Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘foreign aid’ Category

“Credible threats of personal violence” against editor prompt withdrawal of colonialism paper

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A journal has withdrawn an essay that called for a return to colonialism after the editor received alleged threats tied to the article.

Soon after Third World Quarterly published the controversial essay, readers began to object. When the journal defended its decision, 15 editorial board members resigned in response. More than 10,000 people signed a petition to have it retracted. On September 26, the publisher posted a statement — including a detailed timeline of the paper’s peer review process — and said the the author had requested to withdraw the article. However, in the statement, the publisher said that “peer-reviewed research articles cannot simply be withdrawn but must have grounds for retraction.”

The journal has since changed its position, and withdrawn the paper entirely from its site, posting this notice in its place:

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Article defending colonialism draws rebuke, journal defends choice to publish

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Facing a volley of criticism for publishing an essay that called for a return to colonialism, a journal editor has defended his decision to print the article.

The Case for Colonialism,” published Sept. 8 in Third World Quarterly (TWQ), was written by Bruce Gilley, a professor of political science at Portland State University. For an idea of what the piece was about, here’s the beginning of the abstract:

For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy. Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found, using realistic measures of those concepts.

Since the essay came out, scholars have criticized both the article itself and the journal’s decision to publish it. Several critics have called for retraction. [Update: 15 members of the editorial board have resigned in response.]

One group of critics wrote that they objected to the essay because:

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Written by Andrew P. Han

September 19th, 2017 at 8:00 am

“Innocent mistake” leads to bioethics article retraction

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jbiA July article that incorrectly called out nine leading bioethics journals for their lack of availability to researchers in low- and middle-income countries is being pulled after editors of the indicted journals refuted the allegations.

The last author on the article, published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, told us an “innocent mistake” and difficulty navigating a website led the authors to incorrectly note that nine journals had not made their contents available through the World Health Organization’s Health InterNetwork Research Initiative database (HINARI), which gives bioethicists who live in low- and middle-income countries access to research articles either free of charge or at reduced cost. The authors argued that the mistake didn’t affect the paper’s conclusions, but the journal disagreed, and opted to pull the paper entirely.

After searching through the database, first author Subrata Chattopadhyay mistakenly determined that the journals had not made their contents available through HINARI, when in fact they were listed but on a different part of the website.

Even with the error, the authors maintain that their conclusions remain sound and that the field is shaped by a “hegemony of Western bioethics.” Read the rest of this entry »

Former Millennium Villages Project staffer responds to critical Nature editorial

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courtesy Nature

Last week, we wrote about a correction of a heavily criticized paper in The Lancet by the Millennium Villages Project, a large aid program. Paul Pronyk, director of monitoring and evaluation at Columbia University’s Center for Global Health and Economic Development, which runs the Project, left his job shortly after writing an explanatory letter that accompanied the correction.

That correction had come after a letter to The Lancet, but also after Nature had raised issues in an editorial. Nature’s editorial concluded: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 6th, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Millennium Villages Project forced to correct Lancet paper on foreign aid as leader leaves team

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A senior member of a high-profile foreign aid research team has left the project on the heels of a Lancet correction of a heavily criticized paper the team published earlier this month.

Paul Pronyk, who until last week was director of monitoring and evaluation at Columbia University’s Center for Global Health and Economic Development, which runs the Millennium Villages Project, wrote a letter to the Lancet acknowledging errors in the paper, “The effect of an integrated multisector model for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and improving child survival in rural sub-Saharan Africa: a non-randomised controlled assessment,” originally published May 8. That admission came after Jesse Bump, Michael Clemens, Gabriel Demombynes, and Lawrence Haddad wrote a letter criticizing the work, which was published this week accompanied by corrections to the paper: Read the rest of this entry »