Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘misused data’ Category

Authors “did not have permission” to use pesticide data

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10661An environmental journal is retracting an article about the risks of pesticides to groundwater after determining it contained data that “the authors did not have permission (implicit or explicit) to publish.”

According to the retraction note in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, the paper said the data came from a non-author’s PhD thesis, but it’s not there. Those mysterious data were used to validate a model for pesticide exposures, described in an excerpt from the abstractRead the rest of this entry »

Author objects to retraction for not “faithfully represented” immunology figures

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The Journal of ImmunologyAll but one of the authors of a study about the immune response to H. pylori have agreed to a retraction in The Journal of Immunology, due to two of the paper’s figures not being “faithfully represented.”

Authors of the 2006 paper said they were unable to provide the original unedited scans “due to inadequate archiving dating back almost 10 years.” The authors — with the exception of the first author, Sushil Kumar Pathak, apologized for the error.

The notice, which has been appended to the pdf, reads:

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Marine mammal injury study retracted for using restricted gov’t data

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Integrative ZoologyA 2012 paper that analyzed injuries to aquatic mammals in China has been retracted “due to the usage of restricted data from the Ministry of Agriculture of China.”

The authors — from Shandong University in China, The University of Hong Kong and the Peruvian Centre for Cetacean Research — “organized the collection of official documents related to strandings, bycatches and injuries of aquatic mammals in the waters of mainland China from provincial fishery administrations for the years 2000 to 2006,” according to the abstract. However, they may not have been supposed to do that.

Here’s the retraction notice from Integrative Zoology (which is paywalled, tsk, tsk):

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UPitt investigation brings total retraction count to four for pair of cancer researchers

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Journal of Biological Chemistry1An official inquiry by the University of Pittsburgh has led to two more retractions for a pair of cancer researchers, Tong Wu and Chang Han. By our count, the pair now have four retractions under their belt, all the result of the university investigation.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry published the notices earlier this month, after it was discovered the papers contained cropped panels, among other issues. Importantly, the two papers appear to even have shared some data.

One 2006 paper, “Modulation of Stat3 Activation by the Cytosolic Phospholipase A2α and Cyclooxygenase-2-controlled Prostaglandin E2 Signaling Pathway,” investigated the molecular actors in cancer growth, such as overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). It has been cited 34 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the notice:

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Sub-optimal: Industrial optimization paper crushed by author’s “serious error of judgment”

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chemo intell lab systemsChemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, an Elsevier publication, has retracted a 2014 paper by researchers in China and the United Kingdom for data misuse and authorship issues.

The article, “Optimization of fluidized bed spray granulation process based on a multiphase hybrid model,” was purportedly written by Dapeng Niu, of the College of Information Science and Engineering at Northeastern University, in Shenyang, China, Ming Li, of De Montfort University, in Leicester, England, and Fuli Wang, a vice-president at Northeastern.

But Niu apparently didn’t perform any experiments, lifted the data from other sources, and published the paper without his co-authors’ okay.

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

Neuro journal pulls comatose brain abstract due to “several mistakes”

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clinical neurophysiologySwiss researchers have retracted an abstract in Clinical Neurophysiology because only one of them actually knew about the paper — and what he submitted had “several mistakes.”

The abstract, about electric impulses in the brain of comatose patients, originally appeared as a poster at the June 2014 joint meeting of multiple Swiss neuroscience societies. It was submitted by first author Alexandre Simonin, who lists his affiliation as the University Hospital of Lausanne, a Swiss hospital.

The meeting proceedings ran in the October issue of Clinical Neurophysiology. Besides the issues of authorship and errors, the notice also says the abstract “potentially conflicts with another publication,” suggesting the data might have already appeared in a paper.

Here’s the notice for “P02. Predicting the outcome of post-anoxic comatose patients based on single-trial EEG analysis”: Read the rest of this entry »

Materials science paper yanked over data pilfering

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materials lettersMaterials Letters has withdrawn an article in press after the editor found out the first author, Yan Li, had taken all the data without permission.

According to the notice, the senior author told the journal that the data came from the lab Li used to work in at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, but the P.I. in Italy didn’t know about the paper.

From the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Forged author list blows up explosives contamination paper

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WWII poster for Ravenna Ordnance Plant, via Wikipedia

WWII poster for Ravenna Ordnance Plant, via Wikipedia

An environmental journal has retracted a paper on a technology that helps degrade explosives released into soil, because the first author never got the permission of his “co-authors” — oh, and used data that were “illegally obtained,” according to one of the slighted co-authors.

According to the EPA, more than 30 sites around the country are contaminated by decommissioned explosives, including weapons plants and army depots. A major source of the pollution was workers washing out old bombs into “evaporation lagoons” and then burning the resulting sludge.

The site used for the retracted paper was Ravenna Army Ammunition Plant, a decommissioned weapons factory that stored explosive waste in unlined landfills. According to the EPA, “open burning was also a common practice.”

The problems with the paper in Water, Air & Soil Pollution were uncovered after the head of the company, University of Georgia (UGA) professor Valentine Nzengung, found the paper on ResearchGate. He discovered that first author Chunhui Luo had used (now out-of-date) data without permission, and added Nzengung’s name to the paper without his knowledge. The other author is another UGA professor, Walter O’Niell, who told us he was also not informed about the paper.

Nzengung gave us further details via email: Read the rest of this entry »

PLOS ONE retracts breast cancer genetics paper after claim of misappropriated data

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plosonePLOS ONE has retracted a 2012 article by a group of breast cancer researchers after another scientist — a leading U.S. oncologist — objected that the data came from his lab.

The paper, “GREB1 Functions as a Growth Promoter and Is Modulated by IL6/STAT3 in Breast Cancer,” came from a team composed of researchers at the Morehouse School of Medicine, Xavier University of Louisiana and the University of Miami School of Medicine. It purported to find that: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

July 17th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Data “irregularities” prompt retraction of palliative care papers

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bmjspcA group of researchers in Singapore has lost two 2013 articles in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care for problems with their data.

One of the articles was titled “Patients with Dysphagia: Encounters in Taking Medication;” the other, “Issues Associated with Delirium Severity Among Older Patients.” In both cases, the first and second authors were Rajaram S and Chua HC, of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

According to the retraction notices:

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Written by amarcus41

May 14th, 2014 at 10:15 am