Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘clinical study retractions’ Category

Retraction of grizzly bear-diabetes study follows departure of Amgen scientist for data manipulation

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The retracted paper made the cover of the August 2014 issue of the journal.

A study that looked to hibernating bears to understand the mechanisms behind diabetes has been retracted because an author based at the biotech company Amgen “manipulated specific experimental data” in two figures.

According to the The Wall Street JournalAmgen discovered the manipulation while reviewing the data following publication of the paper,”Grizzly bears exhibit augmented insulin sensitivity while obese prior to a reversible insulin resistance during hibernation.” Published in Cell Metabolism last year, the paper has been cited 8 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

A press release from the journal last year — coverage in Science and Nature followed — explained the purpose of the study:

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Written by Shannon Palus

September 2nd, 2015 at 9:30 am

Authors’ pharma ties cause Cochrane to withdraw two diabetes reviews

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Cochrane_LogoThe Cochrane Library has withdrawn two reviews evaluating the effectiveness of diabetes treatments because some of the papers’ authors work with pharmaceutical companies.

Bianca Hemmingsen, first author on both reviews, told us the Cochrane Library asked the authors to remove the researchers with ties to pharma, but after one “refused to withdraw,” both papers were pulled entirely.

However, Hemmingsen insists that their employment had no impact on either paper.

This breaks the typical mold for Cochrane withdrawals, which are usually only pulled to indicate updates and show that older reviews no longer represent the best evidence.

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Two groups mistakenly publish case reports on the same patient

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Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics

Talk about a popular patient: A woman who developed a case of internal bleeding while taking the anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban) was written up in not one — but two — case reports. The trouble was, both groups didn’t realize what the other was doing, so the more recent article is now being retracted from the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

The authors, a trio of doctors at Sakarya University in Turkey, described the case of a 75 year-old woman who came to the emergency room for fatigue and stomach pain after taking rivaroxaban for three days. A scan revealed a rectus sheath hematoma.

However, the case had already been published a few months earlier in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology by a separate group of doctors from Sakarya, along with authors from Yenikent State Hospital and Vakfikebir State Hospital.

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“Our manuscript unintentionally failed to meet academic and publication standards”

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Authors of a 2014 review paper about the use of “as needed” medications by people with mental health diagnoses are retracting it, but we’re scratching our heads as to why.

The retraction appears in “The experiences of mental health professionals’ and patients’ use of pro re nata (PRN) medication in acute adult mental health care settings: a systematic review protocol of qualitative evidence,” published by The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports.

From the abstract of the paper:

Pro re nata is a Latin phrase meaning “for an unforseen need or contingency”…The authors of the systematic review found that although the practice of using “as required” medication is common there is no good evidence of whether this is the best way of helping people to be less agitated when compared to being given a regular dose of medication.

We’re not entirely sure what went wrong here. This is the full contents of the note:

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Trachea surgeon Macchiarini acted “without due care,” but is not guilty of misconduct: Karolinska

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Paolo Macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

Following an investigation, Karolinska Institutet has found that surgeon and visiting professor Paolo Macchiarini acted in some cases “without due care,” but that his behavior “does not qualify as scientific misconduct.”

Karolinska’s Vice Chancellor has also recommended that Macchiarini submit an unspecified number of corrections “to clarify and rectify the failings that the inquiry has brought to light.”

Macchiarini is most well-known for pioneering the creation of tracheas from cadavers and patients’ own stem cells. However, the glow of his success was diminished somewhat after four Karolinska surgeons filed a complaint, alleging Macchiarini had downplayed the risks of the procedure and not obtained proper consent, among other accusations.

An external review by Bengt Gerdin of Uppsala University concluded in May that Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

August 28th, 2015 at 8:45 am

A mess: PLOS mistakenly publishes rejected ADHD-herbicide paper, retracts it

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logoPLOS One has retracted a paper that links the most commonly used herbicide to ADHD, after it was “published in error.”

According to the note, the paper was “editorially rejected following peer review and consultation with the Editorial Board,” but ended up going through the production process anyway.

When we contacted the authors, they filled us in with more details.

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Written by Shannon Palus

August 26th, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Diederik Stapel ups count to 55 retractions

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Diederik Stapel

Dutch social psychologist and well-known fraudster Diederik Stapel is up to 55 retractions. He remains secure in his spot at #4 on our leaderboard.

The “fraudulent” Social Cognition article found, according to its abstract, that the more positively you perceive yourself, the less you need to compare yourself to other people. Conversely, negative thoughts were linked to more comparison to others. As an article in the New York Times points out, where Stapel’s faulty studies often succeeded is in telling us what we want to believe about the world.

Here’s the retraction note for the article:

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Paper on narcissistic CEOs earns big correction

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home_coverIt may not be much of a surprise that narcissistic CEOs of pharmaceutical companies will make bold choices, such as adopting radically new technology. That idea remains true, despite a lengthy correction to a paper that supports it.

The paper, “CEO Narcissism, Audience Engagement, and Organizational Adoption of Technological Discontinuities,” in Administrative Science Quarterly, found support for the following hypothesis:

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Former Wake Forest grad student fudged data for drug study

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Brandi Blaylock

A former graduate student at Wake Forest School of Medicine “presented falsified and/or fabricated data” in a government-funded drug study, according to findings released by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity earlier today.

The report was released in the wake of an investigation conducted by the university and the ORI. Investigators found that although Brandi Blaylock recorded responses of a dozen laboratory monkeys after giving them anti-abuse drugs, she hadn’t given them the compounds “per protocol.”

Blaylock then presented the data at “two poster presentations, several laboratory meetings, and progress reports.”

Some of her research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Dopamine D2 Receptors In Primate Models of Cocaine Abuse,” which examined the effects of novel dopamine D3 receptor compounds on drug addiction on monkeys.

However, according to the report, Blaylock presented the falsified responses from a dozen monkeys: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ross Keith

August 21st, 2015 at 2:06 pm

“Goodbye…”?: Editor pulls farewell editorial after deeming it “inappropriate”

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3We’ve unearthed a retraction of an editorial titled “Goodbye…”, pulled from Cognition, Technology & Work by its retiring editor after he decided it was “inappropriate.”

The original text is not online. The note in its place reads, in full:

This article has been retracted due to unintended publication.

The author of the editorial is psychologist Erik Hollnagel, based at the University of Southern Denmark, who left the journal after a decade. Interestingly, his own research includes studies of “When Things Go Wrong” (per the title of one of his book chapters), ranging from financial crises to the Fukushima disaster.

The error that led to this reaction seems tiny, in comparison. Hollnagel explains:

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