Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Lancet Oncology updates conflicts of interest statement for cancer-cell phone paper

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lanoncThe Lancet Oncology is correcting a 2011 article about the cancer risks of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those from cell phones, to clarify information about potential conflicts of interest for one of the experts who was involved in its preparation.

The assessments appeared as a monograph for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

However, after the 2011 paper “Carcinogenicity of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields” appeared, a reader raised allegations of conflicts of interest among its participants, which sparked a reconsideration of their disclosures.

The correction concerns the conflicts of interest for Niels Kuster of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, also a board member of the non-profit IT’IS foundation.

Kuster told Retraction Watch he disclosed everything upfront:

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Written by Alison McCook

June 24th, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Beekeeper association stung by retraction after posting accusations about major honey processor

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American Honey Producers AssociationThe American Honey Producers Association has apparently retracted an online article that said Honey Holding — a.k.a Honey Solutions, an industrial honey processor — had been charged with tax evasion and illegally selling Chinese honey containing corn syrup and sugar. According to the note:

AHPA has removed the article from its website, and is correcting and retracting the inaccurate statements with this posting.

The allegations were posted in the News section of the AHPA’s website in March, according to Honey Holding. The company said that the information was obtained from a since retracted Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article published two days before.

Here’s more from the note from the AHPA:

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Written by Ross Keith

June 24th, 2015 at 11:30 am

“Proven plagiarism” extracts paper on keeping teeth healthy in outer space

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12548Aeronautic dentistry seems like a fairly unique field, but a review article about keeping teeth healthy in outer space has been retracted from the International Journal of Stomatology & Occlusion Medicine for not being quite unique enough.

Aeronautic dentistry: an upcoming branch,” a review article, appears to have lifted pieces of other works “verbatim and without citation,” according to a representative from the journal’s publisher.

According to the first author, any plagiarism was purely accidental:

The amount of material which seems to be plagiarised was not done intentionally.

The retraction note is a single line: Read the rest of this entry »

Northwestern pulls bioethics publication with oral sex essay, reposts one year later

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atrium-issue12Northwestern University has reposted a publication from the Medical Humanities & Bioethics Program at the Feinberg School of Medicine that included a controversial essay about oral sex, after it was pulled for more than a year.

The essay was included in an issue guest edited by faculty member Alice Dreger—who penned a post for us in March about the ways in which attacks on academic freedom have increased, during the time her own publication had been taken offline.

The essay, “Head Nurses,” presents the story of William Peace, who wrote that he received oral sex from a nurse after he became paralyzed at the age of 18:

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Written by Alison McCook

June 23rd, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Duplication of “a major part of text and results” adds up to third retraction for mathematician

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An article by Alexander Spivak, a mathematician based in Israel, is being retracted from the proceedings of a 2014 numerical analysis meeting because Spivak had already published “a major part of text and results” in a mathematics journal in 2010.

Spivak, a member of the faculty of sciences at Holon Institute of Technology, has a bit of a history with the journal that published his initial 201o paper, the International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics. That journal retracted two of his papers last year after learning from Zeev Schuss, Spivak’s post-doc supervisor at Tel Aviv University, that those papers contained plagiarized chunks from a paper by Schuss and two colleagues.

Here’s more from the retraction notice for “Successive approximations for optimal control in some nonlinear systems with small parameter”, published in the Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Numerical Analysis:

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Food fight: Animal nutrition author disputes two retractions

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LSA pair of animal nutrition researchers in India have now had a second paper on the nutritional value of a fungal treatment for wheat straw retracted, and one of the authors is very unhappy about it.

M.S. Mahesh of the National Dairy Research Institute at Deemed University claims a co-author issued “abusive letters” to an editor of the journal where the first paper was retracted (which said co-author denies), and that editors responsible for the second retraction removed the paper “unscientifically and unethically.”

The second paper, in Livestock Science, describes the treatment of wheat straw, a wheat by-product, with a fungus in an effort to improve the nutritional worth of the straw. It has a similar title, subject, and conclusions to those of a 2013 paper from the journal Tropical Animal Health and Production, which was retracted because the authors “had no permission to use the data presented in the Table 1.”

We described that earlier retraction from TAHP, and the similarity with this most recently retracted paper, in a post from early last year.

Here is the LS retraction notice for “Nutritional evaluation of wheat straw treated with white-rot fungus Crinipellis sp. RCK-SC in Sahiwal calves”: Read the rest of this entry »

Plagiarism identified in computer face recognition paper

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A paper about computerized facial recognition has been pulled because “most of the contents of this article is plagiarized from an article under consideration elsewhere,” according to the retraction statement.

Applications of computer face recognition include surveillance and criminal identification. The authors propose a new method for picking out facial features in the original 2013 article, “Pose invariant face recognition using biological inspired features based on ensemble of classifiers.”

The retraction note offers few details on what went wrong. Here it is, in full:

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Yup, this happened: “Mystery” writer impersonated cardiovascular pathologist, penned published letter

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A 2014 letter in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has been retracted because editors aren’t sure who wrote it.

“Can Grayscale IVUS Detect Necrotic Core-Rich Plaque?”, a letter on the potential of intravascular ultrasound, was submitted under the name of a researcher at the University of Copenhagen, Erling Falk. The paper was sent with a Gmail account (a technique used by some academics to conduct fake peer reviews), and editors communicated with the author through the acceptance process.

Shortly after the letter was published, Erling Falk of Aarhus University contacted the journal and asked who wrote the letter. They discovered that nobody by that name worked at the University of Copenhagen and emails to the author’s Gmail address went unanswered. So the journal issued a retraction.

Here’s the complete notice:

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Duplication, “manipulated” data send carpal tunnel paper down black hole

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ArchOrpthoak20The Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery has retracted a study about whether developing fistula puts hemodialysis patients at higher risk of carpal tunnel syndrome because it “duplicated substantial parts” and “manipulated some original data” from a study by other researchers.

The retraction notice says it all: Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend reads: Duplication rampant in cancer research?; meet the data detective; journals behaving badly

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booksThis week saw us profiled in The New York Times and de Volkskrant, and the introduction of our new staff writer. We also launched The Retraction Watch Leaderboard. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 20th, 2015 at 9:34 am