Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘society journal retractions’ Category

Black hole paper by teenaged prodigy retracted for duplication

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Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 8.39.44 AMAn astrophysics journal is retracting a paper on black holes whose first author is a teenager about to earn his PhD, after learning the paper “draws extensively” from a book chapter by the last author.

Many papers are pulled for duplication, but few get a news release from the publisher about it. In a move that we approve of, the editors of The Astrophysical Journal announced the forthcoming retraction on the American Astronomical Society (AAS) website.

The paper‘s first author Song Yoo-Geun who turns 18 this month, and is on track to earn his doctorate next year from the University of Science and Technology in South Korea. According to the news release, the paper borrows heavily from a book chapter published in 2002 by his adviser and co-author, Seok Jae Park at the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute.

AAS is handling this very quickly. The paper was published in October, someone alerted the journal to the duplication on November 14, and the announcement of the retraction went up on the AAS website just ten days later.

The retraction note for “Axisymmetric nonstationary black hole magnetospheres: revisited” will be published in the next issue of ApJ. In the meantime, the news release explains what happened:

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JAMA retracts second paper by heart researcher

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Screen-Shot-2015-10-27-at-10.53.53-AMA heart researcher who fabricated trial participants has notched a second JAMA retraction. The retraction comes at the request of her co-authors, after an investigation by her former employer wasn’t able to confirm that this study was valid.

In September, we learned that Anna Ahimastos, who used to work at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, had “fabricated [records] for trial participants that did not exist” in a JAMA trial for a blood pressure drug, according to principal investigator Bronwyn Kingwell.  That trial was retracted, along with a sub analysis.

An investigation by the institute found problems or sufficient doubt in several more publications. This second JAMA retraction is number 5 for Ahimastos, of 8 total expected.

The paper, “Effect of perindopril on large artery stiffness and aortic root diameter in patients with Marfan syndrome: a randomized controlled trial” Read the rest of this entry »

Irish university strips student of PhD following investigation

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maynoothMaynooth University has revoked a former student’s PhD following an investigation into the circumstances that led to two previous retractions in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

During the investigation, Aisha Qasim Butt admitted to some misconduct in the two papers and the research that made up her PhD, according to a university statement (which you can read in full here): Read the rest of this entry »

Editors weren’t “unable to verify reviewer identities” — reviewers just weren’t qualified

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We can’t resist flagging some misleading language in a retraction note for a 2015 paper on the inner workings of an amoeba pathogen.

The note for “The Charms of the CHRM Receptors: Apoptotic and Amoebicidal effects of Dicyclomine on Acanthamoeba castellanii” is short, so we’re going to give it to you up front:

This accepted manuscript has been retracted because the journal is unable to verify reviewer identities.

Sounds like another case of faked emails to generate fake peer reviews, right? But that’s not what happened to this paper, according to the editor in chief of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Louis B. Rice, a professor at Brown University:

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Nutritionist group pulls position statement on vegetarian diets for “inaccuracies and omissions”

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Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 11.57.38 AMWhat are the specific health benefits to skipping out on meat? We’re not totally sure, after the largest organization for nutrition professionals pulled its 2015 position statement on this issue only weeks after publishing it in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The “Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets” was removed earlier this year for “inaccuracies and omissions critical to the paper” — and the first author wasn’t told what they were. A “major revision” is forthcoming.

Here’s the removal note from the journal for the 2015 version:

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Psychologist Jens Forster settles case by agreeing to 2 retractions

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Jens Förster

Following questions about the veracity of multiple papers by his former employer, high-profile social psychologist Jens Förster has agreed to retract two papers as part of a deal with the German Society for Psychology (DGPs).

Last year, Förster had a paper retracted at the request of his former employer, the University of Amsterdam (UvA). In May, an investigation commissioned by UvA found that many of his experiments looked “too good to be true,” and eight papers showed strong signs of “low veracity.”

Just two of those papers are acknowledged in the settlement of a case by the DGPs against Förster, who currently works at Ruhr University Bochum. Here’s a translation of a notice from the DGPs from One Hour Translation:

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Intellectual property issues sink cancer paper in JACS

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176 spine minimum. full size. Editor: Lingling JEM: Leslie RTP: Michael ReidThe authors of a paper on a mechanism for potential cancer therapies are retracting it after realizing they published some proprietary findings “without permission and agreement from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

According to the retraction note in Journal of the American Chemical Society, the authors included an X-ray crystal structure and data that were gathered at St. Jude’s and considered the hospital’s intellectual property. On the paper, the last author, Zhengding Su, listed an affiliation at St. Jude and Hubei University of Technology in China, along with Amersino Biodevelop Inc., based in Waterloo, Canada.

Here’s the note for “Efficient Reactivation of p53 in Cancer Cells by a Dual MdmX/Mdm2 Inhibitor:”  Read the rest of this entry »

Food article pulled when authors can’t serve up data

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homeHeaderLogoImage_en_USAn article about a dietary plan to help people lose weight has been retracted after other researchers raised concerns, and the authors failed to provide the data that supported their findings.

The retraction is accompanied by a Letter to the Editor by a group of outside researchers — including David Allison at the University of Alabama at Birmingham — who noticed “several substantial issues with data and calculations.” For instance, before the experiment even started, the two groups had very different weights: The control group averaged 96.5 kg, and the test group 91 kg. According to the letter, that difference is striking: Read the rest of this entry »

Heart researcher who faked patient data gets third retraction

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Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 6.38.09 PMA heart researcher has notched her third retraction, a small 2006 trial in Annals of Internal Medicine which seemed to show that a blood pressure drug could help people with artery disease walk further with less pain.

Earlier this year, Anna Ahimastos, formerly a researcher at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, lost a larger clinical trial in JAMA and a subanalysis in Circulation Research after it was discovered she’d fabricated patient records. As principle investigator Bronwyn Kingwell told us in September:

Specifically, records were fabricated for trial participants that did not exist.

Now, following an investigation by the institute, her co-authors are proactively retracting papers, with more to come. The Annals of Internal Medicine paper, “Ramipril Markedly Improves Walking Ability in Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease,” is being pulled due to an “inability to adequately validate primary data sources.” According to the note, Ahimastos “maintains the integrity of the data and validity of reported results:”

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Study claiming dramatically higher rates of male military sexual trauma is retracted

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psychological servicesA study that found a 15-fold increase in the rate of sexual trauma among men in the U.S. military — and sparked suggestions of “an epidemic of male-on-male sex crimes” in the military among conservative media outlets — has been retracted because of a flaw in the analysis.

The study, published just last week, appeared in Psychological Services, an American Psychological Association (APA) journal. In an announcement Sunday titled “American Psychological Association Retracts Article Positing Excessively High Rates of Sexual Trauma Among Military Men,” the APA said that “Scholars raised valid concerns regarding the design and statistical analysis which compromise the findings.” Here’s the text: Read the rest of this entry »