Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘unhelpful retraction notices’ Category

Cell biologists in South Korea retract two papers

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jbcA group of researchers at two universities in South Korea have retracted two cell biology papers featuring retinoic acid.

The most recent retraction appears in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Although, in typical JBC fashion, the reason for it is anyone’s guess.

Here’s the unhelpful notice for “ASXL1 represses retinoic acid receptor-mediated transcription through associating with HP1 and LSD1:” Read the rest of this entry »

Opaque retraction notice for imaging paper

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cmmmSometimes we run across retraction notices that are vague, and others that are contorted, but we’ve just found one that gets highest marks for being completely inscrutable.

The article, “Bayes Clustering and Structural Support Vector Machines for Segmentation of Carotid Artery Plaques in Multicontrast MRI,” was written by a group from China and Cambridge University in England — so, we’re thinking language ought not to have been much of a barrier to clear English. It appeared in November 2012 in Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, and describes a way to analyze carotid artery plaque levels in MRI images.

But according to the notice, the technique did not work as planned (or so we think):

Read the rest of this entry »

The mysterious case of the missing — and urgent — retraction

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Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 5.09.59 PMOn January 12, we got hold of a retraction at AGRIVITA Journal of Agricultural Science a small journal published by the University of Brawijaya in Indonesia.

We went about our usual process, emailing authors and editors looking for more details. The retraction mentioned a double publication. It gave enough details that we’re fairly sure the earlier publication was this one, “Performance of Korean Soybean Varieties in Indonesia,” in the Journal of the Korean Society of International Agriculture. 

However, when we went back to write up this post, we noticed something odd. The retraction notice of “Expressions of Introduced Soybean Varieties from Korea” was no longer to be found! And the link to the paper itself now forwards you on to the main page for Agrivita.

It still shows up in Google: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 29th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Prominent geneticist nets retraction, two corrections, and a lot of questions

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David Latchman, Birkbeck

David Latchman

A team led by David Latchman, a geneticist and administrator at University College London, has notched a mysterious retraction in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and has had 25 more papers questioned on PubPeer.

The JBC notice for “Antiapoptotic activity of the free caspase recruitment domain of procaspase-9: A novel endogenous rescue pathway in cell death” is as useless as they come, a regular occurrence for the journal: Read the rest of this entry »

AIDS denialism paper retracted after Jeffrey Beall draws attention to it

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scirpA paper arguing that HIV does not cause AIDS has been retracted a few weeks after Jeffrey Beall, who tracks predatory publishers, called attention to it on his blog.

Here’s what Beall wrote about the paper on December 16:

The article is entitled “Basic Principles Underlying Human Physiology[1], and you don’t have to be a scientist to know that it’s junk, for it is a manifestation of AIDS denialism. The conclusion’s first paragraph says,

HIV is not etiologically involved in AIDS. It is just a common retrovirus found in AIDS conjuncturally. There is only AIDS that may not be strictly associated neither to a primary immune deficiency nor to an acquired immune deficiency. Actually, heart failure represents the causal factor of AIDS and many other “primary” immune deficiencies (p. 1821).

Now, in that article’s place, this retraction, dated December 19, appears: Read the rest of this entry »

Stem cell study retraction produces useless notice

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int j stem cellsWe don’t have much to go on here, for a retraction from the International Journal of Stem Cells. 

Here’s what we do know: Dental researchers at several universities in Egypt, including Cairo University, Future University, and Misr University published a paper together. According to the article, they gave dogs oral ulcers and then injected the ulcers with either fat-derived stem cells, bone marrow stem cells, or saline. The researchers conclude that the fat stem cells, also known as adipose derived stem cells, helped the dogs heal.

Unfortunately, we have no idea what went wrong, because the retraction notice is useless. Here in its entirety is the notice for “Adipose Stem Cells as Alternatives for Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Oral Ulcer Healing”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 29th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Dentistry student loses travel grant for duplicating his own work

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iadrThe International Association for Dental Research has retracted a student travel award after discovering that the recipient had previously published the work he used to secure the grant, including in an abstract he presented at the same conference last year.

The self-plagiarism was uncovered by an anonymous group of students at the Hong Kong University dentistry school, where the student is a PhD student. The unnamed students sent both the IADR and HKU faculty members a color-coded chart showing identical phrases between the 2014 abstract, a 2013 paper published in the Journal of Periodontal Research called “Human umbilical vein endothelial cells synergize osteo/odontogenic differentiation of periodontal ligament stem cells in 3D cell sheets,” and another abstract the authors presented at the 2013 IADR conference.

The paper and both abstracts were written by P.K.C.P. Panduwawala, who lost the travel grant, along with HKU’s former dean of dentistry L.P. Samaranayake; HKU’s associate dean for research L.J. Jin; and C.F. Zhang, part of HKU’s tissue engineering group.

The IADR’s page now lists the winners with a note at the bottom: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 11th, 2014 at 11:30 am

Paper on controversial stem cell “stamina therapy” retracted

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A Korean stem cell journal has retracted a paper on a controversial Italian treatment that involves harvesting stem cells from bone marrow and injecting them back into the patient.

Stamina therapy” has been pitched as a treatment for everything from Parkinson’s disease to coma, based on a U.S. patent application filed in 2010. The Italian government pledged about $3.9 million in 2013 to support a clinical trial for stamina therapy. More than 100 people signed up for the trials, with a wide range of neurological ailments; half were children.

However, allegations of fraud led to a criminal investigation into the Stamina Foundation’s leader, psychologist David Vannoni, as well as 17 other members of the organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

December 10th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Journal retracts paper when authors refuse to pay page charges

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gm cropsTaylor & Francis has withdrawn a paper published online after a disagreement with the authors about page charges.

Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva, Judit Dobránszki, Jean Carlos Cardoso, and Songjun Zeng had submitted the manuscript, “Genetic transformation of Dendrobium,” to GM Crops and Food: Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Food Chain earlier this year. It was accepted on July 29, and posted online on October 30.

Taylor and Francis — who recently took over the journal from Landes Biosciences — had requested $1,000 in page charges, and $340 in color charges. But Teixeira da Silva — who has been made persona non grata by an Elsevier journal following “personal attacks and threats,” and had a paper retracted by a Springer journal after he demanded the editors’ resignations — insisted in an email to the publisher that Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 20th, 2014 at 11:35 am

Physics paper sinks amid accusations of unacceptable “overlap”

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prl-bannerA paper in Physical Review Letters has been retracted for “overlap” with two other previously published papers.

The notice isn’t available online yet, so we got in touch with American Physical Society (APS) editorial director Dan Kulp for more information. Here’s what he told us about “Anomalous melting scenario of the two-dimensional core-softened system”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 19th, 2014 at 9:30 am