Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘physics retractions’ Category

Physics paper sinks amid accusations of unacceptable “overlap”

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prl-bannerA paper in Physical Review Letters has been retracted for “overlap” with two other previously published papers.

The notice isn’t available online yet, so we got in touch with American Physical Society (APS) editorial director Dan Kulp for more information. Here’s what he told us about “Anomalous melting scenario of the two-dimensional core-softened system”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 19th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Quantum physics paper pulled for “serious theoretical errors,” notice accidentally paywalled

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physicalreviewlettersA paper on photonic quantum walks has been retracted over a theoretical disagreement.

The notice is also paywalled, which the editorial director has assured us is a mistake that is being corrected.

We sent the COPE guidelines on retraction to the American Physical Society, which publishes Physical Review Letters. Editorial director Dan Kulp told us the paywall was the unintentional consequence of a web redesign, and that they are in the process of restoring public access to “all Errata-types, including Retractions.”

Here’s the rest of his statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

October 27th, 2014 at 11:30 am

“Several scientific errors” sink physics paper after rewrite opportunity

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canadian journal of physicsWe don’t love this somewhat incoherent retraction for a paper on coherent states, although luckily the publisher was prompt with telling us a little more about what happened.

On October 2, a 2008 physics paper, “Generation of a superposition of coherent states in a resonant cavity and its nonclassicality and decoherence,” was retracted for “several scientific errors,” pointed out by a comment published in the same journal. The original authors rewrote the paper, but it was not up to the standards of Canadian Journal of Physics, so it was rejected, and the original was retracted.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Is it better to retract a paper, or publish a letter calling the conclusions “unphysical?”

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langd5_v030i025.inddSometimes publishers and authors decide it’s easier to retract a paper than leave it up for discussion by other scientists.

That seems to be the case here: The authors of a paper in Langmuir retracted it in September for a math mistake, but not before the journal refused to publish a comment criticizing the publication.

Here’s the notice for “Drainage of a thin liquid film between hydrophobic spheres: Boundary curvature effects:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

October 8th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Doing the right thing: Particle physicists pull paper after equation collides with the truth

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physicalreviewlettersThree physicists at Imperial College London have retracted a paper on Coulomb collisions, a kind of fender bender between two charged particles, after realizing their equations were written wrong.

The mistake resulted in an erroneous conclusion about the strength of the collisions.

Here’s the notice for “Effects of Large-Angle Coulomb Collisions on Inertial Confinement Fusion Plasmas”: Read the rest of this entry »

Two-timing sinks papers on ships in journal shaken by major scandal

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jvcWhen we heard about this retraction, we were forced to ask: Are there any articles left in Journal of Vibration & Control?

The publication was forced to retract 60 papers by the same author in July, after he was caught exploiting a technological loophole to review his own papers.

Now, papers on loading cargo ships has been felled by a much less tech-savvy method: Two authors submitted a paper to both Mathematical and Computer Modelling of Dynamical Systems and the Journal of Vibration & Control, both of which accepted and published the paper.

The authors, Yousef M. Al-Sweiti and Dirk Soeffker, have now lost three papers in total. Here’s the joint notice from SAGE and Taylor & Francis (we’ve added links to relevant retractions): Read the rest of this entry »

Enthusiastic retraction and retracted correction mark loss of researcher’s fourth and fifth papers

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IJMPBHere’s a physics retraction whose use of an exclamation point — the only one we’ve ever seen in a retraction notice! — makes the editors’ exasperation palpable.

It’s also the the fourth retraction for R. K. Singhal, of the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India. Behold the notice for “Magnetic behavior of functionally modified spinel Ni0.4Ca0.6Fe2O4 nanoferrite,” in the International Journal of Modern Physics B: Read the rest of this entry »

Hydrogen journal pulls palladium paper for data misuse

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intjhydrogenenergyThe International Journal of Hydrogen Energy is retracting a 2013 article for what appears to be the misappropriation of data.

The paper,  titled “Hydrogen production by an anaerobic photocatalytic reforming using palladium nanoparticle on boron and nitrogen doped TiO2 catalysts,” was written by researchers from the Veltech Dr RR & Dr SR Technical University, in Chennai, India, and Arizona State University.

According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Editorial mix-up leads to duplication, retraction of physics paper

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A missed withdrawal request has led to doubled up publication and a later retraction for Brazilian physicists, through no fault of their own.

Atmospheric Plasma Treatment of Carbon Fibers for Enhancement of Their Adhesion Properties” was presented at an Institute of Physics (IOP) conference in 2010. The proceedings weren’t published until May 2014.

In the meantime, the plasma scientists withdrew their paper from consideration and submitted it to IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, where it was published in February 2013. Unfortunately, in the four year delay between the conference and the Institute of Physics publication, the withdrawal request got lost.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

July 21st, 2014 at 11:30 am

Recursive plagiarism? Researchers may have published a duplicate of a study retracted for plagiarism

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acta physica sinicaSometimes plagiarism, like an onion, has layers.

That appears to be the case in a paper brought to our attention by sharp-eyed reader Vladimir Baulin, whose work was copied in a 2006 paper that Journal of Biological Physics retracted for plagiarism.

But you can’t keep a good thief down: the plagiarizing authors just popped up in a new journal with a Chinese-language version of their retracted paper, that looks an awful lot like a knock-off. Here’s a note from Baulin: Read the rest of this entry »