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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Student denied credit, math article retracted

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inequalA math paper in the Journal of Inequalities and Applications has been retracted after it was discovered the authors had included a student’s work without acknowledging her.

One of the authors, however, told us it was an honest mistake, and that the editor pushed for retraction instead of correction “to protect this journal and its impact factor.”

Here’s the notice for “On the Kirchhoff matrix, a new Kirchhoff index and the Kirchhoff energy”: Read the rest of this entry »

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Quantum physics paper pulled for “serious theoretical errors,” notice accidentally paywalled

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physicalreviewlettersA paper on photonic quantum walks has been retracted over a theoretical disagreement.

The notice is also paywalled, which the editorial director has assured us is a mistake that is being corrected.

We sent the COPE guidelines on retraction to the American Physical Society, which publishes Physical Review Letters. Editorial director Dan Kulp told us the paywall was the unintentional consequence of a web redesign, and that they are in the process of restoring public access to “all Errata-types, including Retractions.”

Here’s the rest of his statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

October 27, 2014 at 11:30 am

“Our real intention was to emphasize, not plagiarize”

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joms.13692132This one’s not a retraction, but rather a back and forth of letters to the editor concerning accusations of plagiarism.

Dentists Bryan and Paul Jacobs, a father and son team, wrote a paper describing a novel surgical technique in March 2013. In October 2013, several Croatian dentists published their own paper using the technique.

A year later, the story has gotten a little more interesting. The November issue of the Journal of Oral and Mixillofacial Surgery, which published the second article, has two letters. One, from the Jacobses, accuses the Croatian authors of plagiarism. The second is a response from author Dragana Gabrić Pandurić, claiming “our real intention was to emphasize, not plagiarize, their work.”

Here’s the letter from Bryan and Paul Jacobs (paywalled): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

October 27, 2014 at 9:30 am

Scientist sues PubPeer commenters, subpoenas site for names

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Fazlul Sarkar, via Wayne State

Fazlul Sarkar, via Wayne State

Last month, we reported that a Wayne State University cancer researcher had threatened legal action involving post-publication peer review site PubPeer, claiming that he had lost a job offer from the University of Mississippi because of comments on the site.

Fazlul Sarkar — who has received $12.8 million in NIH funding and has been an investigator on five clinical trials — has now filed suit against PubPeer’s anonymous commenters, and has demanded that PubPeer release their names and identifying information. The complaint, filed by attorney Nicholas Roumel in Michigan’s Wayne County Circuit Court and which we’ve made available here, details more of the history of the case and of course describes the legal strategy, which we’ll describe below. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 26, 2014 at 8:43 am

Posted in united states

Weekend reads: Making research true; peer review in Shakespeare; a 79-year-old postdoc

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch began with the retraction of a paper touted by Dr. Oz. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 25, 2014 at 9:30 am

Posted in weekend reads

Heart paper will go on, but only in the first of two journals it was published in

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Cardiovascular ResearchA cardiovascular group has retracted a conference proceeding abstract, because it too closely resembled a paper they published prior to the conference.

The last author is baffled as to why the journal couldn’t have made that call before they published the abstract.

Here’s the notice for “Increased beta-adrenergic inotropy in ventricular myocardium from Trpm4 knockout mice”: Read the rest of this entry »

Failure to disclose drug company sponsor among litany of reasons for cancer retraction

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tumor biologyThis one’s a real mess.

In June, a paper in Tumor Biology was retracted for at least four reasons, including bad data and hiding a trial sponsor (Merck). Some people who contributed work weren’t cited; at least one author had no idea his name would be on it. And that’s just what they tell us in the notice.

Here’s the notice for “Neutropenia and invasive fungal infection in patients with hematological malignancies treated with chemotherapy: a multicenter, prospective, non-interventional study in China:” Read the rest of this entry »


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