Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘for legal reasons’ Category

Physics journal removes study for breach of confidentiality

without comments

applied-physics-lettersA physics journal has retracted a 2016 study after learning that the author published it without the knowledge or permission of the funder, which had a confidentiality agreement in place for the work.

According to the retraction notice in Applied Physics Letters, the paper also lifted content from other researchers without due credit. Given the “legal issue” associated with the breach of confidentiality, the journal has decided to remove the paper entirely. 

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

4th retraction for neuroscientist sentenced for fraud

with one comment

Bruce Murdoch

Bruce Murdoch

A Parkinson’s researcher has earned his fourth retraction after receiving a two-year suspended sentence for fraud.

The sentence for Bruce Murdoch, issued on March 31, 2016, came following an investigation by his former employer, the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia, into 92 papers. Murdoch entered guilty pleas for 17 fraud-related charges, which resulted in the retraction of three papers co-authored by Murdoch and Caroline Barwood, another former UQ Parkinson’s researcher who faced fraud charges (and was granted bail in 2014).

Now, a fourth retraction has appeared for Murdoch in Brain Injury, this time for duplication and failing to obtain consent from his co-authors.

Here’s the retraction notice, issued on July 11: Read the rest of this entry »

Publicly available data on thousands of OKCupid users pulled over copyright claim

with 15 comments

okcupidThe Open Science Framework (OSF) has pulled a dataset from 70,000 users of the online dating site OkCupid over copyright concerns, according to the study author.

The release of the dataset generated concerns, by making personal information — including personality traits — publicly available.

Emil Kirkegaard, a master’s student at Aarhus University in Denmark, told us that the OSF removed the data from its site after OkCupid filed a claim under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which requires the host of online content to remove it under certain conditions. Kirkegaard also submitted a paper based on this dataset to the journal he edits, Open Differential Psychology. But with the dataset no longer public, the fate of the paper is subject to “internal discussions,” he told us.

In place of the dataset on OSF, this message now appears: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 16th, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Neuroscientist pleads guilty in court to fraud, gets two-year suspended sentence

with 2 comments

Bruce Murdoch

Bruce Murdoch

A Parkinson’s researcher pleaded guilty to fraud in court this morning in Brisbane, Australia, and received a two-year suspended sentence.

Court sentences for fraud are rare, to say the least. This one follows an investigation by Bruce Murdoch‘s former employer, the University of Queensland, into 92 papers — resulting in the retraction of three papers co-authored by Caroline Barwood, also facing fraud charges. The investigation was unable to find any evidence that published research cited in court had been ever carried out.

The Australian reported this morning that Murdoch:

Read the rest of this entry »

Lawsuit couldn’t stop four retractions for diabetes researcher

with 2 comments

Mario Saad

Mario Saad

Four expressions of concern in the journal Diabetes have turned into retractions for Mario Saad, a move which he had tried to stop with a lawsuit.

Last August, a judge dismissed Saad’s suit against the American Diabetes Association, which publishes Diabetes, concluding that the expressions of concerns on the papers were not defamation, but part of an “ongoing scientific discourse.” Now, after an investigation at the University of Campinas in Brazil, where Saad is based, and an assessment from an ADA ethics panel (which overturned some of Unicamp’s recommendations), the journal has added to that discourse by turning the EOCs into retractions — and flagging two more of Saad’s papers with EOCs.

Together, the retracted papers have been cited more than 600 times.

As the retraction notes explain, Read the rest of this entry »

Court dismisses lawsuit by XMRV-chronic fatigue syndrome researcher

with one comment

mikovitsA California court has dismissed virologist Judy Mikovits’s lawsuit against fourteen people and two Nevada corporations, in part because she failed to submit necessary documents on time.

Mikovits is the author on a now-retracted Science paper suggesting a link between a virus known as XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome, which has no known cause. She alleged that she was fired from the Whittemore-Peterson Institute for blowing the whistle on her former colleague’s activities, and that the defendants then colluded to imprison and defame her.

The court dismissed her case last Wednesday. According to the court minutes,

Written by Shannon Palus

February 16th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Lancet retracts 24-year-old paper by “father of nutritional immunology” after reopening inquiry

with 9 comments

lancetFollowing questions from outside experts, a retraction of a related paper, a university investigation and a court case, The Lancet has decided to retract a 1992 paper by Ranjit Kumar Chandra, the self-proclaimed “father of nutritional immunology.

In a lengthy retraction note included in the January 30 issue, the journal explains that:

the balance of probabilities in our judgment is that the reliability of the 1992 Lancet paper by Chandra can no longer be assured.

Chandra is objecting to the retraction.

This retraction was a long time coming, so sit back and relax as we fill in the backstory. Read the rest of this entry »

Intellectual property issues sink cancer paper in JACS

with one comment

176 spine minimum. full size. Editor: Lingling JEM: Leslie RTP: Michael ReidThe authors of a paper on a mechanism for potential cancer therapies are retracting it after realizing they published some proprietary findings “without permission and agreement from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

According to the retraction note in Journal of the American Chemical Society, the authors included an X-ray crystal structure and data that were gathered at St. Jude’s and considered the hospital’s intellectual property. On the paper, the last author, Zhengding Su, listed an affiliation at St. Jude and Hubei University of Technology in China, along with Amersino Biodevelop Inc., based in Waterloo, Canada.

Here’s the note for “Efficient Reactivation of p53 in Cancer Cells by a Dual MdmX/Mdm2 Inhibitor:”  Read the rest of this entry »

Lead poisoning article disappears for “legal” — but mysterious — reasons

without comments

OM_ak4A 2014 article in Occupational Medicine has been pulled with no retraction notice. Instead, the text was replaced with eight ominous words:

This article has been removed for legal reasons

Read the rest of this entry »

Drug company lawyer letter results in “utterly tedious” retraction

with 2 comments

Image via Intropen

Image via Intropen

What’s in a name?

Well, if it’s the same name as a treatment with nearly $1 billion in sales per year in the U.S., a retraction.

A “mind numbingly boring one,” that is.

Here’s the Twin Research and Human Genetics notice for “EpiPen: An R Package to Investigate Two-Locus Epistatic Models”: Read the rest of this entry »