Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘PhD thesis’ Category

Updated: Ohio State revokes PhD of co-author of now-retracted paper on shooter video games

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Jodi Whitaker, via University of Arizona

[This post, which at 1200 UTC 8/25/17 originally reported on the then-upcoming vote, has been updated at 1800 UTC 8/25/17 to include the results of the vote.]

A researcher who co-authored a paper about video games that was retracted earlier this year has had her PhD from The Ohio State University revoked.

As WOSU reported this afternoon, the vote today of the university’s Board of Trustees was unanimous. The scheduled vote on whether to revoke Jodi Whitaker’s degree was first reported yesterday by The Columbus Dispatch.

While a graduate student at Ohio State, Whitaker was co-author of a paper that claimed to find that first-person shooter video games improved marksmanship. As we’ve reported, the paper, published online in 2012, was retracted earlier this year, two years after a university committee was alerted to irregularities in the data by two outside researchers.

The controversy over the paper became heated at times. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 25th, 2017 at 8:00 am

Researchers plagiarized chapter of doctoral thesis in mol bio paper

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mol cell biochemA journal has pulled a paper about the molecular details of different types of adipose tissues after learning the researchers had plagiarized much of a Ph.D. thesis.

The researchers copied from former Ph.D. student Bettina Meissburger’s doctoral thesis in a 2013 paper in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. The retraction note for “Adipose stromal-vascular fraction-derived paracrine factors regulate adipogenesis” provides the name of Meissburger’s thesis: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mia Garchitorena

February 11th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Chemist sues University of Texas (again) to keep PhD

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Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 4.34.25 PMA chemist is suing the University of Texas a second time in an effort to keep the PhD she earned in 2008.

In 2014, school officials revoked Suvi Orr‘s degree after finding it was based, in part, on falsified data. Some of the data were also included in a paper in Organic Letters that was retracted in 2011 after some steps in the chemical synthesis the authors described were not reproducible. Orr, currently working at Pfizer, sued UT, and the school reinstated her degree.

Now, the school is trying to remove it again, according to the lawsuit, filed last week. The lawsuit says the school has scheduled a “hearing” on March 4, during which three undergraduate students and two faculty members will deliberate — “none of whom are qualified to evaluate the scientific evidence being used against S.O.,” the suit says.

Orr has requested a temporary injunction to halt the proceedings, and a hearing has been scheduled for next week, according to the Austin-American Statesman.

The suit argues the school does not have the right to strip Orr’s degree from her: Read the rest of this entry »

IP lawyer/plagiarist’s PhD thesis under review

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Dr Angela Adrian

Dr Angela Adrian

The Queen Mary University of London has withdrawn the PhD thesis of an intellectual property lawyer who was previously accused of plagiarism.

We first covered Angela Adrian last year, when she lost three papers on how to apply intellectual property laws and ideas in the age of the internet. (The irony did not escape Adam, who linked to Alanis Morissette’s ballad “Ironic.”) She is now the chief knowledge officer for reputation management firm Icondia, which helps the rich and famous “protect their unique and priceless individuality in the 21st century.”

It’s not clear what the investigation entails; a spokesperson for the school declined to give details “at this stage.” The thesis — about strengthening personality and property rights in the world of online gaming — is unavailable on the university website. Instead, this message is displayed when you try to access it at Queen Mary Research Online (QMRO):   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

February 10th, 2015 at 11:30 am