Archive for the ‘environmental retractions’ Category
Rice straw, which makes up nearly half of the biomass in rice plants, is generally considered agricultural waste. However, in recent years scientists have discovered ways to modify the raw material to make it capable of absorbing heavy metal ions, making it useful to both prevent and clean up pollution from industrial processes.
The retracted paper, which analyzed the physical properties of different kinds of modified rice straw, was retracted for citation manipulation.
It turns out a 2014 paper that found a surprising pattern of plant migration in response to global warming was not so surprising after all — it’s been retracted by the authors due to a mistake in the statistical analysis.
Most studies on migrating populations have found that species around the globe move north to escape the rising temperatures. But the authors of the 2014 paper in Global Change Biology found the opposite — according to their analysis, many plant species in Western North America had been migrating south, toward warmer climates.
The authors of the study — which chronicled the degree of heavy metal pollution on the banks of the Pearl River Delta — didn’t have permission to use the data. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment‘s notice doesn’t suggest the data are inaccurate.
The heavy metals in the soil come from the many manufacturing plants in the area, including those that provide the West with blue jeans, phones, and other electronics. The pollutants’ effects are wide-reaching: According to the South China Morning Post, industrial outfits discharge huge volumes of toxic chemicals into the Pearl River, including arsenic, copper, cadmium, and mercury.
A retracted 2008 paper originally flagged by Clare Francis has been republished in Environmental Health Perspectives with updated figures and new data.
According to the editor’s note appended to the newly published paper, there was no evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of the authors. The new paper went through peer review as an entirely new submission, and comes to the same conclusion as the original: Read the rest of this entry »
An international group of engineers lost a paper in November after the journal realized the majority of the data came from a government assessment of Australia’s energy resources without a citation.
The paper, published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, focused on geothermal energy, while the government report was far broader in scope. However, the lack of independent research was enough to sink the review. We covered another Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews retraction recently, making us wonder if this is part of a crack-down for the journal.
Two solar cell researchers at the University of New South Wales have lost a paper in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews after the discovery of “substantial overlap” with work by a UNSW graduate student.
The notice cites three sources for the plagiarism. One is an unpublished manuscript by UNSW student Matthew Wright, which he shared with the authors of the retracted paper for “research collaboration only.”
The other two are papers that Wright wrote with UNSW professor Ashraf Uddin, who co-authored the retracted paper with UNSW researcher Xiaohan Yang. Yang’s name also appears on one of the plagiarized papers. All of that suggests that the “substantial overlap” includes duplication as well as plagiarism.
According to Wright’s Google Scholar profile, Uddin has been a co-author on every one of his papers, suggesting that Uddin is Wright’s thesis advisor or P.I., though neither Wright nor Uddin responded to our emailed questions.
Water under the bridge? Hydrology journals won’t retract plagiarized papers despite university request
In April 2014, we wrote about the case of a former hydrologist at the University of Kansas (KU), Marios Sophocleous, who had plagiarized in at least seven studies, two of which were retracted by the journal Ground Water.
At the time, we mentioned two other articles, in the Hydrogeology Journal, that appeared destined for retraction — not least because KU requested that the journal yank them. But in a rather surprising move, the journal is declining to do so, and another publication, the Journal of Hydrology, is taking the same approach.
Fuel, an Elsevier title, has pulled an article on coal pollution because the authors took much of the work from an earlier paper of theirs in another journal.
The article, “Co-firing of coal and biomass: Development of a conceptual model for ash formation prediction,” was published in September by a group from Australia and The Netherlands.
We’ve reported on some pretty impressive cases of researchers doing their own peer review, one of which led to 28 retractions. We have another.
Yongdeng Lei, of the School of Geography and Remote Sensing Science at Beijing Normal University, pulled the wool over the eyes of two Springer journals. Here’s the notice from Environmental Management for “Typhoon Disasters and Adaptive Governance in Guangdong, China:” Read the rest of this entry »
Energy = Renewable; Journal articles = Not renewable
Too late for a group of engineers in Iran who borrowed too liberally from previously published work in their 2013 article in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.