Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

EMBO investigation yields two more retractions and three corrections for Voinnet

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Olivier Voinnet

Olivier Voinnet

An investigation into the work of Olivier Voinnet by The EMBO Journal has led to another two retractions and three more corrections for the high-profile plant scientist, now suspended from the CNRS for two years.

According to the authors, Voinnet was responsible for some of the errors; all papers have been questioned on PubPeer.

The EMBO J, the flagship publication of the European Molecular Biology Organization, posted four notices earlier today and told Retraction Watch that the notice for the fifth paper would be posted by tomorrow.

This latest round brings our count for Voinnet up to 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

17 retractions from SAGE journals bring total fake peer review count to 250

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sage-journals-logoOn Monday, we reported on 64 new retractions from Springer journals resulting from fake peer reviews. Yesterday, SAGE — which retracted 60 papers for the same reason just over a year ago — added 17 additional retractions to their list.

The articles were published in five different journals, and one retraction involved authorship fraud in addition to peer review fraud, according to a SAGE spokesperson: Read the rest of this entry »

Analysis of pilots with prostate cancer retracted for “inappropriate data”

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Aerospace Medicine and Human PerformanceIn case any pilots out there are worrying about their risk of prostate cancer based on a recent meta-analysis that found they are at least twice as likely to develop the disease, they should relax — the paper has been retracted.

The reason: “including inappropriate data from two studies that should be ineligible.”

“The risk of prostate cancer in pilots: a meta-analysis” reviewed eight studies to determine whether airline pilots, who are regularly exposed to radiation and other occupational hazards, have a higher incidence of prostate cancer. However, it also included studies that reported on prostate cancer among all U.S. Armed Forces servicemen, not pilots.

The retraction notice was posted in May — only months after it was published in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance in February. The notice included a letter to the editor outlining flaws in the meta-analysis and an apologetic response from first author, David Raslau at the Mayo Clinic.

Here’s the notice (appearing at the bottom of page 2):

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“Exactly the same clinical study” published six times

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4A group of researchers conducted a clinical trial on hundreds of hypertensive patients. Then, they published the results…six times.

The “nearly identical” papers came to our attention via a retraction in Inflammation. Editor in chief Bruce Cronstein explained how he learned of the mass duplication:

The editors were contacted en masse by somebody doing a Cochrane Review on hypertension and who noticed that the content of the 6 papers was nearly identical.  Frankly, not one of us would have noticed otherwise.

Another of those papers, in the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has also been retracted. That note is similar to the retraction notice for the Inflammation paper, both of which have been cited twice:

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64 more papers retracted for fake reviews, this time from Springer journals

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springerThis is officially becoming a trend: Springer is pulling another 64 articles from 10 journals after finding evidence of faked peer reviews, bringing the total number of retractions from the phenomenon north of 230.

Given that there have been about 1,500 papers retracted overall since 2012, when we first reported on the phenomenon, faked reviews have been responsible for about 15% of all retractions in the past three years.

This isn’t the first time Springer has faced the issue. As owner of the BioMed Central journals, it issued 43 retractions for faked reviews earlier this year.

In a statement, the publisher explains how the latest round of retractions came to light: Read the rest of this entry »

Running shoe paper pulled for failing to disclose author’s industry ties

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87507315-105.4.coverNot so fast — a paper that showed wearing Vibram FiveFingers (resembling foot gloves) “may help reduce running-related injuries” has been removed after the editors realized the first author is on Vibram’s advisory board.

Managing editor Noelle A. Boughanmi told us there’s no retraction here — the journal is just fixing the paper to address the relationship of podiatrist Nick Campitelli with the company featured in the article.

There is still a copy of the paper on PubMed, which suggests these “minimalist shoes” strengthen key muscles.

The paper was published online by the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. It was removed after editors realized that “the author did not fully disclose some involvement with the company,” Boughanmi said:

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Trouble with data proves toxic for a pair of toxicology papers

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logoA pair of papers about the risks of titanium dioxide nanoparticles that share many of the same authors has been retracted from a toxicology journal following an investigation at Soochow University in China.

Particle and Fibre Toxicology is retracting the papers for problems with the statistical methods and missing data, as well as for sharing figures.

Here’s the note for “Intragastric exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles induced nephrotoxicity in mice, assessed by physiological and gene expression modifications:”

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Weekend reads: Top science excuses; how figures can mislead; a strange disclosure

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured a primer on research misconduct proceedings, and some developments in the case of Joachim Boldt, who is now second on our leaderboard. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 15th, 2015 at 9:32 am

Posted in weekend reads

Researchers, need $100? Just mention Cyagen in your paper!

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Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 1.15.29 PM

A bioscience company is offering researchers a voucher — $100 and up — to mention them in published papers.

“PCR just got a new meaning,” Cyagen Biosciences, Inc. declares on their website: “Publish”, “Cite,” “Reward.”

The company, which makes bioscience tools, is offering scientists vouchers in exchange for a nod:  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

August 14th, 2015 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized