Archive for the ‘clinical study retractions’ Category
Undisclosed conflicts of interest usually lead to corrections – but for some journals, that’s not enough
When authors are faced with filling out a journal’s conflict of interest form, deciding what qualifies as a relevant conflict can be tricky. When such omissions come to light, only rarely do they result in retractions – and certainly not author bans. But there are exceptions.
In October, the journal Chest retracted a 2015 review article exploring how mechanical ventilation can be used most effectively to manage acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) after finding that the authors failed “to disclose all relevant conflicts of interest.” What’s more, the journal initially planned to ban the two authors with undisclosed conflicts from submitting papers to the journal for three years, but ultimately decided against it.
The Committee on Publication Ethics says that retractions may be warranted in cases of undisclosed conflicts of interest, but in our experience, most notices that cite that reason mention other problems with the paper, as well. Not this case – here, the only thing that seemed wrong with the paper was the authors’ failure to mention their ties to a ventilator company. The authors requested a correction – the usual fix, one accepted by the other journals they contacted – but to Chest, that wasn’t enough.
Last March, a PhD student at Harvard filed a misconduct allegation against his mentor, a prominent stem cell researcher. Three months later, he was taken from his home by police in the middle of the night for a forced psychiatric evaluation.
How did this happen? Read the rest of this entry »
Last year, Pfizer fired one of its scientists following an investigation that ended with requests for retraction of five of her studies. Now, two of the five papers, which were first flagged on PubPeer, have been retracted.
One notice cites the Pfizer investigation, which found that cancer researcher Min-Jean Yin had included duplicated images in all five papers. Yin is the last author on both retracted papers.
Here’s the first notice from Clinical Cancer Research, which says most or all of the questioned images appear to be duplicates, and Pfizer — who sponsored the study and requested the retraction — can’t find the originals:
Read the rest of this entry »
Gearóid Ó Faoleán, ethics and integrity manager at Frontiers, which publishes Frontiers in Plant Science, told us:
In accordance with our complaints protocol, the Field Chief Editor led the investigation that resulted in the decision to retract the paper.
One of the retracted papers in the Journal of Neurosurgery (JNS) had multiple problems that were “too extensive to revise,” according to the lengthy retraction notice, relating to issues with authorship, data analyses, and patient enrollment. The notice is signed by first author Hua Liu of the Nanjing Medical University in China.
Liu is also the first author of another recently retracted paper in Frontiers in Neuroscience, pulled for incorrectly categorizing patients.
An oncology journal has decided to retract a 2012 paper on gastric cancer after discovering duplicated data in multiple figures.
According to the retraction notice, the journal’s editorial board received a tip from a reader regarding the potential figure issues. Oncology Reports launched an investigation, which confirmed the allegations. The authors failed to respond to the journal’s multiple requests for more information.
Researchers have agreed to pull a 2015 study exploring whether a plant extract can safeguard tanners from ultraviolet exposure after not obtaining formal approval from an ethics committee.
According to the first author, the problem lay in a misunderstanding – when they originally applied for approval six years ago, the researchers believed they didn’t need to go through a formal approval process, since the compound was commercially available without a prescription. Once they realized their mistake, they chose to retract the paper.
Here’s the retraction note for “Oral Polypodium leucomotos increases the anti-inflammatory and melanogenic responses of the skin to different modalities of sun exposures: a pilot study,” published in Photodermatology Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. Read the rest of this entry »
A journal has retracted a surgery study by researchers at Brown University after noticing it included data that was not intended for research purposes. (Incidentally, the data were collected by the publisher of the journal.)
Ingrid Philbert, managing editor of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education — which published the paper — told Retraction Watch that senior staff at the publisher alerted the journal that they suspected the authors had used data from a confidential source:
This is a fairly new set of case log data, and as the collector [of] the data, the [Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)] gets to determine the use and it has decreed that this data be used solely for accreditation decisions.
Philbert said the journal asked the authors where they got the data:
The group lost two papers in 2015 for the same reason, following a misconduct investigation at Oita University in Japan. Last year, the same group notched another retraction, and pegged the responsibility for the problematic figures on first author Satoshi Hagiwara.
Now, the group has published a fourth retraction in the European Journal of Pharmacology; the latest notice doesn’t identify a culprit. All four retracted papers list Hagiwara as first author.
According to the EOC notice in New Phytologist, two figures in the paper contained “some anomalies,” and the corresponding author has acknowledged that there are problems with the images.