Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘misused data’ Category

Cancer researchers: We took data from another lab

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Authors have admitted to using material from another lab for their paper on neuroblastoma.

A spokesperson for Springer told us that the theft came to light when:

The scientists, from whom the data originated, contacted the journal.

The editor in chief of the journal investigated the case, the spokesperson told us, and then issued this retraction notice:

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We’re using a common statistical test all wrong. Statisticians want to fix that.

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ASA-newlogoAfter reading too many papers that either are not reproducible or contain statistical errors (or both), the American Statistical Association (ASA) has been roused to action. Today the group released six principles for the use and interpretation of p values. P-values are used to search for differences between groups or treatments, to evaluate relationships between variables of interest, and for many other purposes.  But the ASA says they are widely misused. Here are the six principles from the ASA statement:  Read the rest of this entry »

Authors used wrong dataset in study on shock therapy, exercise in depression

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J psych resA psychiatric journal has pulled a 2014 paper that found electroconvulsive therapy and exercise helped people with depression, after the authors determined they had mistakenly analyzed the wrong data.

According to the retraction notice from the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the researchers had “erroneously analyzed” data from a previous study they had published the year before.

Here’s more from the note for “Electroconvulsive therapy and aerobic exercise training increased BDNF and ameliorated depressive symptoms in patients suffering from treatment-resistant major depressive disorder:” Read the rest of this entry »

Cancer study pulled when published without supervisor’s consent

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turkish jThe Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences has retracted a paper after concerns surfaced from a researcher who claims to have supervised the research but was not listed as a co-author.

The first author completed the research — which explored the use of epigenetic alterations as potential early signs of cancer — as part of her master’s degree, under the supervision of Muy-Teck Teh at the Barts & The London School of Medicine & Dentistry. When Teh contacted the journal to say he had not consented to the publication, Ayesha Umair claimed she had paid for the research herself.

Here’s the retraction note for “Quantitative study of epigenetic signature in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma,” which tells us more about the dispute: Read the rest of this entry »

Neuroscience paper retracted after colleagues object to data publication

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frontiersA paper published this October in the journal Frontiers In Neuroscience was retracted the following month because the authors’ collaborators did not give them permission to publish some of the data.

The paper detailed how and why the authors use the software program Nengo to test large simulations of nervous system networks. As part of the research, the authors tested five systems, one of which they were working on with another group. Due to a “miscommunication,” the authors thought they had received permission to publish the data; they plan to resubmit a paper describing the other four systems.

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

Authors retract meningitis paper over permission — but data are in a public database

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plos1A study characterizing subtypes of the bacteria that cause bacterial meningitis is being retracted after the authors didn’t have permission to publish the data, even though the data itself remain available in a public database.

The paper, in PLOS ONE, relied on a laboratory collection of patient samples. In October, the authors retracted it because they “did not have permission” from the laboratory “to publish the data in their current form.” The data — anonymized — are now available at PubMLST.

Here’s the retraction notice, published on October 16: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

December 22nd, 2015 at 11:30 am

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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