Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘materials science’ Category

Data irregularities force author to retract three solar cell papers

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An engineer has retracted three papers on a method for making nanoscale materials that are useful in solar cells.

The papers, all published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, contain irregularities in data, and one includes images “which have been published elsewhere and identified with different samples,” according to the note.

The first author on all three papers is Khalid Mahmood, who — according to the bio from a talk he gave last year on efficient solar cells — is currently a postdoc at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. He did the work in the retracted papers while a student at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, where, according to the bio, he completed his PhD in two years.

Here’s the retraction note for the first paper (which also contains a typo in the title — “electrospay”)

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You’ve been dupe’d: Data so nice, you see them twice

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j repro infertLast Friday we resurrected a previous feature of Retraction Watch, compiling five retractions that appeared to be simple acts of duplication.

This week, we spotlight another five unrelated retractions which, as we said last week, cover duplications in which the same – or some of the same – authors published the same – or some of the same – information in two different papers.

Most duplications are straightforward — all authors simply send the same or similar study to two or more journals, a violation of most journals’ terms of use.  For instance: Read the rest of this entry »

Paper on the adhesiveness of a material doesn’t stick

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1-s2.0-S0169433215X00213-cov150hApplied Surface Science has retracted an article that looks at the structure of thin tungsten-titanium coating, because it was submitted without all of the co-authors’ consent.

According to the introduction of the paper, “Structure adhesion and corrosion resistance study of tungsten bisulfide doped with titanium deposited by DC magnetron co-sputtering,” such thin films are “widely used as a surface treatment for optimizing base material properties.”

Here’s the retraction note in full, published in the September issue of the journal:

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Wound healing paper injured beyond repair

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Errors in the interpretation of some of the data — the result of “procedural flaws” —  are to blame for the retraction of a paper on a way to help skin grow back after injury.

The paper explores a method involving nanofibers. According to the abstract:

In this study, tilapia skin collagen sponge and electrospun nanofibers were developed for wound dressing…the collagen nanofibers stimulated the skin regeneration rapidly and effectively in vivo.

The paper was published January 19, 2015 by ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, then retracted eight months later, in August. It has not been cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the retraction note:

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Can a journal retract its plan to retract? Science may

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Science is reconsidering its plan to retract a paper about using RNA to make palladium nanoparticles after one of the authors submitted a last-minute correction.

Editor in chief Marcia McNutt told us that the journal will make a decision about whether to retract or correct the paper by February 5th.

We are not certain that what he submitted changes anything, but we wanted to consider this new information before acting.

In the meantime, today the journal issued an Expression of Concern for the paper.

The journal’s initial decision to retract the paper stemmed from an investigation at the National Science Foundation, which concluded that co-authors Bruce Eaton and Dan Feldheim — currently at the University of Colorado at Boulder — engaged in “a significant departure from standard research practices,” and cut them off from NSF funding unless they took specific actions. When the report on the investigation came to light earlier this month, Science editor in chief Marcia McNutt told us that she planned to issue a retraction:

We are checking to see how soon we can get it published.

McNutt explained what changed:  Read the rest of this entry »

Math journal retracts entire issue following peer-review problems

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home_coverThe editor of a special issue of a math journal — and author of many of the papers in it — has officially retracted the entire thing, after promising to withdraw it last year following issues with the review process.

According to the note in Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids, the peer-review process was “less rigorous than the journal requires.” Indeed, that process was coordinated by guest editor David Y. Gao, a mathematician at the Federation University Australia, who was also author on 11 of the 13 papers present in the issue.

Gao told us in November that he was withdrawing the issue because he thought it would be better suited as a book.

Here is the official retraction note, which focuses on the conflict of interest:

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Science retracting paper by chemists cut off from NSF funding

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Bruce Eaton

Bruce Eaton


Daniel Feldheim

The National Science Foundation will no longer fund a pair of chemists who “recklessly falsified data,” according to a report from the NSF’s Office of Inspector General, unless they “take specific actions to address issues” in a 2004 Science paper.

That paper is going to be retracted as soon as possible, Science told us. The co-authors that the NSF reprimanded are Bruce Eaton and Dan Feldheim, now at the University of Colorado at Boulder; they have been under scrutiny since 2008, when an investigation at North Carolina State University, their former employer, found that the Science paper contained falsified data.

The paper, “RNA-Mediated Metal-Metal Bond Formation in the Synthesis of Hexagonal Palladium Nanoparticles,” has been cited 138 times.

Science Editor in Chief  Marcia McNutt told us today that a retraction is in the works:

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In more faked peer review news…10 papers pulled by Hindawi

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Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 9.57.36 AMGuess what? We’ve got more cases of fraudulent peer review to report — our second post of the day on the subject, in fact. In the latest news, Hindawi Publishing Corporation has retracted 10 papers for “fraudulent review reports,” after an investigation of more than 30 papers that had been flagged this summer.

The investigation found that author Jason Jung, a computer engineer at Yeungnam University in Korea, “was involved in submitting the fraudulent review reports” for four of the retracted papers, according to the publisher’s CEO. In the case of the other six, the authors didn’t appear to be involved.

Hindawi Publishing Corporation, which publishes over 400 journals, doesn’t ask authors for potential review suggestions — making a common route to fake peer review more difficult.  In July, when Hindawi announced it was investigating the papers, it posted a statement saying that they suspected the editors had created fake reviewer accounts.

The retraction note on Jung’s papers — identical except for the title at the beginning — explains that each paper has

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Journal repels a paper on a magnetic material after authorship, funding issues

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A paper on the properties of a magnetic material is being retracted after including an author without his permission, and omitting a funding source.

According to the note, the work was done in Miao Yu‘s lab at Chongqing University in China; the authors then added Yu’s name to the paper without his authorization, and neglected to list a relevant funding source.

Here’s the retraction note for “Temperature-dependent dynamic mechanical properties of magnetorheological elastomers under magnetic field,” published in the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials:

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3-D printing paper accidentally includes secrets

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A paper on 3-D printing has been pulled because it “inadvertently” included some sensitive material.

We’re not sure which parts of the paper were the specific problem. But the sensitive material may have something with how to improve the surfaces of 3-D printed products, which is the subject of “Feasibility of using Copper(II)Oxide for additive manufacturing.”

Here’s what the paper, published in the International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing contains, according to the abstract:

Additive manufacturing, in spite of its ever wider application range, is still plagued by issues ranging from accuracy to surface finish. In this study, to address the latter issue, the feasibility of using Copper(II)Oxide powder with a polymer binder deposited through a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing technique is explored.

Here’s the retraction note:

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