Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Research assistant fired for using student’s thesis in a paper

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Reviews in Medical Microbiology

A research assistant at King Saud University (KSU) has lost his job after he used material from a student’s thesis without permission or attribution in a paper.

Lakshmana Krishnappa was terminated after a disciplinary committee considered his case last November, the vice dean for postgraduate training and research at KSU told Retraction Watch. In April of last year, Krishnappa retracted a paper published in January 2015 — we think that’s the date; the journal doesn’t make it all that clear — that included plagiarized material, published in Reviews in Medical Microbiology. He recently lost a second unrelated paper for duplication.

Here’s the retraction notice for the Reviews in Medical Microbiology paper, “Acinetobacter baumannii: pathogenecity, virulence factors and their correlation with adherence and invasion:”

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Biologist critiques own paper, journal retracts it — against her wishes

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Evolution Cover ImageThe journal Evolution has retracted a 2007 paper about the roles of the different sexes in searching for mates, after the same author critiqued the work in a later paper. 

The case raises important questions about when retractions are appropriate, and whether they can have a chilling effect on scientific discourse. Although Hanna Kokko of the University of Zurich, Switzerland — who co-authored both papers — agreed that the academic literature needed to be corrected, she didn’t want to retract the earlier paper; the journal imposed that course of action, said Kokko

Let’s take a look at the retraction note: Read the rest of this entry »

Does posting on PubPeer count as prior publication? Journal says yes, rejects letter rebutting campus sexual assault data

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Jim Hopper

Journals typically shy away from publishing data and text readers have seen before — but amidst the newly established norms of open science and data sharing, what counts as a prior publication?

We’re asking ourselves that question after learning that JAMA Pediatrics has rejected a letter rebutting a recent study in the journal about sexual assault on college campuses after deciding that posting the letter on PubPeer is a prior publication.

The submitted letter (which you can read here) was co-authored by independent consultant, therapist and researcher Jim Hopper, who is also a Teaching Associate in Psychology at Harvard Medical School. It concerned a 2015 paper published in JAMA Pediatricswhich suggested that the long-held belief that most rapists on college campuses are repeat offenders may be false. The findings can have major implications for university efforts to stop assaults, as institutions weigh whether to divert resources towards punishment (if serial offenders are largely responsible) or prevention (if most men only commit assaults once). Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

April 26th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Authors correct highly cited biology paper due to “genuine mistake”

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Journal of Cell ScienceAuthors of a highly cited biology paper in the Journal of Cell Science (JCS) have corrected the data underlying one of the figures.

The 2003 paper, “The transcription factor Slug represses E-cadherin expression and induces epithelial to mesenchymal transitions: a comparison with Snail and E47 repressors,” has been cited 566 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. One of the authors is the last author on a recent high profile retraction from Nature Genetics, which cost the first author a grant from the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

The correction note tells us a bit more: Read the rest of this entry »

The standard in transparency? Editor praises author honesty that led to retraction in anesthesia journal

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a&Amay16

Sometimes, a junior member of the team sees things an editor-in-chief misses.

Regular readers know that we’re always delighted when we get a chance to commend researchers and journals for doing the right thing. Here’s an example that sets the standard.

Anesthesia & Analgesia (A&A) is retracting a 2015 paper which purportedly found important differences in patient outcomes based on the quality of their anesthesiologists. The trouble with the article: Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction count for Shigeaki Kato climbs to 39

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Shigeaki Kato

Shigeaki Kato

We’ve found another retraction for Shigeaki Kato, number seven on our leaderboard.

Our count for Kato has now risen to 39; we added five retraction notices to our count for Kato last month. These notices follow an investigation at the University of Tokyo, where Kato used to work, which found 43 papers contained “likely altered or forged materials,” according to a 2013 news article from The Asahi Shimbun.

Here’s the retraction note for “1alpha,25(OH)2D3-induced DNA methylation suppresses the human CYP271B1 gene,” published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology:

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Economics paper retracted due to “extensive changes”

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727710An article has been retracted from a proceedings of an economics conference after the publisher identified errors in several parts of the study.

The retraction follows criticism from a Romanian blogger, who contacted the journal about several issues, and posted communications she received about the paper, “Sustainability of Social Enterprises: A Discourse Analysis.” It was part of a volume of Procedia Economics and Finance from a 2014 conference, “Economic Scientific Research – Theoretical, Empirical and Practical Approaches,” also known as ESPERA 2014.

According to the paper, peer review was

under responsibility of the Scientific Committee of ESPERA 2014.

Apparently, the peer review process missed a few errors. The retraction note explains:

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Written by Shannon Palus

April 25th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Engineer: Paper plagiarized my thesis — badly

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GeoScience EngineeringAn engineering journal has published a statement by a researcher alleging that a 2015 paper in the same journal plagiarized his thesis — and was so poorly done it “should not have been published.”

In the “counterstatement” to the 2015 paper, Christian Siep of the Rostock University in Germany said the paper — about the development of a Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI) in Croatia — took content from his dissertation thesis, about MSDI geoportals in Germany.

In addition, Siep argued that the original paper, “A Framework for Evaluation of Marine Spatial Data Geoportals Using Case Studies,” in GeoScience Engineering (GSE) — shows “major weaknesses” and therefore “should have not been published even [if] it was not plagiarized.”

Siep told us: Read the rest of this entry »

Weekend reads: Peer review, troubled from the start; how to survive as a whistle-blower

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Written by Ivan Oransky

April 23rd, 2016 at 9:49 am

Posted in weekend reads

Author dispute retracts paper suggesting NSAIDs curb growth in rats

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jpedorthoThe corresponding author asked the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics to retract an article that found popular pain medicines can curb growth in rats, in light of an unresolved authorship dispute.

The article, “Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Cause Inhibition of the Growth Plate in Cultured Rat Metatarsal Bones,” details preliminary results that indicate nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may reduce growth in rat bones in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting caution in treating chronic inflammatory diseases in children. The editor told us the paper was “highly rated” by reviewers and the results were “never in question,” but the senior author asked to pull the paper after failing to resolve a dispute with a researcher who asked to be added as an author.

According to the noticeRead the rest of this entry »