Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘misconduct investigations’ Category

Journal retracts part of molecular bio paper due to “unsubstantiated conclusions”

with 3 comments

j mol evAll but one of the authors of a 2013 Journal of Molecular Evolution paper have requested a partial retraction due to “erroneous data” and “scientific misconduct” on the part of the remaining author.

The note blames second author Michael Kolesnikov for falsifying data on the formation of ATP. According to the notice, the misconduct was confirmed by a “thorough investigation” by the Bach Institute of Biochemistry in Russia, which no longer employs Kolesnikov.

Here is the note for “Abiotic Photophosphorylation Model Based on Abiogenic Flavin and Pteridine Pigments”: Read the rest of this entry »

How should journals handle multiple allegations from the same person?

with 11 comments

copeIt’s not uncommon for us to hear from overworked journal editors that they are faced with a deluge of allegations about a particular author’s papers. And while we think it’s the responsibility of said editors to make sure their publications are as transparent as possible, we’re also sympathetic to the demands that investigations can take.

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) offers suggestions for dealing with these issues in a new discussion document. As COPE explains: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 24th, 2015 at 5:00 pm

University finds Dutch economist guilty of misconduct; he responds

with 26 comments

Peter Nijkamp

The Free University of Amsterdam found Peter Nijkamp, one of the nation’s leading economists who has lost several papers for self-plagiarism, has been found guilty of “questionable research practices,” according to the newly released results of an investigation.

Nijkamp has published a strongly worded criticism of the report (at least according to Google Translate, since his writing is in Dutch).

According to independent student publication Ad Valvas, the commission, led by Jaap Zwemmer, a professor emeritus at the University of Amsterdam, found Nijkamp was guilty of “questionable research practices.” University rector Frank van der Duyn Schouten, on the other hand, said in an official statement that there was “insufficient basis” to claim questionable research practices for each article.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

March 20th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Bielawski and Wiggins up retraction count to five with three in JACS

with 6 comments

Journal of the American Chemical SocietyThe Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) has retracted three articles that had earned expressions of concern by chemistry researchers who were under investigation at the University of Texas, Austin.

Kelly Wiggins and Christopher Bielawski have already received two other retractions and several EoCs.

The newly retracted articles have each been cited more than 50 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The three papers are: Read the rest of this entry »

Misconduct dissolves paper on possible clot-busters

with 2 comments

amclct_v006i002.inddDrug researchers in India have lost their 2013 paper in ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters because the first author fabricated findings.

The article, by a group from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, in Gujarat, was attempting to synthesize and screen novel clot-busting drugs; one compound exhibited the same activity as aspirin or warfarin, but without increasing bleeding time.

Sadly, it appears as if this potential medical advance was not to be. Here’s the retraction notice for “Novel 2-Aminobenzamides as Potential Orally Active Antithrombotic Agents”: Read the rest of this entry »

Science chemistry paper earns retraction after expression of concern, marking second for UT group

with 5 comments

scienceThe authors of a 2011 Science paper that proposed a new way to direct chemical bonds have withdrawn the paper after concerns about the data prompted an investigation and Editorial Expression of Concern last year from the journal. The retraction is the second for the group, which has also had seven other expressions of concern.

After a reader emailed the editors to raise suspicions about the data, corresponding author Christopher W. Bielawski, then based at the University of Texas at Austin, led an investigation of all the figures. It found substantial problems: “In over 50% of the figure parts, the authors deemed the data unreliable due to uncertainty regarding the origin of data or the manner in which the data were processed,” according to the retraction notice.

UT Austin concluded that there had been misconduct, but did not elaborate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Misconduct forces retraction of health behavior paper

with 7 comments

j behav medA pair of psychology researchers at West Virginia University have lost their 2013 article in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine after one of the authors was found to have cooked the data.

The paper, “Preference for immediate reinforcement over delayed reinforcement: relation between delay discounting and health behavior,” was written by Shane Melanko and Kevin Larkin. It examined whether people who place less importance on the future were also less likely to adopt healthy behaviors, which come with delayed benefits. Melanko, then a doctoral candidate under Larkin, was evidently at one time a psychology student of some promise.

That promise might go unfulfilled. According to the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Danish high court clears Pedersen in misconduct case

with 17 comments


Klarlund Pedersen

Lawyers one, scientists nil.

Danish judges have overruled scientists in that nation, concluding that a panel of experts erred in finding that physiologist Bente Klarlund Pedersen, of the University of Copenhagen, was guilty of misconduct.

Last September, Pedersen announced that she would fight the ruling of the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD, Danish acronym UVVU), which had said she had committed misconduct in four of 12 articles it had examined.

As we reported then, Pedersen’s case is tied to that of another Copenhagen scientist, Milena Penkowa, with whom she had collaborated and who also has been found guilty of scientific misdeeds. (The new ruling does not address Penkowa.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

February 18th, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Second former University of Queensland researcher to appear in court to face fraud charges

with 4 comments

Bruce Murdoch

Bruce Murdoch

Bruce Murdoch, a neuroscientist formerly of the University of Queensland, will appear in court next week to face fraud charges stemming from an investigation that has already led to three retractions, several corrections, and similar charges for one of his colleagues.

Here’s the notice from the Crime and Corruption Commission: Read the rest of this entry »

Second expression of concern appears for chemistry group under institutional review

with 21 comments

chemsciThe journal Chemical Science has issued an expression of concern over a 2012 article by a pair of Texas researchers whose “unclick reaction” work has been under scrutiny by their institution.

The article, “Homonuclear bond activation using a stable N,N-diamidocarbene,” was written by Kelly M. Wiggins and Christopher W. Bielawski, of UT Austin. It’s the second EoC that we know of for a paper by Wiggins and Bielawski. We covered a previous one, from Science, that appeared in June.

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