Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

“Significant” copying forces retraction of sternotomy paper

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icatsInteractive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery has yanked a 2005 sternotomy paper by a group of researchers who plagiarized from an earlier article on the subject.

The article, “The complications of repeat median sternotomy in paediatrics: six-months follow-up of consecutive cases,” came from a team at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, England, and has been cited eight times, according to Scopus.

Here’s the notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

“Know how to recognize pseudoscience:” Reader reveals how fish oil paper came to be retracted

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Ian Garber

Ian Garber

After our post yesterday on a fishy retraction from author Brian Peskin, a reader who alerted the journal to problems got in touch to give us the lowdown.

Ian Garber is in the last year of medical residency at the University of British Columbia. Here’s the story he told us via email: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 12th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Overly honest references: “Should we cite the crappy Gabor paper here?”

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ethologyWe never cease to be amazed what can make it through peer review and several levels of editing.

In this case, some fish mating researchers wrote an, um, love note to their peers that failed to be edited out by any of the many eyes who must have at least glanced over it.

Here’s our favorite passage in “Variation in Melanism and Female Preference in Proximate but Ecologically Distinct Environments” (emphasis ours), published in Ethology:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 11th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Posted in wiley

PubPeer Selections: Corrections in PNAS, PLOS Pathogens after PubPeer critiques; how old is too old?

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pubpeerHere’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 11th, 2014 at 11:39 am

Posted in pubpeer selections

“Undeclared competing interest” sinks fish oil takedown by author fined for deceptive claims

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Snake swallowing a whole fish

Image via Jesse Palmer

The Journal of Lipids has retracted an aggressively negative review article called “Why Fish Oil Fails,” written by one Brian S. Peskin, whose bogus health claims have landed him in plenty of hot water in the past.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 11th, 2014 at 9:30 am

It’s happened again: Journal “cannot rule out” possibility author did his own peer review

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ijkcThomson Reuters’ online peer review system ScholarOne is having quite a year.

This summer, a scientist exploited basic security flaws in how the system accepts author suggestions for peer reviewers to review a whole pile of his own manuscripts, ultimately resulting in the retraction of 60 papers and the resignation of the Taiwan minister of education.

Now, another journal that uses the system, Wiley’s International Journal of Chemical Kinetics, has retracted a paper because the authors provided their own peer reviewers and “the identity of the peer reviewers could subsequently not be verified.”

We asked editor Craig A. Taatjes if he was concerned the authors had conducted their own peer review. His response is reflective of many of the breaches we’ve seen so far for these online systems: Read the rest of this entry »

“I kind of like that about science:” Harvard diabetes breakthrough muddied by two new papers

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Doug Melton

Harvard stem cell researcher Doug Melton got a lot of press last year for research on a hormone he named betatrophin, after its supposed ability to increase production of beta cells, which regulate insulin.

Now, the conclusions from that paper, which has been cited 59 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, have been called into question by research from an independent group, as well as follow-up work from the original team.

The interest was driven by the hormone’s potential as a new treatment for diabetes. In 2013, Melton told the Harvard Gazette that betatrophin could be in clinical trials within three to five years. Here’s Kerry Grens in The Scientist: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 10th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Weekend reads: Scientists behaving badly; sexual harassment at Yale; help us find Retraction Watch bugs

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booksFirst, a housekeeping note: We migrated web hosts this week, and while the move seems to have gone mostly smoothly, we’ve noticed a few issues: Comments aren’t threaded (even though we have them set up to be), categories aren’t properly nesting, and a small percentage of comments didn’t transfer over with the rest, the way they should have. We’re working on getting this resolved, and looking into whether we can (or should) restore upvoting and downvoting on comments, so please let us know of any other issues you see, and thanks as always for your patience.

Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 8th, 2014 at 10:06 am

Posted in weekend reads

Kidney journal pulls abstract for author issues

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ndtcoverNephrology Dialysis Transplantation has retracted a 2014 meeting abstract by a group of researchers on Crete whose ranks were inflated by one.

The abstract, titled “GENOTYPE (A) OF ENOS GENE AND R229Q MUTATION OF NPHS2 APPEARS TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH A WORSE OUTCOME IN PATIENTS WITH IGA NEPHROPATHY,” was presented at the European Renal Association-European Dialysis Association’s annual meeting.

Here’s what it reported: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

November 7th, 2014 at 11:30 am

A tale of two notices as Tunisian chemists lose two papers for duplicated data

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molecules-logoMolecules has pulled a 2010 article by a trio of chemists from Tunisia who tried — and succeeded, for a while, at least — to publish the same data twice. The article was titled “An Expeditious Synthesis of [1,2]Isoxazolidin-5-ones and [1,2]Oxazin-6-ones from Functional Allyl Bromide Derivatives.” And indeed it was expeditious. Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »