According to Parasitology Research, all data behind the figures in the main manuscript and supporting information are correct, but the authors’ misinterpretation of the data could lead doctors to diagnose patients incorrectly.
A 2015 study about dietary emulsifiers has been corrected by Nature after another researcher pointed out a few ambiguities.
When it first appeared, the study — which showed emulsifiers cause inflammation in the guts of mice — received a fair amount of media attention, including from Nature’s own news department. But since publication, a researcher noted some imprecision around the ages of mice used in the sample, affecting the paper’s calculations of weight gain over time. Andrew Gewirtz, co-author of the study from Georgia State University, told us the change did not affect the conclusions of the paper.
In July 2015, DNA and Cell Biology began routinely scanning manuscript submissions for plagiarism using iThenticate; since then, it’s rejected between four and six manuscripts each month for that reason alone. Additional submissions have been rejected after the journal realized the authors had digitally altered figures. The level of misconduct “shocked” editor-in-chief Carol Shoshkes Reiss, as she wrote in a recent editorial for the journal. She spoke to us about the strict measures the journal has adopted in response to these incidents.
Retraction Watch: Why did you decide to begin scanning submissions for plagiarized text using iThenticate™ software in July, 2015? Did something prompt that decision? Read the rest of this entry »
First author of the paper, Chuan Li, confirmed that he was responsible, and told Retraction Watch he apologizes for his “low-level mistake.”
Zhongfu Ni, last author of the paper from the China Agricultural University in Beijing, told us that all the co-authors agree with the retraction.
A pair of chemical engineers has retracted a paper after another researcher was unable to replicate their work, in a case that we consider an example of doing the right thing.
Dennis Prieve, at Carnegie Mellon University, was interested in applying the paper — on how systems of molecules known as “reverse micelles” conduct electrical charge — to his own work, but was having trouble repeating the calculations. So Prieve contacted the authors — John Berg and his PhD student Edward Michor, based at the University of Washington — who supplied him with their original data.
It took several weeks of back and forth to figure out the problem, Michor told us, as the paper was published in 2012, so he had to decipher his old notes. When they found that several incorrect values were used in the paper, the authors issued a retraction notice, published in March:
After the reviewer of a rejected paper was publicly outed, the BMJ has taken the unusual step of explaining why it chose not to publish the paper.
The paper — eventually published in another journal — raised hackles for suggesting that there is no “weekend effect,” or a higher mortality rate in hospitals on Saturday and Sunday. This caught the attention of UK policy makers, who have proposed changing policies to compensate for any supposed “weekend effect.”
Amidst the heated discussion about the research, one of the reviewers was identified, along with suggestions that he may have been conflicted because he had published a study showing the opposite finding. Yesterday, the BMJ posted a blog explaining that it was the editors — and not one sole reviewer — who decided to reject the paper: Read the rest of this entry »
The problems came to light after the authors couldn’t reproduce the findings, about a mechanism underlying meiosis. When questioned about the matter, the first author of the paper, Saurav Malhotra, admitted to doctoring data and materials.
The Open Science Framework (OSF) has pulled a dataset from 70,000 users of the online dating site OkCupid over copyright concerns, according to the study author.
The release of the dataset generated concerns, by making personal information — including personality traits — publicly available.
Emil Kirkegaard, a master’s student at Aarhus University in Denmark, told us that the OSF removed the data from its site after OkCupid filed a claim under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which requires the host of online content to remove it under certain conditions. Kirkegaard also submitted a paper based on this dataset to the journal he edits, Open Differential Psychology. But with the dataset no longer public, the fate of the paper is subject to “internal discussions,” he told us.
A journal about dairy science has retracted a paper after learning that it was published without the consent of all its authors.
An independent inquiry found no evidence of research misconduct, but nevertheless recommended that the institution — Curtin University in Perth, Australia — request to retract the paper.
Advocates of low-carbohydrate diet are voicing concern about a recent paper that suggested the diet could cause weight gain, contrary to previous research. One expert has even called for its retraction.
The study, published in Nutrition & Diabetes in February, also found that the low-carb diet did little to prevent the progression of type 2 diabetes. Researchers have since criticized the study for drawing these conclusions based on data from a handful of mice, using a poor proxy for the human version of the diet.
One expert took to social media to warn against the study’s message regarding the low-carb, high-fat diet (LCHF); for instance, obesity & nutrition researcher and author, Zoë Harcombe from Newport, Wales, tweeted: Read the rest of this entry »