $273 million in NIH grants

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Mitch Potterf

Mitch Potterf

In an lawsuit unsealed yesterday, the owner of a CrossFit gym is suing Ohio State University (OSU) under the False Claims Act, claiming that researchers faked data in a university-based study involving his gym — and that OSU used the study to win $273 million in Federal grants.

The suit, originally filed in February in the U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio by Mitch Potterf, owner of a Columbus, Ohio CrossFit, alleges that a 2013 paper by OSU’s Steven Devor and colleagues falsely reported that nine subjects had dropped out of the study because of “overuse or injury.” The study, we should note, concluded that CrossFit is a useful form of exercise. It has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

As John Thomas, an attorney who handles False Claims Act cases, explained in a Retraction Watch guest post in March: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 8th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Authors retract leptin paper due to “fabricated data”

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CellPress_ak2The authors of a study on the effects of the hormone leptin on the liver have retracted it from Cell Metabolism, almost four months after the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) determined it contained faked data, courtesy of its first author.

However, the authors say that the paper’s conclusions remain valid, and are supported by new experiments and additional research by outside groups.

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

Written by Alla Katsnelson

May 5th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Bielawski and Wiggins retraction count grows to six

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chemical scienceA group of chemists whose work was investigated by the University of Texas-Austin has had another paper retracted, this one of a Chemical Science study previously subjected to an Expression of Concern.

That makes six retractions for Christopher Bielawski and Kelly Wiggins.

Here’s the notice for “Homonuclear bond activation using a stable N,N′-diamidocarbene”, signed by all three authors of the paper: Read the rest of this entry »

Two more retractions bring lab break-in biochemist up to eleven

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bbrcKarel Bezouška, the Czech biochemist who was caught on hidden camera breaking into a lab fridge to fake results, has turned it up to eleven with two new retractions.

Both retractions appeared in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, one in October 2014 and one in January 2015.  His story began two decades ago in 1994, when he published a paper in Nature that couldn’t be reproduced, and was eventually retracted in 2013.

The best part of the story, of course, is that when his university was attempting to recreate his experiments, Bezouška broke into a lab fridge to tamper with the experiments. Unbeknownst to him, he was caught on hidden camera.  Read the rest of this entry »

Study by deceased award-winning cancer researcher retracted because some patients were “invented”

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cancerA 2002 paper has been retracted by Cancer after some of the authors notified the journal that they hadn’t agreed to submit it — and an investigation found that a number of the patients described had been made up.

Here’s the notice for “Radioimmunotherapy of small-volume disease of metastatic colorectal cancer: results of a phase II trial with the iodine-131–labeled humanized anti–carcinoembryonic antigen antibody hMN-14:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 9th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Authors retract PNAS Epstein-Barr virus paper for “anomalous and duplicated” figures

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pnas 2515PNAS has retracted a paper on the cancer-causing Epstein-Barr virus just two months after publication, in a notice that fingers a now-former graduate student for manipulating figures.

The paper tries to explain how Epstein-Barr virus blocks the immune system’s attempts to destroy it. According to the notice, the three “nonexperimentalist authors” – identified in the paper as two P.I.’s from University of Texas at Austin and one from the University of California, San Francisco – didn’t know the figures “were not reflective of original Northern blot and immunoblot data.”

That leaves UT Austin PhD student Jennifer Cox under the bus. Her LinkedIn says she pursued a PhD from 2010-2015, though it’s unclear if she’s received a degree. Cox’s name is at the top of P.I. Christopher Sullivan’s list of past lab members, and she’s the only one on the page whose name doesn’t hyperlink to additional information, such as a contact.

The school issued a press release about the study that quoted Cox, which has been removed from the UT site but is still available on Science Daily: Read the rest of this entry »

So-kalled research: French sociology journal retracts hoax article

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societeThe world, it seems, cannot get enough of Sokal-type hoaxes.

A French journal, Sociétés, has retracted an article allegedly penned by one Jean-Marc Tremblay but actually written by two sociologists, Manuel Quinon and Arnaud Saint-Martin, who spoofed the work of the journal’s editor, Michel Maffesoli.

As the Crooked Timber blog explains, the article, “Automobilités postmodernes: quand l’Autolib’ fait sensation à Paris,” published in the Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 12th, 2015 at 3:13 pm