Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘urology’ Category

Journal editor resigns over firestorm from circumcision article

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10-5409-logoCircumcision is a hot topic. So hot, questions about a reviewer’s potential conflict with the author of an article promoting circumcision prompted a journal editor to resign, and one academic to call another a “fanatic.”

It began in August, when Brian Morris, professor emeritus of molecular medicine at the University of Sydney, published a critique of a paper that itself had critiqued the practice of circumcision. But the sole reviewer of Morris’s article was a frequent co-author of his, Aaron Tobian of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In his reference section, Morris listed five papers on which he and Tobian were co-authors.

A tipster forwarded us emails from Eduardo Garin, editor in chief of the journal, saying he had resigned from the journal after it refused to retract the paper, despite the fact that its sole reviewer was a frequent collaborator of the author. However, Garin is still listed as editor in chief on the journal’s site.  

Garin confirmed to us that he resigned after the publisher refused to retract or correct the Morris article; however, Xiu-Xia Song, vice director of the editorial office at Baishideng, told us by email that Garin is still the journal’s editor.

Here are some specifics:

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Scientific publisher hacked, affecting 65 papers

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kowsar-publishingA publisher in the Netherlands has retracted 13 published studies and withdrawn 52 that were under consideration (but not yet published) after learning that someone illegally accessed its workflows to add fake authors and manipulate text.

According to Seyyed Mohammad Miri, the founder, CEO, and managing director of Kowsar Publishing, the 13 retracted papers all included extra authors added by the same Internet Protocol (IP) address. Cyber police in Iran found the same IP address had also accessed the 52 other papers, which were in various stages of the publishing process (such as peer review) and not yet online, Miri told Retraction Watch. 

Most of the authors on the 13 retracted papers are based in institutions in Iran; some were co-authors on the 58 retractions recently issued as part of a mass clean-up by publishers BioMed Central and Springer, citing fake reviews, adding inappropriate authors, and plagiarism.

Around six or seven months ago, the affected journals — in collaboration with Kowsar, their publisher — filed a court case in Tehran, Iran against this IP address, Miri said. Read the rest of this entry »

Sting operation forces predatory publisher to pull paper

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Medical Archives

Sometimes, the best way to expose a problem with the publishing process is to put it to a test — perhaps by performing a Sokal-style hoax, or submitting a paper with obvious flaws.

In 2014, that’s just what a researcher in Kosovo did. Suspicious that a journal wasn’t doing a thorough job of vetting submissions, she decided to send them an article of hers that had already appeared in another journal. Her thinking was that any journal with an honest and thorough peer review process would hesitate to publish the work. But this journal didn’t — at least at first. Though they retracted the paper this summer, it took a few twists and turns to get there.

The researcher wasn’t the only one wary of the journal — it’s on Jeffrey Beall’s list of “potential, possible, or probable” predatory publishers. Appropriately, Beall recounts the story of her sting operation on his blog. Here’s how it all went down:

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Collateral damage: Paper — and editorial, and author’s response — retracted in one fell swoop

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euro jA journal has retracted the results of a clinical trial comparing strategies for bladder tumors after the authors mischaracterized the way patients were assigned to each procedure.

In addition, the journal European Urology has pulled a string of correspondence between author Harry Herr at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and an outside expert, who had questioned aspects of the study totally unrelated to the methodology, such as its generalizability.

Here’s the retraction notice for ” Randomized Trial of Narrow-band Versus White-light Cystoscopy for Restaging (Second-look) Transurethral Resection of Bladder Tumors:”  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Michael Koziol

August 23rd, 2016 at 9:30 am

Romanian journal bans author following 4 retractions

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Romanian Journal of Internal MedicineA medical journal in Romania has issued a lifetime ban for a researcher after retracting four of his papers.

Since April, the Romanian Journal of Internal Medicine (RJIM) retracted nine papers (eight for plagiarism, one for duplication); four of these were co-authored by Manole Cojocaru, a researcher at the Titu Maiorescu University (TMU) in Bucharest, Romania. Subsequently, the journal has banned Cojocaru from submitting manuscripts, and has also informed the ethics committee at his institution.

Here’s the retraction notice, which is the same for six of the papers: Read the rest of this entry »

1st retraction for ex-Pitt postdoc who admitted to doctoring data

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American Journal of Physiology Renal Phsyiology

A former postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh has issued his first retraction after an investigation by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) concluded he had falsified and/or fabricated data in two published papers.

The ORI investigation into the work of Kenneth Walker, determined that he had

falsified and/or fabricated quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) data to demonstrate a statistically significant or “trend” of statistical difference in the expression of renal or bladder urothelium and muscle developmental markers between control and experimental (mutant) mice, when there was none.

The ORI report said that Walker has agreed to retract or correct a 2013 PLOS ONE paper and a 2015 study published in American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology (AJPRP).

Here’s the first retraction notice, issued by AJPRP: Read the rest of this entry »

Former Pitt postdoc admits to faking data

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pittA former postdoc at the University of Pittsburgh has admitted to committing research misconduct in published papers and in National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant applications.

The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) said on Friday that Kenneth Walker, who was studying the development of the urinary tract,  Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve been dupe’d: Data so nice, you see them twice

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j repro infertLast Friday we resurrected a previous feature of Retraction Watch, compiling five retractions that appeared to be simple acts of duplication.

This week, we spotlight another five unrelated retractions which, as we said last week, cover duplications in which the same – or some of the same – authors published the same – or some of the same – information in two different papers.

Most duplications are straightforward — all authors simply send the same or similar study to two or more journals, a violation of most journals’ terms of use.  For instance: Read the rest of this entry »

We have a new record: 80 years from publication to retraction

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cover_2015_51We have a new record for the longest time from publication to retraction: 80 years. It’s for a case report about a 24-year-old man who died after coughing up more than four cups of what apparently looked — and smelled — like pee.

According to the case report titled “Een geval van uroptoë” published in 1923, an autopsy revealed that the man had a kidney that was strangely located in his chest cavity. A case of pneumonia caused the kidney to leak urine into the space around his lungs, leading to the perplexing cough.

If that sounds too crazy to be true, you’re right: This man never existed. The case was retracted in 2003. (Yes, we are a little late to this one — it recently popped up in one of our Google alerts.)

A write-up by the editors of the Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde — that translates to “Dutch Journal of Medicine” — explains that the strange case was a fake (on the fifth page of this PDF, in English):

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Journal bans authors following investigation confirming plagiarism

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Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 4.46.43 PMA journal has banned three researchers after an investigation confirmed that a “significant portion” of the text of their paper on screening for urinary tract infections had been plagiarized.

The researchers Sreenivasan SrirangarajArunava Kali and MV Pravin Charles, who are all based in India, won’t be allowed to publish in Australasian Medical Journal in the future, according to the retraction note.  

The retraction note takes the form of a letter from the Editor in Chief of the journal:

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