Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

Science pulls advice post suggesting student “put up with” advisor looking down her shirt

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scienceThe careers site of Science magazine has pulled an advice column posted today from virologist Alice Huang, who suggested a postdoc tolerate an advisor’s roving eye.

In the retraction note, Science Careers apologizes for publishing the post, even if it was for just a few hours. “We regret that the article had not undergone proper editorial review prior to posting.”

Luckily, we found a web archive, courtesy of Kelly Hills (@rocza).

Here’s the question, from a reader whom we presume to be female:

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Written by Alison McCook

June 1st, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Rolling Stone retracts UVA gang rape story: A view from Retraction Watch

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Rolling-Stone-LOGO-2Rolling Stone has officially retracted its blockbuster story on a gruesome gang rape at the University of Virginia, “A Rape on Campus.”

The story, which followed the case of a UVA student named Jackie, was retracted last night after a 12,700-word report was released by the Columbia Journalism School and published on Rolling Stone’s website. The CJR review uncovered a breakdown in very basic reporting principles, including pressing hard for outside confirmation of difficult stories and sending “no surprises” letters to every person being portrayed in an unflattering light. The report was accompanied by an apology from managing editor Will Dana, who penned the editor’s note we discussed in December. The writer, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, also released a statement, which read in part: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

April 6th, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Is Rolling Stone retracting its story on UVA sexual assault?

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Rolling-Stone-LOGO-2Rolling Stone has published an editor’s note that calls into question their November 19 story, “A Rape on Campus,” which details a UVA student’s alleged gang rape at a fraternity party and her subsequent struggle to get justice from the school.

Shortly after publication, the magazine was criticized for not seeking a statement from the alleged perpetrators, despite the fact that they were not named in the story, and for relying almost entirely on the testimony from one individual.

Here is managing editor Will Dana’s editor’s note: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 5th, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“Loving you is the easiest thing in the world”: A retraction of a different sort

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bogertHere’s something lovely to cheer you up.

Yesterday’s Courier-Mail in Queensland, Australia, published a heart-warming note in the birth announcements – a retraction for a 1995 birth announcement of a baby girl.

Click through for the full text.

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Written by Cat Ferguson

December 2nd, 2014 at 11:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized