Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“We gave you the wrong information.” An apology from the CBC

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CBCWhenever we see someone step forward and admit their mistakes, along with a clear explanation so others can avoid the same, we applaud them.

Today, our digital hands are clapping for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), whose Marketplace has issued a lengthy explanation for why they reported incorrect results from tests of popular vitamins and supplements.

Since they do it so well, we’ll let them tell what happened: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

January 21st, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Oops! Authors accidentally include extra patients in biopsy paper

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A paper that compared two gauges of needles to take samples of pancreatic masses has been retracted after authors unintentionally included patients from another trial.

Randomized Trial Comparing the Flexible 19G and 25G Needles for Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration of Solid Pancreatic Mass Lesions,” published a year ago in Pancreas, notes that:

A total of 100 patients with solid pancreatic mass lesions constituted the study cohort and were randomized equally to the 2 needle groups.

The problem? According to the retraction note, some of those patients weren’t supposed to be included:

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Math journal retracts entire issue following peer-review problems

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home_coverThe editor of a special issue of a math journal — and author of many of the papers in it — has officially retracted the entire thing, after promising to withdraw it last year following issues with the review process.

According to the note in Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids, the peer-review process was “less rigorous than the journal requires.” Indeed, that process was coordinated by guest editor David Y. Gao, a mathematician at the Federation University Australia, who was also author on 11 of the 13 papers present in the issue.

Gao told us in November that he was withdrawing the issue because he thought it would be better suited as a book.

Here is the official retraction note, which focuses on the conflict of interest:

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Management researcher with 7 retractions issues “clarifications” to 2013 paper

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The authors of a paper on supportive supervisors just want readers to “better understand the reported findings,” and so have issued multiple “clarifications” in a corrigendum note.

Some of the issues addressed in the note have been raised on PubPeer.

The paper’s author list includes one Fred Walumbwa, formerly an Arizona State University management researcher, some of whose work has succumbed to scrutiny in the the past two years. His current list: seven retractions, a megacorrection, an expression of concern, and now this.

Unraveling the relationship between family-supportive supervisor and employee performance,” published in Group & Organization Management, has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the note in full:

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Authors retract two neuroscience papers for duplication and plagiarism

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Journal of NeurosurgeryA tipster’s complaints have led to the retraction of two papers in the Journal of Neurosurgery for “plagiarism, duplicate publication, and copyright infringement.”

The corresponding author for both papers, Hung-Chuan Pan of Taichung Veterans General Hospital, had contacted the journal about publishing an erratum for one of the articles when the journal was tipped off by an email pointing out deeper problems in the two retracted papers.

The tipster provided evidence that alleged “a violation of ethics on the part of the authors,” according to the communications manager at the JNS Publishing Group, Jo Ann Eliason.

Both retraction notices, published October 2, detailed a number of “similarities” and “overlaps” in the papers.

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ASU prof placed on administrative leave following plagiarism charges

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Matthew Whitaker

A faculty member at Arizona State University has been placed on leave while the university investigates charges against him.

According to a spokesperson for ASU, Matthew Whitaker

has been placed on administrative leave and relieved of all duties. The University will follow Arizona Board of Regents policy as it reviews allegations that his conduct has fallen short of the University’s expectations for a faculty member and a scholar.

In July, we reported that Whitaker was revising a book about modern African-American history after he admitted it contained Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

September 18th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Anti-fish oil researcher netted two more retractions

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Brian Peskin

Earlier this year, Food and Nutrition Sciences retracted two papers from an author who criticized highly popular fish oil supplements after an additional round of peer review concluded his papers present a “biased interpretation,” among other issues.

Last year, Brian Peskin lost a paper for an “undeclared competing interest” — namely, that he held patents and directed a company associated with essential fatty acids.

In place of fish oil, Peskin touts plant-based supplements for treating cardiovascular disease. From the abstract of the freshly-retracted “Why Fish Oil Fails to Prevent or Improve CVD: A 21st Century Analysis,” he claims that Parent Essential Oils (PEOs) — such as alpha-linolenic acid, which can be converted into the EPA and DHA found in fish oil — “fulfill fish oil’s failed promise”: Read the rest of this entry »

Paper on chemtrails, a favorite subject of conspiracy theorists, retracted

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A paper claiming to expose the “tightly held secret” that long clouds trailing from jets are toxic coal fly ash — and not, as the U.S. government says, primarily composed of harmless ice crystals — has been retracted.

The paper is called “Evidence of Coal-Fly-Ash Toxic Chemical Geoengineering in the Troposphere: Consequences for Public Health,” and was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in August. Author J. Marvin Herndon — a geophysicist, and self-described “independent researcher” — also distributed a press release about the findings.

The abstract explains:

The author presents evidence that toxic coal combustion fly ash is the most likely aerosolized particulate sprayed by tanker-jets for geoengineering, weather-modification and climate-modification purposes and describes some of the multifold consequences on public health.

The detailed retraction note, authored by the academic editor of the paper, Paul B. Tchounwou, a biologist at Jackson State University, points out some errors with the science, and notes that the “language of the paper is often not sufficiently scientifically objective:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

September 3rd, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Researchers, need $100? Just mention Cyagen in your paper!

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A bioscience company is offering researchers a voucher — $100 and up — to mention them in published papers.

“PCR just got a new meaning,” Cyagen Biosciences, Inc. declares on their website: “Publish”, “Cite,” “Reward.”

The company, which makes bioscience tools, is offering scientists vouchers in exchange for a nod:  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

August 14th, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“Values were outside expected ranges”: Toxicology paper spiked after audit

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Toxicological PathologyResearchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences have retracted a 2014 article after a review unearthed unresolved problems with the study’s control material.

The retracted paper, “Effect of Temperature and Storage Time on Sorbitol Dehydrogenase Activity in Sprague-Dawley Rat Serum and Plasma,” looked to test the durability and stability of sorbitol dehydrogenase, an enzyme used to detect cancerous liver damage in rats.

Here’s the complete retraction notice from Toxicologic Pathology :

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Written by Ross Keith

June 30th, 2015 at 11:30 am