Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘clinical study retractions’ Category

Should there be “data authors?” Q&A with NEJM editor Jeffrey Drazen

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Jeffrey Drazen ©2011 Jon Chomitz Photography 3 Prescott street, Somerville, MA 02143 www.chomitz.com jon@chomitz.com 617.625.6789

Jeffrey Drazen ©2011 Jon Chomitz Photography

Would designating a set of authors as responsible for data production – separate from those who conduct the analysis – help boost the reliability of papers? That’s a question raised by the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Jeffrey Drazen. Along with many other editors of top medical journals, Drazen recently signed a proposal by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors to require authors of clinical trials to share anonymous patient data within six months of publication. He talked to us about another way to make trials more robust: Create “data authors.”

Retraction Watch: What has been the reaction so far to ICMJE’s data sharing proposal? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

February 9th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Labor pains study brought into this world twice

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YJPAI_v16_i6_COVER.inddA group of authors published two articles about one study on pain during childbirth, so one journal is retracting it.

This may seem like a standard case of salami slicing — but this one comes with a nearly 600-word commentary co-authored by the editors of the two journals in question.

The commentary lays out — in a refreshingly transparent way — exactly why the journals came to a joint decision to retract one of the papers:

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 »

2014 ORI finding results in retraction of cancer paper with manipulated images

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Mol Can TherA paper flagged in an Office of Research Integrity notice more than one year ago has finally been retracted. According to the notice, the paper includes images manipulated by author H. Rosie Xing, a former University of Chicago cancer researcher.

The main conclusions of the paper are affected by the ORI finding, according to the retraction note from Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. But otherwise, the note contains information that was available in the ORI finding, published in December 2014.

Pharmacologic Inactivation of Kinase Suppressor of Ras1 Sensitizes Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and Oncogenic Ras-Dependent Tumors to Ionizing Radiation Treatment” has been cited seven times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge — twice since the ORI finding came out.

The retraction note explains which images were affected by the manipulation:

Read the rest of this entry »

Investigation prompts 5th retraction for cancer researcher for “unresolvable concerns”

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3.coverAn investigation at the University of New South Wales in Australia has led to a fifth retraction for a cancer researcher long accused of misconduct, due to “unresolvable concerns” with some images.

As we reported in December, UNSW cleared Levon Khachigian of misconduct, concluding that his previous issues stemmed from “genuine error or honest oversight.” Now, Circulation Research is retracting one of his papers after an investigation commissioned by UNSW was unable to find electronic records for two similar images from a 2009 paper, nor records of the images in original lab books.

Again, the retraction note affirms that this is not a sign of misconduct:

UNSW has not attributed any instance of research misconduct or responsibility for the unavailability of the original data to Professor Khachigian or to any of the authors of the publication.

Here’s the retraction note in full for “Angiotensin II-Inducible Smooth Muscle Cell Apoptosis Involves the Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor, GATA-6 Activation, and FasL-Fas Engagement:” Read the rest of this entry »

Karolinska won’t extend star surgeon Macchiarini’s contract

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dr-paolo-macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

Karolinska Institutet announced today it would not extend the contract of star surgeon Paolo Macchiarini. He has been instructed to “phase out” his research from now until November 30.

According to a press release issued today: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

February 4th, 2016 at 11:35 am

Want to correct the scientific literature? Good luck

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David Allison

David Allison

Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown

If you notice an obvious problem with a paper in your field, it should be relatively easy to alert the journal’s readers to the issue, right? Unfortunately, for a group of nutrition researchers led by David B. Allison at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, that is not their experience. Allison and his co-author Andrew Brown talked to us about a commentary they’ve published in today’s Nature, which describes the barriers they encountered to correcting the record. 

Retraction Watch: You were focusing on your field (nutrition), and after finding dozens of “substantial or invalidating errors,” you had to stop writing letters to the authors or journals, simply because you didn’t have time to keep up with it all. Do you expect the same amount of significant errors are present in papers from other fields? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

February 3rd, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Makeup use linked to testosterone levels? Not so fast, says retraction

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Psych SciA psychology journal is retracting a 2015 paper that attracted press coverage by suggesting women’s hormone levels drive their desire to be attractive, after a colleague alerted the last author to flaws in the statistical analysis.

The paper, published online in November, found women prefer to wear makeup when there is more testosterone present in their saliva. The findings were picked up by various media including Psychology Today (“Feeling hormonal? Slap on the makeup”), and even made it onto reddit.com.

However, upon discovering a problem in the analysis of the data, the authors realized that central finding didn’t hold up, according to Psychological Science‘s interim editor, Stephen Lindsay: Read the rest of this entry »

2001 Fujii papers retracted — finally. What took so long?

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BJO

Nearly four years after an analysis of more than 160 papers by Yoshitaka Fujii concluded the chances the data were authentic were infinitesimally small, the British Journal of Ophthalmology has decided to formally retract one of the papers included in that review.

The name Yoshitaka Fujii should ring a bell — an alarm bell, in fact — for our readers. He’s firmly listed in the number one spot on our leaderboard, with more than 180 retractions.

The recently retracted paper — “Ramosetron compared with granisetron for the prevention of vomiting following strabismus surgery in children” — has been included in that retraction total for years, because it was part of a seminal 2012 analysis by J.B. Carlisle that put the odds of data occurring naturally in some of Fujii’s papers at: Read the rest of this entry »

Letter calls for retraction of yoga weight loss paper

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IntJYoga_2016_9_1A paper concluding that a specific series of yoga poses is effective at promoting weight loss in obese women has a call for retraction in a letter to the editor of the International Journal of Yoga. 

The study followed 87 women for 8 weeks as they completed a regular routine of  yoga, circuit training, or walking on a treadmill. “Suryanamaskar: An equivalent approach towards management of physical fitness in obese females” concludes that

All three methods were effective in weight and physical fitness management.

But a group of heath researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham led by David Allison failed to replicate the statistical tests on some of the data. In a recent letter to the editor, “Unsubstantiated conclusions from improper statistical design and analysis of a randomized controlled trial,” they express skepticism about the paper’s claims, and ask the journal to retract it:

Read the rest of this entry »