Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘unreliable findings’ Category

1st retraction for researcher who lost whistleblower lawsuit

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microvascular-research

A researcher who was dismissed from Wayne State University — then lost a whistleblower lawsuit against it — has logged his first retraction.

In 2012, after Christian Kreipke was dismissed from Wayne State, he filed a lawsuit, alleging that the institution had defrauded the U.S. government of $169 million in research funding. A judge dismissed the case in 2014, noting Kreipke cited “no specific facts,” and as a public university, Wayne State had immunity as an “arm of the state.”

The university’s president has said Kreipke was fired due to misconduct — not his whistleblowing, according to Courthouse News Service

Now, a retraction has appeared for Kreipke in Microvascular Research, citing discrepancies between the original data and what was reported in the paper. 

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

Error in one line of code sinks cancer study

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journl-of-clinical-oncologyAuthors of a 2016 cancer paper have retracted it after finding an error in one line of code in the program used to calculate some of the results.

Sarah Darby, last author of the now-retracted paper from the University of Oxford, UK, told Retraction Watch that the mistake was made by a doctoral student. When the error was realized, Darby said, she contacted the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), explained the issue, and asked whether they would prefer a retraction or a correction. JCO wanted a retraction, and she complied.

The journal allowed the authors to publish a correspondence article outlining their new results.

Here’s the lengthy retraction notice, published online last month: Read the rest of this entry »

Author asks to retract nearly 20-year old paper over figure questions, lack of data

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journal-of-biological-chemistryThe last author of a 1999 paper has asked the journal to retract it less than one month after a user raised questions about images on PubPeer.

Yesterday, last author Jim Woodgett posted a note on the site saying the author who generated the figures in question could not find the original data, and since he agreed the images appeared “suspicious,” he had contacted the journal to retract the paper.

Here’s the note from Woodgett, based at Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum
Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto: Read the rest of this entry »

Authors retract 2016 cancer study when data don’t align with figures

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cell-death-and-differentiationResearchers have retracted a 2016 cancer study, citing discrepancies between the data and images presented in the paper. 

Although the retraction notice itself contains relatively little information, we’ve obtained a letter from the last author — Jun-Li Luo of The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida — to the editor-in-chief of Cell Death and Differentiation that says a bit more. 

According to the letter, after receiving the anonymous email, Luo conducted an investigation, contacting co-authors who contributed each of the figures in question. Although Luo writes that he has no reason to suspect fraud, the researchers were not able to provide some of the original data.

PubPeer commenters have questioned figures 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the study, “IKKα-mediated biogenesis of miR-196a through interaction with Drosha regulates the sensitivity of cancer cells to radiotherapy.”

In the letter, Luo tells Gerry Melino, co-editor-in-chief of the journal from the University of Leicester, UK, that figures 3D and 3E were provided by the study’s first author, Xing Fang, adding: Read the rest of this entry »

Correction cites “unreliable” data in paper by researchers at center of Duke lawsuit

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Journal of Biological ChemistryA researcher charged with embezzlement — and now the subject of a multi-million dollar lawsuit — has earned another correction, again citing “unreliable” data.

But this doesn’t appear to be a run-of-the-mill correction notice.

Firstly, it affects a paper co-authored by Erin Potts-Kant and William Foster, former Duke employees now being sued (along with Duke) for including fraudulent data in $200 million worth of federal grants. Secondly, the notice in the Journal of Biological Chemistry is four paragraphs long, and includes six figures — it would normally be considered a “mega-correction.” But lastly, even though the notice is labeled a “correction,” it’s not immediately apparent which aspects of the paper are being changed.

Here are some excerpts from the newest notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Biologist loses second paper — again, for unvalidated figures

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Cellular SignallingA researcher at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has retracted a second paper after a review found the figures didn’t match the original data.  

Last year, we reported on a previous retraction of a paper co-authored by biologist Alan Levine in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, which was pulled for the exact same reason; even the retraction notices use similar language. The first author on both papers is Debasmita Mandal, also listed at Case Western Reserve University.

Here’s the retraction notice for “REDOX regulation of IL-13 signaling in intestinal epithelial cells: usage of alternate pathways mediates distinct gene expression patterns,” published by Cellular Signalling: Read the rest of this entry »

Author objects to retraction of heart study, implies industry played role

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JACC

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) has retracted a recently published paper that questioned the effectiveness of a treatment for irregular heartbeat, against the last author’s wishes. 

Andrea Natale, the study’s last and corresponding author and Executive Medical Director of Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia at Austin, took to social media today to express his frustration in the retraction of the July paper, which showed electrical rotors were less effective at fixing irregular heartbeat than other treatments. On Twitter, Natale implied industry played a role in its demise.

However, according to the retraction notice, the paper was felled by problems with randomization; Natale has admitted that some patients were removed from the analysis after one center included them incorrectly.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Impact of Rotor Ablation in Nonparoxysmal Atrial Fibrillation Patients Results From the Randomized OASIS Trial:” Read the rest of this entry »

Journal flags two papers by prominent diabetes researcher, more questioned on PubPeer

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DiabetesDiabetes has issued two expressions of concern (EOCs) for papers co-authored by leading diabetes researcher Kathrin Maedler, adding to her previous count of one retraction and three corrections.

Both papers were questioned on PubPeer, alongside several others co-authored by Maedler, who is based at the University of Bremen in Germany. As we previously reported, PubPeer comments have led to one retraction for Maedler in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), and corrections in various other journals.

One of those corrections has now earned an EOC from Diabetes, which also extends to the original paper. Here are the notices, which asks the University of Bremen to investigate further:  Read the rest of this entry »

Beg pardon? Researchers pull cancer paper because, well, um, you see …

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dovepressWe’ve been writing about retractions for six years, and things tend to fall into easily recognizable categories — plagiarism, fabricated data, rigged peer review, etc.

So it’s always interesting to come across a notice sui generis, such as one that appeared in July in OncoTargets and Therapy, a Dove title, about a new way to detect tumor markers.

According to the retraction notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Researcher denied PhD after “recklessly” committing misconduct

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Molecular PharmacologyA doctoral student at the University of Houston in Texas will not receive his PhD, following an institutional investigation into his work.

Mousa Abkhezr, the researcher in question, is no longer enrolled at the University of Houston, his former supervisor told us.

In June, the probe into papers co-authored by Abkhezr resulted in the retraction of a study in the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology (AJP). Now, his ex-supervisor, Stuart Dryer, has pulled two more papers co-authored by the pair in Molecular Pharmacology.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Angiotensin II and Canonical Transient Receptor Potential-6 Activation Stimulate Release of a Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3–Activating Factor from Mouse Podocytes:” Read the rest of this entry »