Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘materials science’ Category

Author withdraws entire issue after overseeing his own peer review

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home_cover-31The editor and author of most of the papers in a special issue of a math journal told us he is withdrawing the entire issue following revelations that he had coordinated the peer-review process.

The articles, published online earlier this year, recently received an expression of concern after the journal realized the guest editor David Gao, at the Federation University Australia, had coordinated the peer-review process. This was a major no-no, since Gao was also an author of 11 of the 13 papers. Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids slated the articles to be peer reviewed again, by reviewers not chosen by Gao.

Gao told us what happened next, from his perspective — he changed his mind about publishing the papers in MMS:

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Author’s coordination of peer review flags 13 math papers

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home_cover (3)Thirteen papers in Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids now have an expression of concern, after it came to light that an author on most of the papers coordinated the peer-review process.

David Y. Gao, a well-known and prolific mathematician at the Federation University Australia, is the author of 11 of the papers, and also the guest editor of the special issue in which they were set to appear. The papers were published online earlier this year.

A spokesperson for SAGE, which publishes the journal, confirmed that the publisher decided to re-review the papers after learning about Gao’s role in the peer-review process:

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Authors retract highly cited Nature quantum dot letter after discovering error

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Authors have retracted a highly cited Nature letter that purported to discover a much sought-after, stable light source from quantum dots, after they realized the light was actually coming from another source: the glass the dots were affixed to.

When the paper “Non-blinking semiconductor nanocrystals” was published in 2009, it received some media coverage, such as in Chemistry WorldThat’s partly because very small sources of “non-blinking” light could have wide-ranging, big-picture applications, author Todd Krauss, a physical chemist at the University of Rochester, told us:

Off the top of my head, a quantum computer. Quantum cryptography is another one. People want a stable light source that obeys quantum physics, instead of classic physics.

The retraction note, published Wednesday, explains how the researchers found out the effect was coming from the glass, not quantum dots:

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“Disagreement about the relative contributions” of authors burns capacitor paper

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S02663538A 2014 paper on a component for thin electric circuits has been retracted from Composites Science and Technology due to a “disagreement” over author contributions, according to the retraction note.

The retraction note for “Preparation and dielectric properties of BaTiO3:epoxy nanocomposites for embedded capacitor application” is short and sweet. Here it is, in full:

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Brandeis investigation finds scientific misconduct in gold nanoparticle paper

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A group of authors is retracting a paper from Structure following a Brandeis University investigation that found the first author had fabricated a key result.

Former graduate student Kelsey Anthony was first author of the paper, “High-Affinity Gold Nanoparticle Pin to Label and Localize Histidine-Tagged Protein in Macromolecular Assemblies, which was published online in February 2014. At the time, the Science at Brandeis blog noted: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

August 6th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Images “may not be trustworthy”: Aluminum sheets paper folds into retraction

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1-s2.0-S0921509315X00153-cov150hFollowing questions “about the integrity of the microscopy images,” Materials Science and Engineering: A has retracted a paper on the properties of sheets of aluminum under strain.

The images in question show sheets after a few rounds of a process called “constrained groove pressing,” which smushes sheets between two grooved plates, and then between two flat plates, to evaluate how the material holds up.

According to the retraction note for the paper, imaging performed by a third party “may not be trustworthy.”

The paper has been cited 42 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s more from the retraction note to “Nano-structure and mechanical properties of 0–7 strained aluminum by CGP: XRD, TEM and tensile test“:

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“Part of a paper that had already appeared”: Materials paper pulled for plagiarism

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1-s2.0-S1387181115X00035-cov150hMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials has retracted a 2015 paper after it was discovered the authors “have plagiarized part of a paper that had already appeared.”

The paper, “Ionic liquid assisted synthesis of flexible and super-hydrophobic porous gels,” described the synthesis of a form of flexible aerogels “through a facile one-pot preparation,” according to the abstract. According to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge it has been cited zero times.

Here is the retraction note, in full:

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Materials science paper yanked over data pilfering

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materials lettersMaterials Letters has withdrawn an article in press after the editor found out the first author, Yan Li, had taken all the data without permission.

According to the notice, the senior author told the journal that the data came from the lab Li used to work in at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, but the P.I. in Italy didn’t know about the paper.

From the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Phantom authorship forces retraction of electron paper

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ULTRAMICUltramicroscopy has retracted a paper it published earlier this year after the corresponding author admitted to submitting the paper without the consent of his colleagues.

The article, “The post-peak spectra in electron energy loss near edge structure,” came from a group led by one Feng Tian, a materials scientist at Shanghai University for Science and Technology. The other authors were Peter Shattschneider and Micheal Stoger-Pollach, of the Vienna University of Technology. Except that they weren’t.

According to the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

December 8th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Asking for a retraction was “an overbearing response, though I agree that the student screwed up big time”

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celluloseJust two months after a PhD student at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia published a paper in August without the knowledge of his co-author, a professor at the university, the paper was retracted by Cellulose.

Here’s the notice for “Corrosion protection of steel sheets by chitosan from shrimp shells at acid pH,” by graduate student Ubong M. Eduok and professor Mazen M. Khaled (well, not really by Khaled): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

October 31st, 2014 at 11:00 am