Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘clinical study retractions’ Category

Prominent nutrition researcher Marion Nestle retracting recent article

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jphp_journal_coverProminent nutrition expert Marion Nestle is pulling an opinion piece she recently co-authored in the Journal of Public Health Policy following revelations that the piece contained multiple factual errors and failed to reveal her co-author’s ties to one of the subjects of the article.

The article, “The food industry and conflicts of interest in nutrition research: A Latin American perspective,” was published October 29 and raised concerns about the conflicts of interest that can occur when a food company pairs with a public health organization. Specifically, the article critiqued the supposed relationship between the biggest beverage distributor in Guatemala and the leading Guatemala-based public health organization, aligned to distribute a fortified supplement for undernourished children.

However, after the paper appeared, Nestle learned they had misrepresented the relationship between the key parties, and failed to disclose that her co-author, Joaquin Barnoya, received “a substantial portion of his salary” from INCAP. Retracting the opinion was the best solution, Nestle wrote on her blog today: Read the rest of this entry »

JAMA retracts second paper by heart researcher

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Screen-Shot-2015-10-27-at-10.53.53-AMA heart researcher who fabricated trial participants has notched a second JAMA retraction. The retraction comes at the request of her co-authors, after an investigation by her former employer wasn’t able to confirm that this study was valid.

In September, we learned that Anna Ahimastos, who used to work at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, had “fabricated [records] for trial participants that did not exist” in a JAMA trial for a blood pressure drug, according to principal investigator Bronwyn Kingwell.  That trial was retracted, along with a sub analysis.

An investigation by the institute found problems or sufficient doubt in several more publications. This second JAMA retraction is number 5 for Ahimastos, of 8 total expected.

The paper, “Effect of perindopril on large artery stiffness and aortic root diameter in patients with Marfan syndrome: a randomized controlled trial” Read the rest of this entry »

Scott Reuben notches 25th retraction, for a letter to the editor

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.08.26 AMAnother domino has fallen for the infamous and prolific former anesthesiologist Scott Reuben. This time it’s a retraction for a letter to the editor that cites one of his since-retracted papers.

The letter, published in 2001, argues that local anesthesia is a “safe, reliable, inexpensive, and practical alternative to the use of epidural, spinal, or general anesthesia” for outpatient knee surgery. But to support his point, he uses one of his papers that has since been retracted for data fabrication.

The note from Anesthesia & Analgesia explains:
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Mystery: A bullet with no entry wound, in a paper with no spell check?

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world emergency surgeryThe Patient, a 60-years old Caucasian male found unconscious in a trailer park of gypsies…”

So begins a strange — and apparently not copyedited — new case report in the World Journal of Emergency Surgery. The paper concerns a patient — perhaps we should call him Rasputin — who showed up with a bullet in his left lung but no entry wound that would explain its presence.

Naturally, the authors draw the obvious conclusions:

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Written by Alison McCook

November 23rd, 2015 at 9:30 am

Yale doc loses 2 HuffPo blog posts after secretly promoting his novel

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David Katz

The Huffington Post has retracted two blog posts by prominent Yale nutritionist David Katz after learning he had posted incredibly favorable reviews of a new novel — and not revealed that he had written the novel himself, under a pseudonym.

There’s no doubt Katz is a prolific writer — in addition to a couple hundred scientific articles and textbook chapters, Katz regularly blogs for the Huffington Post. He’s also the author of a novel, reVision, under the pen name Samhu Iyyam. Last year, Katz wrote a pair of incredibly favorable reviews of reVision on The Huffington Post that implied he had discovered the novel as a reader. The Huffington Post has taken them down, as blogger Peter Heimlich — yes, related to the maneuver — reported earlier this week. According to Heimlich, a 5-star Amazon review of “Iyyam’s” book, written by Katz, has also been removed.

In the reviews, there’s no hint that Katz is the author. In the first column, “Do We Need to Kill Our Heroes?,” published in January, Katz notes he was “delighted to find just such reflections [on that question] in my new favorite book, reVision.” Here’s the retraction note, of sorts, that appears on Huff Po in the column’s place:

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Written by Shannon Palus

November 20th, 2015 at 12:00 pm

BMJ Case Reports pulled three dental papers for plagiarism

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BMJ Case ReportsWe’ve stumbled upon a trio of retractions published in August, 2013 from BMJ Case Reports for “redundant publication” to a group of researchers based in India.

Editors found that the reports, which were published between 2012 and 2013, had considerable “overlaps” with articles that had been published in other journals. Although one of the retracted authors was also an author on one of the overlapping articles, the rest of the authors have no obvious connection to the previous work.

The authors of the three retracted papers are based at the Modern Dental College and Research Centre in India.

One retracted paper, “A rare occurrence of peripheral ossifying fibroma in the first decade of life and its management,” described the case of a 10 year-old girl with a lesion growing on her gums. The notice reads:

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Written by Ross Keith

November 19th, 2015 at 11:30 am

MD Anderson researcher Aggarwal up to six corrections

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cover (2)A highly cited cancer researcher at MD Anderson has notched three major corrections, all associated with problems in figures. One note cites “human error” as the cause.

Bharat Aggarwal is the last author on all three papers. He is now up to six corrections, two unexplained withdrawals, and two Expressions of Concern. He’s also threatened to sue us in the past, and has told us that his institution has been looking into his work.

Only one note specifies that the correction does not affect the paper’s conclusions.

First up: “Inhibition of growth and survival of human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells by curcumin via modulation of nuclear factor-κB signaling,” published in the International Journal of Cancer and cited 168 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The issues span two figures, according to the erratum note:

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Case report on cyst surgery sliced by journal for plagiarism

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Contemporary Clinical DentistryA case report that detailed the removal of a cyst from the side of a young woman’s face has been retracted for plagiarizing text from a similar case report published two years earlier.

Contemporary Clinical Dentistry posted the notice on July 31. Parts of the 2014 report were “directly copied” from a report published in 2012 by the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial PathologyNeither of the reports share authors in common.

The notice reads:

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Heart researcher gets 3rd retraction for copying images of rat hearts

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1-s2.0-S0014299914X00233-cov150hWhen two papers include the same images of rat hearts, one of those papers gets retracted.

The papers share a corresponding author, Zhi-Qing Zhao of Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah, Georgia. This marks his third retraction; we reported on two others earlier this year.

The papers examine the effect of curcumin, which has antinflammatory properties (in addition to giving the spice turmeric its yellow color). The retracted paper, “Dual ACE-inhibition and angiotensin II AT1 receptor antagonism with curcumin attenuate maladaptive cardiac repair and improve ventricular systolic function after myocardial infarctionin rat heart,” was published in the January 5, 2015 issue of the European Journal of Pharmacology, and has zero citations, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. It shares multiple figures with another 2012 paper, “Curcumin promotes cardiac repair and ameliorates cardiac dysfunction following myocardial infarction,” published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, which has not been retracted. The BJP paper has been cited 18 times.

Here’s the retraction note for the EJP paper:

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Editors weren’t “unable to verify reviewer identities” — reviewers just weren’t qualified

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We can’t resist flagging some misleading language in a retraction note for a 2015 paper on the inner workings of an amoeba pathogen.

The note for “The Charms of the CHRM Receptors: Apoptotic and Amoebicidal effects of Dicyclomine on Acanthamoeba castellanii” is short, so we’re going to give it to you up front:

This accepted manuscript has been retracted because the journal is unable to verify reviewer identities.

Sounds like another case of faked emails to generate fake peer reviews, right? But that’s not what happened to this paper, according to the editor in chief of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Louis B. Rice, a professor at Brown University:

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