Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘law’ Category

Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch lifted from earlier works in his scholarly papers: Report

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U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch appears to have borrowed material from multiple authors in his 2006 book, according to a new analysis by Politico.

This week, U.S. lawmakers are going head-to-head over the nomination of Gorsuch to the highest court in the land. Although the book is only one snippet of Gorsuch’s vast portfolio of writings, six independent experts contacted by Politico agreed that the flagged passages appear problematic.

Here’s more about documents obtained by the media outlet:

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Written by Alison McCook

April 5th, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Is China using organs from executed prisoners? Researchers debate issue in the literature

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Journal of Medical EthicsA researcher is calling for the retraction of a paper about a recent ban in the use of organs from executed prisoners in China, accusing the authors of misrepresenting the state of the practice.

In April 2015, a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics welcomed the ban by the Chinese government as “a step in the right direction,” but noted that China remains plagued by a crucial shortage in available organs.

Some academics disagreed with the authors’ take on the issue, noting that the paper fails to note that many organs may continue to be harvested from Chinese prisoners of conscience; ultimately, the journal received a letter asking to retract the paper. The journal decided not to, and instead asked the authors to issue a lengthy correction, for instance changing the language about the government decision (“law” became“guideline”), and allowed critics to publish a rebuttal to the paper in May 2016.  Read the rest of this entry »

Lawsuit against publisher over retraction comes a step closer to reality

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De GruyterAn author has begun the process of taking legal action against a publisher for retracting his paper.

As we reported last month, John Bishop, the CEO of an independent media company called Crocels, based in Pontypridd, Wales, argues that by taking down his paper, De Gruyter defamed him and breached a contract — their agreement to publish his paper. Now, Bishop has sent the publisher what’s known in the UK as a “letter of claim.”

In the letter, Bishop writes:

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Author: I’ll sue if publisher doesn’t retract my retraction

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Journal of Homeland Security

An author is preparing to sue a publisher for retracting his paper.

John Bishop, the CEO of an independent media company called Crocels, argues that by taking down his paper, De Gruyter is breaching a contract — their agreement to publish his work.

Perhaps appropriately, the paper suggests ways to combat negative online comments — including litigation.

Bishop told us he learned that his paper was pulled when he was alerted to the brief retraction notice, published in April. The notice, published in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says:

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Cyberterrorism paper under attack for plagiarizing from multiple sources

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2012032903645393A paper about combating cyberterrorism is coming under fire after allegations of plagiarism sparked on social media.

Soon after the paper was published by the journal Computer Technology and Application in 2015, Orgnet LLC, a network analysis software company, announced on Twitter that the paper took content from its webpage. The firm tweeted: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

February 25th, 2016 at 1:30 pm

Top official at Indian university plagiarized most of paper

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A top official and law researcher at a university in India is facing dismissal after being charged with plagiarizing approximately three-quarters of one of her papers, among other allegations.

Chandra Krishnamurthy, the Vice Chancellor at Pondicherry University, has been “placed under ‘compulsory wait’ by the Union human resource ministry following several charges against her,” according to The Times of India.

A nine-month long investigation by the International Journal of Legal Information confirmed that the majority of one paper on Krishnamurthy’s CV, “Legal Education and Legal Profession in India,” was largely plagiarized.

Here’s the retraction note:
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Written by Shannon Palus

September 18th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Updated: Author resigns from West Point following paper legitimizing attacks on scholars who question terror tactics

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[Note: This post has been updated with new information about the author’s resignation.]

Following criticisms of a 2015 paper which proposed attacks on scholars who question the government’s handling of the war on terror, the author has resigned from his post at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

The nearly 200-page paper, “Trahison des Professeurs: The Critical Law of Armed Conflict Academy as an Islamist Fifth Column,” appeared in the National Security Law Journal of George Mason University School of Law, in Virginia. It was written by William C. Bradford, who is a somewhat controversial figure.

In the paper, Bradford, assistant professor at the United States Military Academy, criticizes U.S. academics who specialize in armed conflict and claim “that the Islamist jihad is a response to valid grievances against U.S. foreign policy”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

August 31st, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Following criticism, PLOS removes blog defending scrutiny of science

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plos_logoCommunity blog PLOS Biologue has pulled a post by journalists Charles Seife and Paul Thacker that argued in favor of public scrutiny of scientists’ behavior (including emails), following heavy criticism, including from a group and scientist mentioned in the post.

Their reasoning: The post was “not consistent with at least the spirit and intent of our community guidelines.”

The original post, published August 13, is no longer available online, but you can read it here. In the piece, Seife and Thacker lament what they call a recent backlash against transparency in science: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

August 24th, 2015 at 11:30 am

CrossFit gym owner sues Ohio State, says fraudulent data led to $273 million in NIH grants

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Mitch Potterf

Mitch Potterf

In an lawsuit unsealed yesterday, the owner of a CrossFit gym is suing Ohio State University (OSU) under the False Claims Act, claiming that researchers faked data in a university-based study involving his gym — and that OSU used the study to win $273 million in Federal grants.

The suit, originally filed in February in the U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio by Mitch Potterf, owner of a Columbus, Ohio CrossFit, alleges that a 2013 paper by OSU’s Steven Devor and colleagues falsely reported that nine subjects had dropped out of the study because of “overuse or injury.” The study, we should note, concluded that CrossFit is a useful form of exercise. It has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

As John Thomas, an attorney who handles False Claims Act cases, explained in a Retraction Watch guest post in March: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 8th, 2015 at 9:30 am

So you want to be a whistleblower? Part II

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john thomas

John R. Thomas

This is the second article in a series by John R. Thomas, Jr., a lawyer at Gentry Locke who represents whistleblowers in a variety of False Claims Act cases. In this installment, he writes about how whistleblowers can tell if they have a viable FCA case.

In my first article, I briefly outlined the role that the False Claims Act (FCA) can play in promoting scientific integrity and safeguarding public grant funding. This article will answer a more substantive and practical question that a potential whistleblower must consider: What constitutes a viable FCA case? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 6th, 2015 at 9:30 am