Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

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Author threatens to sue Elsevier if paper remains retracted

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Computational Materials Science

An author is prepared to sue Elsevier if it doesn’t un-retract his paper.

Computational Materials Science published two papers by the same author just eight months apart; nearly four years later, the journal pulled one for duplication. Author Masoud Panjepour, affiliated with Isfahan University of Technology in Iran, told us that he is working with a lawyer to negotiate a solution. However, if the publisher does not un-retract the paper, he does “not rule out filing a lawsuit.”

Here’s the retraction notice for “The effect of temperature on the grain growth of nanocrystalline metals and its simulation by molecular dynamics method,” which appeared last November:

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Researcher who sued to stop retractions gets his sixth

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Mario Saad

Mario Saad

A sixth retraction has appeared for a diabetes researcher who previously sued a publisher to try to stop his papers from being retracted.

Mario Saad‘s latest retraction, in PLOS Biology, stems from inadvertent duplications, according to the authors.  Though an investigation at Saad’s institution — the University of Campinas in Brazil — found no evidence of misconduct, a critic of the paper told The Scientist he does not believe that the issues with blots were inadvertent.

Previously, Saad sued the American Diabetes Association to remove four expressions of concern from his papers; they were later retracted, even though Unicamp recommended keeping three of them published.

Here’s the new retraction notice, for “Gut Microbiota Is a Key Modulator of Insulin Resistance in TLR 2 Knockout Mice:” Read the rest of this entry »

Researcher who unsuccessfully sued journal to stop retractions earns another expression of concern

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Mario Saad

Mario Saad

A journal has added expressions of concern (EOCs) to four papers about diabetes, including one co-authored by an author who previously sued a different journal when it took a similar action on his papers.

The Journal of Physiology flagged the papers after an investigation “could not rule out the possibility” that they contained duplicated Western blots. Though the three other papers do not include Mario Saad on their author list, he plays a role: The papers include blots duplicated from other papers of Saad’s. And they reveal that Saad may have published those blots multiple times in his own work.

The EOCs all start out with the same statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Author: I’ll sue if publisher doesn’t retract my retraction

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Journal of Homeland Security

An author is preparing to sue a publisher for retracting his paper.

John Bishop, the CEO of an independent media company called Crocels, argues that by taking down his paper, De Gruyter is breaching a contract — their agreement to publish his work.

Perhaps appropriately, the paper suggests ways to combat negative online comments — including litigation.

Bishop told us he learned that his paper was pulled when he was alerted to the brief retraction notice, published in April. The notice, published in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says:

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Denmark court clears controversial psychologist of misconduct charges

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helmuth-nyborg-180

Helmuth Nyborg

A Danish court has determined that psychologist Helmuth Nyborg did not commit misconduct in a controversial 2011 paper which predicted an influx of immigrants into Denmark would lower the population’s average IQ by the latter part of this century.

The ruling, reported by the Danish newspaper Politiken, overturns a previous finding of misconduct by the the Danish Committees for Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD). It’s yet another example of scientists bringing academic disputes to the courthouse — just last year, a Danish court overturned another misconduct ruling by the DCSD against physiologist Bente Klarlund Pedersen.

The 2011 paper by Nyborg, “The Decay of Western Civilization: Double Relaxed Darwinian Selection,” appeared in Personality and Individual Differences, and quickly aroused concerns in a group of Danish scientists. The main charges: That the article denied authorship to another author, and misused a reference.

As first reported in the Danish press, an inquiry by the Danish Committees for Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD) concluded in 2013 that: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

March 30th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Lawsuit couldn’t stop four retractions for diabetes researcher

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Mario Saad

Mario Saad

Four expressions of concern in the journal Diabetes have turned into retractions for Mario Saad, a move which he had tried to stop with a lawsuit.

Last August, a judge dismissed Saad’s suit against the American Diabetes Association, which publishes Diabetes, concluding that the expressions of concerns on the papers were not defamation, but part of an “ongoing scientific discourse.” Now, after an investigation at the University of Campinas in Brazil, where Saad is based, and an assessment from an ADA ethics panel (which overturned some of Unicamp’s recommendations), the journal has added to that discourse by turning the EOCs into retractions — and flagging two more of Saad’s papers with EOCs.

Together, the retracted papers have been cited more than 600 times.

As the retraction notes explain, Read the rest of this entry »

Boldt’s retraction count upped to 94, co-author takes legal action to prevent 95th

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Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 12.12.13 AM

We’ve found two recent retractions and an expression of concern for Joachim Boldt, former prominent anesthesiologist and currently Retraction Watch leaderboard’s 2nd place titleholder. He now has 94 retractions.

One of the retracted articles contains falsified data, along with a researcher who didn’t agree to be a co-author, according to an investigation by the Justus Liebig University Giessen, where Boldt used to work. The expression of concern is regarding some questionable data. The other new retraction is actually one of 88 papers that a group of editors agreed to retract back in 2011, after they were “unable to verify” approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the studies.

One of those 88 papers, we’ve discovered, has still has not been retracted. According to an editor at the journal, they haven’t removed it because one of Boldt’s co-authors has threatened them with legal action. Read the rest of this entry »

Judge dismisses defamation suit against diabetes journal

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Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Mario Saad can’t catch a break — yesterday, a Massachusetts judge dismissed his defamation suit against the American Diabetes Association, publisher of Diabetes, which published an expression of concern regarding four of his papers in March.

The researcher has tried — and failed — to use the courts to remove the EoC.

In Saad’s latest attempt to employ legal action against the journal — arguing the EoC was defamatory — the United States District Court of Massachusetts was clear in its ruling (which you can view in its entirety here):

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Written by Alison McCook

August 19th, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Researcher loses second bid to quash Diabetes expressions of concern

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Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

It hasn’t been a good week for scientists going to court to silence criticism of their work.

Yesterday, PubPeer won a near-complete victory in a case seeking the identities of their commenters. And also yesterday, a Massachusetts judge struck down — for the second time — a request by Mario Saad to remove expressions of concern about four of his papers in Diabetes.

In his ruling, Judge Timothy Hillman wrote: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 6th, 2015 at 11:23 am

Diabetes researcher won’t give up court fight to quash expressions of concern

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Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Apparently, you can’t keep Mario Saad down.

The researcher, who had 12 figures in a paper corrected this week, was dealt a setback last week when a judge denied his motion to remove expressions of concern on four of his papers in the journal Diabetes, saying that would have amounted to prior restraint — essentially, censorship (a no-no, thanks to the First Amendment).

Saad and his attorneys, however, were undeterred. They filed a motion for reconsideration just four days later, along with a brief, arguing: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 5th, 2015 at 9:30 am