Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

Study of social media retracted when authors can’t provide data

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A business journal has retracted a 2016 paper about how social media can encourage young consumers to become devoted to particular brands, after discovering flaws in the data and findings.

The paper—published in South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, now called South Asian Journal of Business Studies—was retracted in June 2017, after the journal learned of flaws that called the “validity of the data and reported findings” into question.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Evaluating the influence of social media on brand sacralization: an empirical study among young online consumers”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Victoria Stern

July 31st, 2017 at 9:26 am

After researcher is convicted of sexual assault, journal retracts her co-author’s paper

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A disability journal has retracted a paper supposedly penned by a man with severe disabilities, citing duplication.

Although the reason for the retraction may sound run-of-the-mill, this situation is far from ordinary.

The author, known as DMan Johnson — or simply “D.J.” — has cerebral palsy, and was communicating using a controversial technique called “facilitated communication” with Anna Stubblefield, the former chairwoman of philosophy at Rutgers University. In October 2015, Stubblefield was convicted of sexually assaulting D.J., who has been diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia and severe mental retardationThe following month, she was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In October 2015, Disability Studies Quarterly issued a statement that it was taking a second look at papers by Stubblefield, but did not specify which ones.

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18 tips for giving a horrible presentation

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David Sholl

David Sholl

Too many of us have sat through too many bad presentations. And no one wants to give one, either.

Someone who’s seen his fair share of bad talks is David Sholl, of the Georgia Institute of Technology. In this helpful video, “The Secrets of Memorably Bad Presentations,” he presents some tongue-in-cheek advice on how to torture your audience.

(If it’s not immediately obvious — Sholl wants you to do the exact opposite of what he’s suggesting, below.)

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Written by Alison McCook

November 30th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Heir claims part of review about political scientist is defamatory, journal partially retracts

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European Journal of CommunicationA communications journal has retracted parts of a paper about a famous German political scientist after her great-nephew threatened the journal with legal action, claiming bits of the paper were defamatory.

The European Journal of Communication (EJC) retracted the parts of the paper that reviewed a biography of Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, published in Germany in 2013. The biography was titled Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann: Demoskopin zwischen NS-Ideologie und Konservatismus;” a Google-translate of that title gives “Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann: pollster between Nazi ideology and conservatism.”

Noelle-Neumann is most well known for her mass communication theory, the “Spiral of Silence,” which refers to the tendency to remain silent on a subject when your view opposes that of the masses. Because parts of the paper are now redacted, it is unclear what statements were potentially defamatory. Read the rest of this entry »

Communications researcher loses two book chapters, investigated for plagiarism

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BrillA researcher who studies how others communicate is struggling with his own communications: Peter J. Schulz has lost two book chapters for misappropriating the work of others, and is under investigation by his university.

Although the publisher believes the errors were unintentional, the retractions have prompted it to stop selling the books altogether.

Schulz now has a total of three retractions and one erratum for failing to properly cite other works. The University of Lugano in Switzerland, where he is based, told us they’re investigating allegations of plagiarism against him.

Both of the chapters that were recently retracted appear in books published by Brill. The retraction notes say the same thing:

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Written by Shannon Palus

April 18th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Communications researcher regrets “severe shortcomings” in three publications

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3A communications researcher in Switzerland has made a few errors in his efforts to communicate his research.

Peter J. Schulz, who works at the University of Lugano, has lost a paper which did not “appropriately acknowledge” another paper as its primary source. He has also corrected a paper with “severe shortcomings in the references.” Both papers were published in the journal Argumentation. 

In addition, he is facing allegations that a book chapter contains some unattributed material.

Schultz acknowledged the problems in a statement he emailed to us:

I regret very much the severe shortcomings in the three publications.

Here’s the retraction note for “Comments on ‘Strategic Manoeuvring with the Intention of the Legislator in the Justification of Judicial Decisions’”: Read the rest of this entry »

“Totally crappy:” Library magazine adds quotes from vendor without authors’ consent

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Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 12.43.15 PMTwo librarians who wrote a feature story for the magazine American Libraries say that editors added quotes from an educational company without their consent.

The feature, “Special Report: Digital Humanities in Libraries,” was included in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of the magazine, published by the American Libraries Association. It includes some data from a survey conducted by the ALA and Gale — a company that sells digital resources, such as a collection of British newspapers beginning in the 1600s. According to the survey, an “overwhelming 97% of libraries agree” that digital resources like those archives should be available in library collections.

The authors aren’t objecting to that statistic. What they are objecting to, they say, is the journal’s decision to include some general quotes from a Gale representative, without checking with them first. The authors — Stewart Varner, a Digital Scholarship Librarian at the University of North Carolina, and Patricia Hswe, who co-heads the department of Publishing and Curation Services at Penn State  —  say they first learned of the quotes when they got the magazine in the mail.

On his blog, Varner calls it a “totally crappy” situation, and explains “the article was edited after we thought we had turned in the final version:” Read the rest of this entry »