Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘clinical study retractions’ Category

Judge denies motion by researcher to quash Diabetes expressions of concern

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Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad, via

American Diabetes Association 1, Mario Saad 0.

As reported by the National Law Journal, a federal judge in Boston has denied Saad’s requests to stop the ADA’s flagship journal, Diabetes, from publishing expressions of concern about four of Saad’s papers, and to prevent the journal from retracting the studies.

Saad filed suit against the ADA on February 5. Judge Timothy Hillman wrote in his order yesterday that approving the researcher’s motion would have violated the right to free speech: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 25th, 2015 at 8:30 am

More evidence scientists continue to cite retracted papers

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Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 2.38.46 PMA new paper in the MDPI journal Publications reports that the only controlled study on the effect of giving COPD patients Omega-3 has been cited 52 times since being retracted. Of those, only two mentioned the retraction.

In 2005, Chest published an article that found that COPD patients who took omega-3 supplements for 2 years experienced improvements in their condition, such as better walking tests and a decrease in sputum cytokines. But when an institutional investigation found the lead author had falsified the data, the journal retracted the paper in 2008.

That’s news to many researchers in the field. Among the 50 papers that cited the research after 2008 without stating it had been retracted, 20 included “specific data” from the paper, while the other 30 “cited the reference in passing.” Articles citing the retracted study have themselves been cited 947 times total, pointing to the ripple effect this kind of unwitting mention can have throughout the literature.

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First cut is the deepest: paper on incisional hernia sliced for duplication

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jamcolsurgeonsThe authors of a 2014 paper in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons about incisional hernia have lost their article for being a duplicate submission.

The paper, “Impact on Quality of Life of Using an Onlay Mesh to Prevent Incisional Hernia in Midline Laparotomy: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” came from a group at the Parc Tauli University Hospital, part of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, in Spain.

By duplicating another paper, the authors (three of which appear to be listed on both papers) committed “a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system,” according to the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

February 12th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Publisher and uni go head to head over disputed images in diabetes papers

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Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad, via

The State University of Campinas University of Campinas and the American Diabetes Association disagree strongly over how to handle disputed images from faculty member Mario Saad, who is suing the ADA to prevent retraction of his papers.

While the State University of Campinas University of Campinas (Unicamp) acknowledges that 2 of Saad’s papers contain “mistakes”, it concluded there was “not an intention in the actions of the authors,” and the mistakes did not have a negative impact on the scientific community. Ultimately: “the studies published have their own strength, are healthy and were not artificially strengthened by the incorrect images.”

In response, however, Saad’s lawsuit says the ADA asked the school to reinvestigate the articles, and refused to accept any papers from Unicamp faculty in any ADA journals until the issues are resolved.

The ADA has issued four expressions of concern in Saad’s research published in its flagship journal, Diabetes. Saad’s lawsuit aims to prevent the journal from retracting those papers, and asks for monetary compensation.

Retraction Watch has obtained a report of the investigation by Unicamp and Saad’s lawsuit. You can read the full lawsuit here, and the investigation report here.

Here is an excerpt from the Unicamp’s findings: Read the rest of this entry »

Diabetes researcher sues journal to prevent retractions of papers cited more than 600 times

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Mario Saad, via

Mario Saad, via

Mario A. Saad, who last year retracted a paper for plagiarism, is now suing the American Diabetes Association over four expressions of concern in its flagship journal, Diabetes.

As reported in the Boston Business Journal, Saad’s lawsuit claims that his institution, the State University of Campinas, investigated two articles at the journal’s behest. The American Diabetes Association was unhappy with the results, and asked the school to reopen the investigation, including two additional papers.

Saad is suing to prevent the journal from retracting the papers, in addition to monetary compensation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Heart study bleeds into three papers, one retracted and one withdrawn

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janWith the increasingly hectic pace of modern life, everybody is always on the look out for time-saving tricks and tips.

Scientists at the National University of Singapore and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University certainly found one, but we really can’t recommend it: doing one randomized controlled trial (RCT) with several outcomes, and publishing them as three separate 2014 papers with “considerable overlap.”

So far, one paper has been retracted, and another withdrawn.

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“Genuine error” sees expression of concern for vision loss paper

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elsevierA duplicated figure has resulted in an expression of concern for a paper in the American Journal of Pathology on a treatment for ocular neovascularization, which causes vision loss.

According to the notice, the corresponding author, David Shima, now at University College London, brought his concern to the journal. He called it a “genuine error” and stated that all the findings had been reproduced.

Unfortunately, Shima claimed the original data are missing, because the institution that owned the information — Eyetech Research Center — has “since gone through several acquisitions.”

Ocular neovascularization occurs when growth signals in the eye stimulate the creation of many new blood vessels. Over time these blood vessels break, causing bleeding and scarring that limits vision. This is called “wet” macular degeneration.

The scientists found that giving patients drugs to limit two different growth factors at the same time is more effective than one at stopping the progression of AMD. This combination method is in stage three clinical trials, though with different drugs than the authors used here.

The paper, published in 2006, has been cited 130 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the EoC for “Inhibition of Platelet-Derived Growth Factor B Signaling Enhances the Efficacy of Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Therapy in Multiple Models of Ocular Neovascularization”:

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Leading diabetes researcher corrects paper as more than a dozen studies are questioned on PubPeer

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Kathrin Maedler

Prominent German diabetes researcher Kathrin Maedler has issued corrections on two papers, and told Retraction Watch she is in the process of defending the data on others.

14 of her papers have been critiqued by PubPeer commenters. The commentary, which spans from her graduate work in 2002 to a 2014 publication in Nature Medicine, includes questions about image manipulation and self-plagiarism.

Laborjournal’s blog (we have a column in their English-language publicationfirst flagged these suspicions in July 2014, after being approached by pseudonymous Clare Francis.

Here’s a comparison between figures in Maedler’s 2009 PLoS One paper, “Deletion of the Mitochondrial Flavoprotein Apoptosis Inducing Factor (AIF) Induces β-Cell Apoptosis and Impairs β-Cell Mass,” and one she co-authored in 2006 in Diabetes, “Low concentration of interleukin-1beta induces FLICE-inhibitory protein-mediated beta-cell proliferation in human pancreatic islets,” via PubPeerRead the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 12th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Paper on cranberries’ health benefits retracted after researcher forges authors’ names

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Image via Bruce Foster.

Image via Bruce Foster.

A paper in Food Chemistry suggesting cranberry extract has healing properties was retracted after some of the authors complained they had no idea the paper was being published.

Here’s the notice for “Phenolic composition, antioxidant properties, and endothelial cell function of red and white cranberry fruits:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 6th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Fake peer review fells two more papers

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Written by Ivan Oransky

January 2nd, 2015 at 9:30 am