Archive for the ‘misconduct investigations’ Category
Following questions from outside experts, a retraction of a related paper, a university investigation and a court case, The Lancet has decided to retract a 1992 paper by Ranjit Kumar Chandra, the self-proclaimed “father of nutritional immunology.”
In a lengthy retraction note included in the January 30 issue, the journal explains that:
the balance of probabilities in our judgment is that the reliability of the 1992 Lancet paper by Chandra can no longer be assured.
Chandra is objecting to the retraction.
This retraction was a long time coming, so sit back and relax as we fill in the backstory. Read the rest of this entry »
The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) “promotes excellence in the life sciences” in Europe, in part by awarding prizes to promising young scientists. Voinnet and Sonia Melo earned their awards by exhibiting potential as young scientists studying genetics — of plants and cancer, respectively — but now EMBO is skeptical of the papers that formed the basis of their applications.
Melo’s Installation Grant from EMBO was announced just last month, and consists of 50,000 Euros annually for three to five years. She is currently based at the University of Porto, in Portugal.
Voinnet’s problems are well-documented on this blog — 21 corrections, seven retractions, and two investigations. Earlier this week, we reported that the Swiss National Science Foundation had cut off Voinnet’s funding, and banned him for three years. Read the rest of this entry »
An investigation into a paper that compared infection rates from different types of central lines started with an allegation about a failure to disclose a conflict of interest, and ended up concluding that the science in the paper was flawed.
The 2013 paper — now retracted by the American Journal of Infection Control — suggested a particular kind of connector between the catheter and the patient could reduce some of the notoriously deadly bloodstream infections associated with the procedure, according to a press release that publicized the work. But last year, the journal issued an expression of concern for the paper, noting there were questions about the data. The retraction note reveals an investigation at Georgia Regents University — now known as Augusta University — started looking into undisclosed conflicts of interest in the paper, and ultimately concluded the science was flawed.
Here’s the retraction note, published in the January 1st 2016 issue of the journal, for “Comparison of central line-associated bloodstream infection rates when changing to a zero fluid displacement intravenous needleless connector in acute care settings”
The Journal of Biological Chemistry has flagged two papers by a George Washington University cancer biologist with expressions of concern, following an investigation completed by the university in 2014.
The notes contain little specific information; all we know is that there are questions about the data and conclusions in the papers.
The last author on both papers is Rakesh Kumar, who adds these EoCs to a count that includes, according to our records, three retractions and five corrections. Plus an $8 million lawsuit against his employer for emotional distress when they put him on leave from his position as department chair.
The studies — “Stimulation of inducible nitric oxide by hepatitis B virus transactivator protein HBx requires MTA1 coregulator” and “Regulation of NF-B circuitry by a component of the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase complex controls inflammatory response homeostasis” — have been cited 22 times and 33 times respectively, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
An Ontario court has quashed part of a misconduct finding against a prominent husband and wife team by the University Health Network in Toronto.
Last year, we reported that Sylvia Asa had stepped down from her position as Program Medical Director of the Laboratory Medicine Program at the UHN — the largest hospital diagnostic laboratory in Canada — after an investigation uncovered evidence of falsified data in two papers co-authored with her husband, Shereen Ezzat. Both of their research labs were also suspended as a result. The researchers subsequently appealed the decision.
Friday Sunday, the Toronto Star reported that the court had set aside the finding of falsification, but upheld a finding of misconduct in the form of material non-compliance. It asked UHN to review the sanctions against both researchers, and cover their legal fees of $20,000.
Here’s the conclusion from the decision:
Editor in chief Marcia McNutt told us that the journal will make a decision about whether to retract or correct the paper by February 5th.
We are not certain that what he submitted changes anything, but we wanted to consider this new information before acting.
In the meantime, today the journal issued an Expression of Concern for the paper.
The journal’s initial decision to retract the paper stemmed from an investigation at the National Science Foundation, which concluded that co-authors Bruce Eaton and Dan Feldheim — currently at the University of Colorado at Boulder — engaged in “a significant departure from standard research practices,” and cut them off from NSF funding unless they took specific actions. When the report on the investigation came to light earlier this month, Science editor in chief Marcia McNutt told us that she planned to issue a retraction:
We are checking to see how soon we can get it published.
McNutt explained what changed: Read the rest of this entry »
We recently obtained court documents showing that, in September, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by cancer researcher Fazlul Sarkar against the University of Mississippi after it rescinded a job offer after reviewing concerns raised about his research on PubPeer.
Sarkar’s connection to PubPeer will be familiar to many readers — he has also taken the site to court to force them to reveal the identity of the anonymous commenters who have questioned his findings. He has accused the commenters of defamation, arguing they cost him the job offer. Today, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief on behalf of PubPeer’s appeal of the court’s most recent ruling, that the site must disclose the identity of an anonymous commenter. At the same time, some heavy hitters in science – Bruce Alberts and Harold Varmus — and technology — Google and Twitter — filed briefs in support of the appeal.
The lawsuit against Ole Miss has brought to light the reasoning behind the school’s decision to rescind their offer to Sarkar — and the key role played by the concerns raised on PubPeer.
In a letter dated June 19, 2014 to Sarkar from Larry Walker, the director of the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi, Walker chides Sarkar for not revealing the extent of the ongoing questions over his research during the interview process:
A company headed by a former astrophysicist at the University of California, San Diego, has agreed to forfeit $180,000 after admitting to defrauding the government.
If SciberQuest, Inc. is unable to pay back the money — the result of fraudulently obtaining government grants and contracts — then its CEO Homayoun Karimabadi will be personally liable, the lawyer for SciberQuest and Karimabadi told Retraction Watch.
A faculty member at Arizona State University has resigned after he was placed on administrative leave while the university investigated plagiarism charges against him.
According to a copy of the settlement agreement obtained by the Arizona Republic, he will continue to receive his salary of more than $150,000 for more than one year.
He will also be reimbursed $25,000 in attorney fees.
According to the agreement: Read the rest of this entry »
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) has dismissed an anonymous accusation against economist Peter Nijkamp and two of his colleagues, including one of his graduate students, regarding issues related to “data acquisition and data processing.”