Archive for the ‘doing the right thing’ Category
“You don’t retract a paper, you retract the results within:” Why one scientist still displays one of his mistakes
And now, one from the archives.
In 1989, then MIT grad student Lance Fortnow (he’s now chair of the computer science department at Georgia Tech) wrote a mathematical proof and published it as conference proceedings. He later went to publish the proof in a journal.
But he then discovered “unexpected technical challenges” and published a retraction in 1997. Both are still available on his personal website.
Two bioengineers at Trinity College Dublin, Michael Crosse and Edmund Lalor, decided to investigate the underlying reason for the phenomenon. Unfortunately, after they published their findings in the Journal of Neurophysiology earlier this year, they tried to recreate the experiments and discovered that their equipment didn’t line up the audio and visual stimuli properly.
They did the right thing and contacted the journal for a retraction. Here’s the notice for “The cortical representation of the speech envelope is earlier for audiovisual speech than audio speech”: Read the rest of this entry »
Doing the right thing: Authors retract PNAS paper when new experiments show “conclusion was incorrect”
The mistake resulted in an erroneous conclusion about the strength of the collisions.
The recent retraction of a paper in Science Translational Medicine reporting “one of the biggest things to happen” in narcolepsy research has claimed a bystander: A letter that commented on the no-longer-landmark article.
We brought you this story last week, about a paper on drug resistant staph being retracted for a lab error. Now, we’ve got an update from Rachel Safer, senior editor for medical journals at Oxford University Press, where the paper was published.
Apparently, the researchers “inadvertently relied upon the use of a test system that was not approved for the microorganism studied in their paper,” leading to the retraction, and the corresponding author of the study wasn’t initially all that responsive:
What could have been a truly scary study about drug resistant staph infections in hospitals has been retracted due to a lab error.
Researchers at a community hospital in Pittsburgh claimed that the commonly quoted 3% rate of staph that is resistant to ceftriaxone and sensitive to methicillin was drastically understated. However, an “honest error in the interpretation of a key lab test” called the findings into question.
The authors of a paper on brain genetics published online in June in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) are retracting it for “a potential confound relating to statistical inference.”
Here’s the notice for “Identification of gene ontologies linked to prefrontal–hippocampal functional coupling in the human brain:” Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s the notice for “Microstructural Brain Abnormalities of Children of Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsy With Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizure: A Voxel-Based Diffusional Kurtosis Imaging Study”: Read the rest of this entry »
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has requested that Science retract a 2006 paper about the makeup of asteroid Itokawa as observed from the spacecraft Hayabusa, the news section of Science reports.
Instead of calibrating their equipment on Earth, the scientists assumed they’d see both magnesium and silicon in the x-ray spectra, and used that assumption to assess the rest of the chemical composition of the asteroid.