Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘clinical study retractions’ Category

Publisher bans authors for apparent plagiarism

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Three authors have been banned from journals published by IGM Publication, including the Journal of Medical Science and Clinical Research.

The ban — a relatively infrequent occurrence in publishing — comes after the publisher removed a 2014 article that seems to have merely changed the title and authors of a 2013 article  from another journal.

When a tip from a reader pointed to the possibility of duplication between the two articles, Read 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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Violent songs can lead to spicy food, and other lessons we learned from corrected graphic

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A correction to a 2011 paper doesn’t change its main conclusion: Hearing song lyrics about violence — “let the bodies hit the floor,” for example — can prompt aggressive behavior, even more so than violent imagery in music videos.

The correction follows an investigation by Macquarie University that found errors in data analysis to be an “honest mistake.”

During the study — “The effect of auditory versus visual violent media exposure on aggressive behaviour: The role of song lyrics, video clips and musical tone,” published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology — the authors measured the effect of violent songs or imagery using the “hot sauce paradigm.” In this model, researchers estimate people’s level of aggression by how much hot sauce they give another person to eat. The study found that, indeed, people who are exposed to violence — particularly, lyrics —  give more hot sauce to their neighbors. It has been cited 6 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

One aspect of the paper prompted a tweet from a Dutch journalist: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

October 1st, 2015 at 2:30 pm

“Rigging of the peer-review process” kills parasite paper

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A paper on nematode parasites appears to have been infected with a nasty strain of a publishing problem known as fake peer review. By our count, the phenomenon has felled approximately 250 papers in total.

The affected review, “The important role of matrix metalloproteinases in nematode parasites,” explores a type of enzyme secreted by the parasite. Published in Helminthologia, it’s been cited once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Unfortunately, the retraction note doesn’t give us too many details about how the peer review process was manipulated:

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NIH rescinds grant to Texas eye researcher

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banner-nihlogoA scientist who uses imaging to study the eye and brain has lost a major grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

In June, the NIH revised the award for Timothy Duong at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio from $332,500 per year to $0, and included this statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

September 30th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Investigation finds “careless data workup” in alcoholism drug paper

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An investigation at Karolinska Institute has led to the retraction of a paper about drug treatments for alcoholics, after concluding the article contains a “very careless data workup.”

The paper, “Memantine enhances the inhibitory effects of naltrexone on ethanol consumption,” found that the drug memantine (normally used to treat Alzheimer’s) enhances the effects of naltrexone in rats, which blocks the high of alcohol.  It was published in the European Journal of Pharmacology and has been cited 10 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

However, its conclusion is now “unreliable,” according to the retraction note:

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Following criticism, BMJ “clarifies” dietary guidelines investigation

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downloadThe BMJ has issued two “clarifications” to an investigation it published last week that questioned whether the new U.S. dietary guidelines were evidence-based.

The article criticized several aspects of the new dietary guidelines, such as “deleting meat from the list of foods recommended as part of its healthy diets.” However, according to the clarification, that sentence should have specified “lean” meats.

After The BMJ‘s article appeared, an analysis on The Verge questioned whether The BMJ’s author Nina Teicholz was guided by her own opinions. She’s the author of a book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee also posted a lengthy “rapid response”The BMJ‘s refined version of a comment section — to Teicholz’s article, saying it “strongly disagrees with many of the statements represented as facts.”

This afternoon, Rebecca Coombes, head of investigations and features at The BMJ, posted a response: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

September 29th, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Here’s how to keep clinical trial participants honest (and why that’s a big deal)

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NEJMAdditional lab tests, creating a clinical trial patient registry, and rewards for honesty are among the advice doled out in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine for researchers to help avoid the major issue of participants lying to get into clinical trials.

In the Perspective, David B. Resnik and David J. McCann, both based at the National Institutes of Health, address concerns raised by a 2013 survey of clinical trial participants that revealed “high rates” of “deceptive behavior.” Specifically: Read the rest of this entry »

Investigation ups nursing researcher’s retraction count to 3

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Journal of Clinical NursingThe Journal of Clinical Nursing is retracting a paper “due to major overlap with a previously published article” from the same journal, following an investigation by the National University of Singapore.

By our count, this is the third retraction for first author, Moon-fai Chan, all for “overlap” with other papers.

As we reported in May, the Journal of Advanced Nursing retracted a paper co-authored by Chan for “major overlap” with a paper in JCN, that too the result of the investigation. We’ve also learned that the journal Nursing & Health Sciences issued a similar notice last year for another pair of overlapped papers.

Chan said in a statement to Retraction Watch Read the rest of this entry »

Duke researcher with 7 retractions earns two Expressions of Concern

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American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care MedicineData issues continue to plague pulmonary papers co-authored by Duke University professor William Foster and former Duke researcher Erin Potts-Kant. Yesterday, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine posted an Expression of Concern for two articles from the pair while the findings are “under review.”

The notice was published after the paper’s corresponding author, John Hollingsworth (also at Duke), told the journal that “some of the data published in these articles may be unreliable,” a term that we’ve gotten used to seeing from previous retractions.

Another Expression of Concern from the journal published earlier this year for another paper co-authored by Foster and Potts-Kant turned into a retraction months later. Hollingsworth was a co-author on that paper and another paper retracted from Environmental Health Perspectives in July.

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