Legal threats, opacity, and deceptive research practices: A look at more than 100 retractions in business and management

Dennis Tourish

What can studying retractions in business and management journals tell us? Earlier this year, Dennis Tourish, of the University of Sussex, and Russell Craig, of the University of Portsmouth, both in the UK, published a paper in the Journal of Management Inquiry that analyzed 131 such retractions. The duo — who were also two of three authors of a recent paper on retractions in economics — also interviewed three journal editors involved in retractions, two co-authors of retracted papers who were not responsible for the fraud, and one researcher found to have committed fraud. We asked Tourish, the author of an upcoming book on “fraud, deception and meaningless research” in management studies, some questions about the study by email.

Retraction Watch (RW): You found a “large proportion of retractions in high-quality journals.” Would you say that is consistent with findings in other fields? Continue reading Legal threats, opacity, and deceptive research practices: A look at more than 100 retractions in business and management

Caught Our Notice: An article about repetition is duplicated? Priceless

Title: Does repetition help? Impact of destination promotion videos on perceived destination image and intention-to-visit change

What Caught Our Attention: At times we get to just appreciate the moment: A paper focused on repetition — specifically, linking repeated exposure to travel videos and actual visits to the location — got retracted for duplication.  The notice says the duplications were “inadvertent;” perhaps these researchers were motivated by their research? This isn’t the first time authors have been tripped up by their own subjects — in 2015, a researcher retracted his guidelines on plagiarism for…you guessed it. (Plagiarism.) Continue reading Caught Our Notice: An article about repetition is duplicated? Priceless

Study of social media retracted when authors can’t provide data

A business journal has retracted a 2016 paper about how social media can encourage young consumers to become devoted to particular brands, after discovering flaws in the data and findings.

The paper—published in South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, now called South Asian Journal of Business Studies—was retracted in June 2017, after the journal learned of flaws that called the “validity of the data and reported findings” into question.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Evaluating the influence of social media on brand sacralization: an empirical study among young online consumers”: Continue reading Study of social media retracted when authors can’t provide data

Journal: Here’s why we didn’t retract this duplicated paper

Here’s something we don’t see every day: A journal explains in an erratum notice why it chose not to retract a paper that contains data published elsewhere.

According to the Journal of Business and Psychology, the authors violated the journal’s transparency policy by failing to disclose that they’d used the same data in their 2014 in three others. However, the editors ultimately concluded the current paper was different enough from the other three to save it from being retracted.

Here’s the erratum: Continue reading Journal: Here’s why we didn’t retract this duplicated paper

When most faculty publish in predatory journals, does the school become “complicit?”

Derek Pyne

Predatory journals – which charge high fees and often offer little-to-no vetting of research quality – are a problem, and lately an easy target for authors eager to spoof the problems of the publishing system. Although many researchers try to steer clear, not all do – a recent paper showed that some top economists publish papers in potentially predatory journals. Now, a new paper in the Journal of Scholarly Publishing reports the problem may be even more widespread. Derek Pyne found that most of his colleagues at the School of Business and Economics at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Canada have at least one paper in a predatory journal. We talked to Pyne about how his colleagues and administrators reacted to his findings – and how he believes they should address them.

Retraction Watch: Why did you decide to look at how many of your colleagues in the business school have published in predatory journals?

Continue reading When most faculty publish in predatory journals, does the school become “complicit?”

Biotech journal pulls well-cited review that plagiarized from several sources

Applied Microbiology and BiotechnologyA biotechnology journal has retracted a 14-year-old review after an investigation concluded that the authors had plagiarized from numerous sources.  

The last author of the paper — which has been cited 289 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science — told us the authors took a few lines from other reviews, and unintentionally left off the references.

In June 2011, the same author was denied a prestigious fellowship after an anonymous plagiarism allegation was filed against him. 

Here’s the retraction notice in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology for “The nitrile-degrading enzymes: current status and future prospects:” Continue reading Biotech journal pulls well-cited review that plagiarized from several sources

Authors in 2014 peer review ring lose 4 more papers each for “compromised” review

human factors and ergonomicsA journal is pulling additional papers authored by twin brothers for peer review issues.

After retracting three papers by Cheng-Wu Chen earlier this year for “compromised” peer reviewHuman Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries is now pulling four more by Chen for the same reason — and four others by his twin brother, Chen-Yuan Chen, who was a the center of a peer review ring that SAGE busted in 2014.

Cheng-Wu Chen lost 21 papers during that episode. He’s now up to 28; Chen-Yuan Chen, who also goes by Peter Chen, is now up to 43. Both are present on our leaderboard.

The notes, which appear in the March/April issue of the journal, are all identical, and also cite issues with citations:

Continue reading Authors in 2014 peer review ring lose 4 more papers each for “compromised” review

CDC fixes major error in flooring risk report: Not converting to metric

CDCThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a correction notice to a report about formaldehyde in laminate flooring, saying a mistake had caused them to significantly underestimate the health risks.

The mistake: According to CBS’s 60 Minutes, the CDC sometimes didn’t convert feet to meters. Ouch.

In the corrected report, the agency estimates the health risks of the laminate flooring — by irritating the ear, nose and throat — to be three-fold higher than what they suggested in the original report, published February 10.

Here’s the note that now appears in the link to the original CDC report: Continue reading CDC fixes major error in flooring risk report: Not converting to metric

Author in 2014 peer review ring loses 3 more papers for peer review problems

cover (1)A journal is retracting three papers — including one that is highly cited — after learning the reviewers that recommended publication had conflicts of interest.

This is a case of family values gone awry: The author common to all papers is Cheng-Wu Chen at the National Kaohsiung Marine University in Taiwan, the twin brother of one Peter Chen, who was a the center of a peer review ring that SAGE busted in 2014 (and holder of the number #3 spot on our leaderboard). Cheng-Wu Chen apparently wasn’t an innocent bystander in that episode: Of the 60 retracted papers by SAGE, Cheng-Wu Chen was a co-author on 21.

The retraction notes for all three papers — published in Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries — are identical:

Continue reading Author in 2014 peer review ring loses 3 more papers for peer review problems

The Big (Retraction) Short: Securitized loans paper may get change of venue

J financeA paper on the securitized loan industry’s pricing practices was pulled from the Journal of Finance, but may be appearing in another journal.

The Journal of Finance issued a notice of withdrawal, for “Who Facilitated Misreporting in Securitized Loans?” by John M. Griffin and Gonzalo Maturana, but does not say why it was taken out.  Griffin’s web site notes that the paper is to be published in the Review of Financial Studies.

Here’s the note, dated Sept. 23: Continue reading The Big (Retraction) Short: Securitized loans paper may get change of venue