Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘society journal retractions’ Category

Author objects to retraction for not “faithfully represented” immunology figures

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The Journal of ImmunologyAll but one of the authors of a study about the immune response to H. pylori have agreed to a retraction in The Journal of Immunology, due to two of the paper’s figures not being “faithfully represented.”

Authors of the 2006 paper said they were unable to provide the original unedited scans “due to inadequate archiving dating back almost 10 years.” The authors — with the exception of the first author, Sushil Kumar Pathak, apologized for the error.

The notice, which has been appended to the pdf, reads:

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Following criticism, BMJ “clarifies” dietary guidelines investigation

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downloadThe BMJ has issued two “clarifications” to an investigation it published last week that questioned whether the new U.S. dietary guidelines were evidence-based.

The article criticized several aspects of the new dietary guidelines, such as “deleting meat from the list of foods recommended as part of its healthy diets.” However, according to the clarification, that sentence should have specified “lean” meats.

After The BMJ‘s article appeared, an analysis on The Verge questioned whether The BMJ’s author Nina Teicholz was guided by her own opinions. She’s the author of a book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee also posted a lengthy “rapid response”The BMJ‘s refined version of a comment section — to Teicholz’s article, saying it “strongly disagrees with many of the statements represented as facts.”

This afternoon, Rebecca Coombes, head of investigations and features at The BMJ, posted a response: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

September 29th, 2015 at 3:35 pm

1+1 “identical” math papers = retraction

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homeHeaderTitleImage_en_USA paper on an equation useful in finance has been retracted after editors discovered an “identical” version had been published in another journal.

The paper, “On the Parametric Interest of the Black-Scholes Equation,” was published in the Thai Journal of Mathematics. According to the introduction, that equation has a practical use:

In financial mathematics, the famous equation named the Black-Scholes equation plays an important role in solving the option price of stocks

(According to The Guardian, it was “The mathematical equation that caused the banks to crash.”)

Here’s the retraction note in full:

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Written by Shannon Palus

September 28th, 2015 at 11:30 am

4th ORI-flagged paper by Oregon student is retracted

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home_cover (2)The last of four papers containing data falsified by University of Oregon neuroscience student David Anderson has been retracted.

When the Office of Research Integrity report flagging the papers came out in July, Anderson told us he “made an error in judgment,” and took “full responsibility” for the misconduct.

The newly retracted paper, “A common discrete resource for visual working memory and visual search,” published in Psychological Science, has been cited 28 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. According to the abstract, it demonstrates a possible link between working memory and the ability to “rapidly identify targets hidden among distractors.”

But according to the retraction note, Anderson produced “results that conformed to predictions” by “removing outlier values and replacing outliers with mean values”  in some of the data.

Here’s the retraction note in full:

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Mirror image in plant study flagged on PubPeer grows into retraction

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djs_mpmi_28_9_cover-online.inddA 2010 paper on plant fungus has been retracted after a comment on PubPeer revealed that a study image had been flipped over and reused to represent two different treatments.

In May, a commenter pointed out the plants in Figure 2a of the paper in the journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions “look remarkably similar.” A commenter writing under the name of corresponding author, Yukio Tosa at Kobe University in Japan, posted a response two days later agreeing with the assessment and stating that the paper should be retracted.

The notice reads: Read the rest of this entry »

Can you spot the signs of retraction? Just count the errors, says a new study

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downloadClinical studies that eventually get retracted are originally published with significantly more errors than non-retracted trials from the same journal, according to a new study in BMJ.

The authors actually called the errors “discrepancies” — for example, mathematical mistakes such as incorrect percentages of patients in a subgroup, contradictory results, or statistical errors.

The study doesn’t predict which papers will eventually be retracted, since such discrepancies occur frequently (including one in the paper itself), but the authors suggest a preponderance could serve as an “early and accessible signal of unreliability.”

According to the authors, all based at Imperial College London, you see a lot more of these in papers that are eventually retracted: Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s how to keep clinical trial participants honest (and why that’s a big deal)

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NEJMAdditional lab tests, creating a clinical trial patient registry, and rewards for honesty are among the advice doled out in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine for researchers to help avoid the major issue of participants lying to get into clinical trials.

In the Perspective, David B. Resnik and David J. McCann, both based at the National Institutes of Health, address concerns raised by a 2013 survey of clinical trial participants that revealed “high rates” of “deceptive behavior.” Specifically: Read the rest of this entry »

Duke researcher with 7 retractions earns two Expressions of Concern

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American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care MedicineData issues continue to plague pulmonary papers co-authored by Duke University professor William Foster and former Duke researcher Erin Potts-Kant. Yesterday, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine posted an Expression of Concern for two articles from the pair while the findings are “under review.”

The notice was published after the paper’s corresponding author, John Hollingsworth (also at Duke), told the journal that “some of the data published in these articles may be unreliable,” a term that we’ve gotten used to seeing from previous retractions.

Another Expression of Concern from the journal published earlier this year for another paper co-authored by Foster and Potts-Kant turned into a retraction months later. Hollingsworth was a co-author on that paper and another paper retracted from Environmental Health Perspectives in July.

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Top official at Indian university plagiarized most of paper

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A top official and law researcher at a university in India is facing dismissal after being charged with plagiarizing approximately three-quarters of one of her papers, among other allegations.

Chandra Krishnamurthy, the Vice Chancellor at Pondicherry University, has been “placed under ‘compulsory wait’ by the Union human resource ministry following several charges against her,” according to The Times of India.

A nine-month long investigation by the International Journal of Legal Information confirmed that the majority of one paper on Krishnamurthy’s CV, “Legal Education and Legal Profession in India,” was largely plagiarized.

Here’s the retraction note:
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Written by Shannon Palus

September 18th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Re-analysis of controversial Paxil study shows drug “ineffective and unsafe” for teens

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downloadThe antidepressant Paxil isn’t safe or effective for teens after all, says a re-analysis of a 2001 study published today in The BMJ.

The original 2001 paper in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry — study 329, as it’s known — helped greenlight use of the drug (generically known as paroxetine) in young people. But it’s faced accusations of ghostwriting, undisclosed conflicts of interest, and issues with data analysis since publication.

According to a BMJ feature, also published today: Read the rest of this entry »