Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘unhelpful retraction notices’ Category

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This accepted manuscript has been retracted because the journal is unable to verify reviewer identities.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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Authors withdraw two papers from JBC — and that’s all we know

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Two sets of authors have withdrawn their papers from the Journal of Biological Chemistry. We’re telling you about the both together because, true to JBC form, there’s not too much to say.

The retraction notices for both papers — about the molecular underpinnings of cardiac fibroblasts and melanoma cells — are identical:

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“Irresolvable authorship dispute” leads to retraction of tropical disease paper

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Microbiology AustraliaA paper on schistosomiasis, a tropical disease spread by parasitic worms that live in freshwater snails, has been pulled because of an “irresolvable authorship dispute.”

Microbiology Australia published the retraction earlier this month in an agreement with the editors and the authors. Unfortunately, the notice doesn’t provide many details and that’s pretty much all we know.

Here’s the notice in full:

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Cancer drug paper nulled by “statistical errors”

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12032Researchers have pulled a paper about a drug used to treat pancreatic tumors due to “statistical errors.”

The 2014 paper suggested a drug that appears to treat pancreatic tumors also works in Chinese patients. We’re not exactly sure what went wrong with “A randomized phase II study of everolimus for advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in Chinese patients,” however, because the retraction note is not particularly helpful. Here’s the whole thing, published in Medical Oncology: Read the rest of this entry »

“Our manuscript unintentionally failed to meet academic and publication standards”

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Authors of a 2014 review paper about the use of “as needed” medications by people with mental health diagnoses are retracting it, but we’re scratching our heads as to why.

The retraction appears in “The experiences of mental health professionals’ and patients’ use of pro re nata (PRN) medication in acute adult mental health care settings: a systematic review protocol of qualitative evidence,” published by The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports.

From the abstract of the paper:

Pro re nata is a Latin phrase meaning “for an unforseen need or contingency”…The authors of the systematic review found that although the practice of using “as required” medication is common there is no good evidence of whether this is the best way of helping people to be less agitated when compared to being given a regular dose of medication.

We’re not entirely sure what went wrong here. This is the full contents of the note:

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Authors withdraw immunology study, no reasons given

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Journal of Biological Chemistry1Researchers have withdrawn a 2010 article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry about an immune regulator.

The paper was pulled without any explanation (in standard JBC style). Here’s the complete notice:

This article has been withdrawn by the authors.

The study’s authors were based out of Shandong University Medical School, Jinan General Hospital of Jinan Command and Duke University Medical Center.

Two of the authors have had previous papers retracted.

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Two retractions cost economic historian book chapter and journal article

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markets and morality

Francisco Gómez Camacho has lost an introduction in The Journal of Markets and Morality of a 2005 issue “for improper use of published material without attribution, as well as a a chapter in a collection of 13 scholarly essays  by Brill Publishers due to “serious citation issues.”

The introduction — to a translation of another scholars’ work, Luis de Molina’s Treatise on Money — is no longer in the online version of The Journal of Markets and Morality. On the cover page, and in the table of contents, of the treatise, references to the introduction are crossed out. Where it once was in the text — page 5 of the PDF of the treatise — is a short retraction notice:

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Written by Shannon Palus

July 20th, 2015 at 12:25 pm

“Data fabrication and manipulation have occurred”: Taste bud paper soured by fraud

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The Journal of NeuroscienceA 2013 paper on the neurological impact of flavors has been retracted from The Journal of Neuroscience. The retraction notice offers few details (which is typical for the journal), but a statement sent to us by the last author noted that an investigation at the University of Maryland “determined that data fabrication and manipulation have occurred in this study.”

Gustatory Stimuli Representing Different Perceptual Qualities Elicit Distinct Patterns of Neuropeptide Secretion from Taste Buds” examined the relationship between flavors and neuropeptides, molecules that send signals to the brain.

Here’s the retraction notice:

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JBC retraction on neuron development marks second for two biologists

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JBCTwo biologists have retracted a second paper on the development of neurons, but that’s about all we know.

The 2007 paper from the Journal of Biological Chemistry, “The Interaction of mPar3 with the Ubiquitin Ligase Smurf2 Is Required for the Establishment of Neuronal Polarity,” concerns the role of a protein, mPar3, in neuron development. It has been cited 29 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

We don’t know why this one was retracted, because JBC (as usual) offered no explanation in its retraction note:

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Two crystallography papers break apart for “trivial errors,” says author

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ACBiophysicists in India have retracted two crystallography papers describing protein binding sites following “concerns,” according to one retraction note.

The last author on both papers, however, told us he believed the retractions were the result of “trivial errors.” Although one journal praised him in its retraction note for his “positive engagement,” he said the process left him feeling “disgusted.”

One paper, “Structural Studies on Molecular Interactions between Camel Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein, CPGRP-S, and Peptidoglycan Moieties N-Acetylglucosamine and N-Acetylmuramic Acid,” was withdrawn from the Journal of Biological Chemistry in August 2014.

The second, “Mode of binding of the antithyroid drug propylthiouracil to mammalian haem peroxidases,” was retracted from Acta Crystallographica Section F this month. Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »