Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘ground water’ Category

Nature tags glacier paper with note of concern due to data mix-up

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Nature has tagged a recent paper on the importance of glacial melt to water supply in Asia with an expression of concern (EoC), after receiving a tip that the author had misused some data.

The EoC for “Asia’s glaciers are a regionally important buffer against drought,” published by Hamish Pritchard, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey, came out today. The May 11, 2017 article — which has been cited three times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science — considers the contribution of glaciers to water supply in Central Asia and the potential for glacier loss to exacerbate water stress in the region. The paper received limited news coverage when it came out from science sites, including Phys.org.

Pritchard appears to have improperly used a particular data set — an error that was reported to the journal by two outside experts within weeks after the paper was published.  Read the rest of this entry »

More than $100M worth of research may be tainted by govt lab misconduct

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usgsMisconduct by a chemist at a Colorado lab run by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has potentially affected  24 research and assessment projects, supported by $108 million in federal funding, government officials have disclosed.

According to a June 15 statement from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees the USGS, the operator of a mass spectrometer in the Inorganic Section of the Energy Resources Program’s (ERP) Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood has been accused of scientific misconduct and manipulating data. The unit is responsible for conducting coal and water quality assessments in projects both in the United States and abroad.

The inorganic section closed following the discovery of the misconduct, and we have yet to learn the fate of the employee involved. As the statement notes, problems with the lab’s data were common knowledge among workers at the facility: Read the rest of this entry »

Journal retracts groundwater pollution paper for plagiarism

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ecotoxThe journal Ecotoxicology has retracted a paper that described a way to analyze nitrates in groundwater after discovering the authors had lifted a substantial amount of material from three other papers.

Here is the retraction notice for “Isotopic analysis of N and O in NO3 – by selective bacterial reduction to N2O for groundwater pollution:” Read the rest of this entry »

Paper calls water “a gift from God”

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renewableA paper about using solar energy to make water potable has been flagged for citing God.

The shout-out isn’t subtle; in fact, it’s the first sentence of the Introduction in “Solar still with condenser – A detailed review:”

Water is a gift from God and it plays a key role in the development of an economy and in turn for the welfare of a nation.

The paper itself contains a few similarities to a 2010 paper on the same topic, “Active solar distillation—A detailed review,” which also appeared in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. But that paper phrases the first sentence of the introduction slightly differently: Read the rest of this entry »

New developments cause authors to pull paper on drugs’ environmental impact

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integrated envThe authors of an article about the effects of pharmaceutical drugs on the environment have retracted it before publishing the final version due to new developments in the field, which would have required a major revision.

The authors pulled the paper from Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management before it went through the final publication process – such as copyediting and proofreading – after they learned about new findings related to assessing to the risks of human exposures to pharmaceuticals in the environment.

We’d try to figure out which portions of the paper might need updating, but publisher Wiley recently pulled the original article and abstract, against the journal editor’s wishes.

Here’s the retraction note: Read the rest of this entry »

A bullshit excuse? My lab notebook “was blown into a manure pit”

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CleanA researcher who studies how to turn dairy cattle manure into natural gas falsified and fabricated data in a journal article and failed to declare a commercial conflict of interest, a Washington State University investigation has found.

The study “Evaluation of Co-Digestion at a Commercial Dairy Anaerobic Digester” was published in 2011 in the journal CLEAN: Soil, Air, Water. First author Craig Frear was a Ph.D. student at WSU Pullman when the study was carried out and an assistant professor at the time of the investigation. The editor-in-chief of CLEAN, Prisca Henheik, told us that the retraction is a done deal even though it has not been posted online: Read the rest of this entry »

Retractions appear in case of former Kansas water scientist rebuked for misconduct

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groundwaterBack in December, the University of Kansas issued a public censure of a former water researcher who, the school says, engaged in a pattern of plagiarism and other shoddy publishing practices.

Marios Sophocleous, who’d held the position of senior scientist at the Kansas Geological Survey:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

April 23rd, 2014 at 11:30 am