Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Bielawski and Wiggins retraction count grows to six

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chemical scienceA group of chemists whose work was investigated by the University of Texas-Austin has had another paper retracted, this one of a Chemical Science study previously subjected to an Expression of Concern.

That makes six retractions for Christopher Bielawski and Kelly Wiggins.

Here’s the notice for “Homonuclear bond activation using a stable N,N′-diamidocarbene”, signed by all three authors of the paper: Read the rest of this entry »

Authorship issues spell retraction for breast cancer paper

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ijmponcThe corresponding author of a 2014 paper in the Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology has retracted the article because he was a bit too generous with his list of coauthors.

The article, “Outcome of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancer: A tertiary care centre experience,” reviewed medical records from a local population of breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. It came from a group at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, in Chandigarh. The first author was Tapesh Bhattacharyya, followed by four other names.

According to the noticeRead the rest of this entry »

Biology team with two retractions now correcting references to nixed papers

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Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 5.59.20 PMA team of biologists that retracted two papers after being “unable to replicate some of the results obtained by the first author of the paper” has now issued a correction to fix references to the two sunk publications.

The corrected paper is a review in the Journal of Virology — known there as a Gem — which discusses how viruses use the membranes of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to replicate.

The two retractions were not signed by their first author, Riccardo Bernasconi, who won the STSBC-Roche Diagnostics award for one of the papers in 2012. The correction carries all three authors’ names, including Bernasconi’s (as second author).

Here’s more from the correction for “How Viruses Hijack the ERAD Tuning Machinery”: Read the rest of this entry »

Beleaguered Förster turns down prestigious professorship, citing personal toll

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Jens Förster

Jens Förster, a social scientist accused of research misconduct, has turned down a highly coveted — and well-endowed — professorship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Foster explained his decision to decline the 5 million Euro award in a post on his personal website: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

April 20th, 2015 at 11:07 am

Former postdoc suing lab head for publishing paper he says he wrote, without his name

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plos biologyA pharmaceutical researcher is suing his postdoctoral advisor and former business partner, accusing him of publishing a paper in PLoS Biology they wrote together, and removing him as an author.

According to the complaint, Andrew Mallon and John Marshall co-founded a company, Ardane Therapeutic, to commercialize a potential therapy that Mallon discovered for Angelman Sydrome, a developmental disorder characterized by cognitive impairment and autism.

In 2011, the two, along with several other members of Marshall’s lab at Brown University, wrote and submitted a paper to Neuron (listing Mallon as the first author), which was not accepted. Shortly after submission, “Mallon and Marshall had a falling out,” the complaint says — specifically, they “disagreed about how Ardane should be operated and about the required standards of legal and ethical conduct.” Mallon left the lab and founded his own company, Calista Therapeutics.

In 2013, Marshall and his team published a paper in PLoS Biology, “Impairment of TrkB-PSD-95 Signaling in Angelman Syndrome,” that had some passages taken almost verbatim from the Neuron submission, the complaint says, but Mallon was not included as an author. According to the lawsuit:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

April 20th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Weekend reads: Aussie scientists bend rules; how to fix peer review once and for all; crazy structure alert

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction of 11 papers by a controversial researcher in Italy, and a look at the controversy over lead in the water supply. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 18th, 2015 at 10:46 am

Posted in weekend reads

Cancer team loses two papers for image manipulation

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bba_2A team spread across multiple institutions in China and McGill University in Canada has retracted two cancer papers over “inaccurate and inappropriately processed Western Blots.”

Some of the figures were also reused between the two articles, both in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta General Subjects.

The articles both tested the cancer-fighting properties of a derivative of the active compound present in Boswellia serrata gum resin.

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Citation manipulation the last straw for modified rice straw paper

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jnm_coverThe Journal of Nanomaterials has retracted a paper on modified rice straw over citation manipulation.

Rice straw, which makes up nearly half of the biomass in rice plants, is generally considered agricultural waste. However, in recent years scientists have discovered ways to modify the raw material to make it capable of absorbing heavy metal ions, making it useful to both prevent and clean up pollution from industrial processes.

The retracted paper, which analyzed the physical properties of different kinds of modified rice straw, was retracted for citation manipulation.

Here’s the short (and to the point) retraction for “Mechanical and Thermal Stability Properties of Modified Rice Straw Fiber Blend with Polycaprolactone Composite”: Read the rest of this entry »

Controversial Italian scientist loses 11 papers from journal he used to edit

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Alberto Carpinteri, via Politecnico di Torino

Alberto Carpinteri, via Politecnico di Torino

Alberto Carpinteri is something of a Renaissance man.

Along with championing a highly controversial form of energy generation called “piezonuclear fission,” which involves crushing rocks, the engineer has argued that the Shroud of Turin really is as old as Jesus, but carbon dating was thrown off by an earthquake.

Not everyone agrees with his ideas: In 2012, more than 1,000 scientists signed a petition asking the Italian National Institute of Metrological Research (or INRIM, of which Carpinteri was director at the time) not to fund piezonuclear fission.

Carpinteri was also editor in chief of the journal Meccanica until 2014, when Luigi Gambarotta took over. Now, Meccanica is retracting 11 of its former EIC’s papers, including the one on the Shroud, and a number on piezonuclear fission, which Wired Italy put on their list of “most famous science hoaxes.” The reason? According to the notice, “the editorial process had been compromised.” Read the rest of this entry »

Teflon toxicity paper fails to stick

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toxicological sciencesAn advanced online paper on prenatal toxicity of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), an industrial chemical used to make waterproof coatings and Teflon, is being retracted due to “some minor errors.”

High blood levels of PFOA have been tied to kidney disease in humans, as well as several cancers in animal models. The majority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific advisory board deemed PFOA “likely to be carcinogenic in humans” in 2006, though a decade later the EPA has yet to make a decision on regulations. The retracted paper found that exposing pregnant mice to PFOA altered hormone pathways in mammary glands.

According to the notice in Toxicological Sciences, there was a duplicated image in one of the figures, as well as “some minor errors.” Here’s figure 5B: Read the rest of this entry »