Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘corrections’ Category

“Great shock and sadness:” Publishing gadfly to retract paper for duplication

with 14 comments

untitledA vociferous advocate for correcting the literature — who has been banned by two publishers for his persistent communications — has asked journals to retract one paper and correct three others for duplications.

After a reader flagged his 2004 paper on PubPeer last month, author Jaime Teixeira da Silva “immediately” contacted the journal to alert it that the paper had been duplicated, as he noted on a recent comment on our site:

Read the rest of this entry »

Journal taking second look at paper on campus rape

with one comment

violence and genderA journal is reviewing a paper about trends in rape at U.S. colleges after the author realized a mistake.

Although the journal Violence and Gender hasn’t issued any editorial notice about the paper, Inside Higher Ed published a correction July 14 to its original news story about the topic.

Dangerous Colleges: Associations Between School-Level Factors and the Risk of Sexual Victimization of Female Students” found that the risk of rape was higher at large, public institutions, but after the author realized he had made a coding error, he contacted Inside Higher Ed to explain that the risk of rape was higher only at public universities, regardless of their size.

The paper appeared in the June, 2016 issue of the journal; Sophie Mohin, Assistant Managing Editor for publisher Mary Ann Liebert, told us the author alerted the journal to the mistake on July 12: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

July 18th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Should a paper be retracted if an author omits a conflict of interest?

with 8 comments

s-cover-yvs1606A JAMA journal has quickly issued a correction for a 2016 paper after the author failed to mention several relevant conflicts of interest. Normally, we’d see this as a run-of-the-mill correction notice, but since we reported last week that a journal retracted a paper for omitting pharma funding, we got to wondering: Is failure to disclose a conflict of interest a retractable offense?

Guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) do say that retractions are used for “failure to disclose a major competing interest likely to influence interpretations or recommendations.” But most of the time when we see corrections to the literature for such omissions, they’re corrections, not retractions.

On Friday, JAMA Ophthalmology issued a correction notice for an invited commentary published in April, which addressed two papers in the journal about melanoma of the eye (uveal melanoma). However, the original commentary failed to note that author Arun D. Singh at the Cleveland Clinic had some relevant conflicts to mention, as the notice explains: Read the rest of this entry »

Authors who lost paper linking fecal transplants to obesity have another retracted

without comments

International Journal of ObesityAn obesity journal has retracted a study by authors who previously lost another paper that suggested a link between the fecal microbiome and obesity.

We first came across on the now-retracted paper in the International Journal of Obesity (IJO) in April when we reported on the authors’ other retraction in Diabetes. The 2014 paper had a corrigendum, published the same year, and also for image-related issues. Since then, however, the journal has pulled the IJO paper and its associated corrigendum at the request of the French National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) in Paris. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

July 8th, 2016 at 8:00 am

Vector wasn’t a gift after all, correction notes

without comments

CirculationA paper accidentally credited the wrong researcher with providing part of an experiment.

It turns out that one of the authors supplied an expression vector to a Circulation paper about the molecular underpinnings of atherosclerosis — not the outside researcher originally thanked in the acknowledgements section.

The correction notice to the paper makes the situation sound more mysterious than it appears to be:

Read the rest of this entry »

Investigation raises questions about top cancer researcher’s work

with 2 comments

Journal of Pathology

A prominent pancreatic cancer researcher has lost a meeting abstract and corrected a Nature paper following an institutional investigation.

Queen Mary University of London determined that, in an abstract by Thorsten Hagemann, “elements of the study summarised by this abstract are not reliable.” Hagemann has recently issued a correction to a 2014 Nature paper he co-authored, which also cited the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) investigation, noting there was reason to question the provenance of the data.

Hagemann is currently the medical director of Immodulon Therapeutics, and has long been recognized for his work in the field, including a three-year grant of £180,000 from the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund in 2013.

Here’s the retraction notice from the The Journal of Pathology, regarding an abstract from the 7th Joint Meeting of the British Division of the International Academy of Pathology and the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland: Read the rest of this entry »

Prompted by PubPeer, biologist corrects three papers

with one comment

GeneA biologist has corrected three papers that are nearly a decade old, after concerns were raised on PubPeer.

A commenter first posted a comment about an image in one of the papers in 2013; after more comments on other papers appeared in November 2015, author Zoya Avramova at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln received emails alerting her to the threads. She has responded, including to the 2013 comment, noting “the said images should have been assembled more carefully.”

After repeating some of the experiments to verify the results, she has now issued corrections on three papers, about the genetics of model organism Arabidopsis. The papers share a first author, Abdelaty Saleh, who was a postdoc in Avramova’s lab at the time of the work.

The correction notice for “Dynamic and stable histone H3 methylation patterns at the Arabidopsis FLC and AP1 loci,” appearing in the July 2016 volume of Gene, explains:  Read the rest of this entry »

Conservative political beliefs not linked to psychotic traits, as study claimed

with 19 comments

American Journal of Political Science

Researchers have fixed a number of papers after mistakenly reporting that people who hold conservative political beliefs are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness.

As one of the notices specifies, now it appears that liberal political beliefs are linked with psychoticism. That paper also swapped ideologies when reporting on people higher in neuroticism and social desirability (falsely claiming that you have socially desirable qualities); the original paper said those traits are linked with liberal beliefs, but they are more common among people with conservative values.

We’re not clear how much the corrections should inform our thinking about politics and personality traits, however, because it’s not clear from the paper how strongly those two are linked. The authors claim that the strength of the links are not important, as they do not affect the main conclusions of the papers — although some personality traits appear to correlate with political beliefs, one doesn’t cause the other, nor vice versa.

In total, three papers have been corrected by authors, and a correction has been submitted on one more.

We’ll start with an erratum that explains the backstory of the error in detail. It appears on “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies,” published by the American Journal of Political Science: Read the rest of this entry »

PLOS ONE republishes removed chronic fatigue syndrome data

with one comment

PLOS OnePLOS ONE has republished data that were abruptly removed two weeks ago after the authors expressed concerns they did not have permission to release them.

The dataset — de-identified information from people with chronic fatigue syndrome — was removed May 18, noting it was “published in error.” But this week, the journal republished the dataset, saying the authors’ university had been consulted, and the dataset could be released.

This paper has drawn scrutiny for its similarities to a controversial “PACE” trial of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Here’s the second correction notice for “Therapist Effects and the Impact of Early Therapeutic Alliance on Symptomatic Outcome in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” released June 1:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

June 3rd, 2016 at 11:30 am

Authors reused images in three papers, concludes journal probe

with 8 comments

JBCBiologists are retracting three papers after the journal concluded they contain reused images, designed to represent different experiments. The authors stand by the conclusions, some of which they say have been “extensively validated.”

The Journal of Biological Chemistry used image analysis software to evaluate the images, first published at least a decade ago. Unfortunately, the raw data behind the problematic images were not available. The authors have also corrected a fourth paper in another journal, and wrote on PubPeer that they are working with journals to address concerns in three more.

The papers share two authors: Mireia Duñach at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Antonio García de Herreros at the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques. A representative of the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques told us it is looking into Garcia de Herreros’s work.

We’ll start with “β-Catenin N- and C-terminal tails modulate the coordinated binding of adherens junction proteins to β-catenin,” which has been cited 45 times since it was published in 2002, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. The retraction notice says:

Read the rest of this entry »