Sickle cell screening abstract retracted for host of reasons, including an ambivalent co-author

A scanning electron microscope image of a sickle cell, digitally colorized (via US CDC)

Researchers have lost a 2018 conference abstract on screening for sickle cell disease in Africa over a dispute over authorship and the lack of appropriate disclosures.  

The article, “Implementation of a sickle cell disease screening initiative in Uganda with HemoTypeSC(TM),” which was presented at a 2018 conference and then appeared in Blood, described a much-touted new blood test for sickle cell trait from a company in California called Silver Lake Research.

But according to the retraction notice, a noted public health researcher in Uganda said his name had appeared on the abstract without his permission: Continue reading Sickle cell screening abstract retracted for host of reasons, including an ambivalent co-author

Group in China up to three retractions, ostensibly for three different reasons

A group of researchers at Harbin Medical University in China has had a third paper retracted, making for a tale of three notices.

The first retraction appeared in April 2017 as one of more than 100 from Tumor Biology for fake peer review.

The second, for “Functions as a Tumor Suppressor in Osteosarcoma by Targeting Sox2,” was from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, an MDPI title, in 2018: Continue reading Group in China up to three retractions, ostensibly for three different reasons

Late researcher faked Kumamoto earthquake data, university finds

Damage from the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, via Wikimedia

A researcher in Japan who published at least five papers about a deadly 2016 earthquake faked some of the data, Osaka University announced late last week.

Yoshiya Hata resigned his Osaka post and later died, according to media outlet NHK. He claimed to have studied the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, which killed at least 50 people, and injured thousands.

In October 2017, we reported that Hiroyuki Goto, of Kyoto University and one of Hata’s co-authors, had apologized because he said that the data contained “wide reaching errors.” One of the papers the two co-authored earned an editor’s note. Continue reading Late researcher faked Kumamoto earthquake data, university finds

Weekend reads: Lancet cardiac stem cell paper retracted; predatory journals pivot to video and get stung; reviews that cite retracted papers

Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.

The week at Retraction Watch featured a publisher error that led to eight withdrawals; a paper on the benefits of tea whose cup overflowed; and a paper that seemed to have everything wrong with it. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: Lancet cardiac stem cell paper retracted; predatory journals pivot to video and get stung; reviews that cite retracted papers

“All very painful:” Two retractions to watch for, in eLife and PLOS ONE

We have news of two upcoming retractions, both following critiques on PubPeer.

PLOS ONE is retracting a 2012 paper by researchers at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, “Interferon-β Induces Cellular Senescence in Cutaneous Human Papilloma Virus-Transformed Human Keratinocytes by Affecting p53 Transactivating Activity.”

PubPeer commenters first left critiques of the paper on August 6 of last year, noting likely splicing and other manipulation of images. Several days later, pseudonymous whistleblower Claire Francis contacted the journal to flag similar issues. On Wednesday of this week, a journal representative emailed Francis to say the paper would be retracted: Continue reading “All very painful:” Two retractions to watch for, in eLife and PLOS ONE

A real headache: Here’s one from the “What else could go wrong?” files

Researchers in China have retracted a 2016 paper in Oncology Letters on the anti-cancer properties of aspirin because, well, it was a disaster from top to bottom.

In the spirit of showing rather than telling, we’ll let the retraction notice do the work: Continue reading A real headache: Here’s one from the “What else could go wrong?” files

Two papers yanked for lack of formal ethics approval

By Nick Youngson

Get it in writing. That’s the moral in a pair of retractions in different journals after authors claimed to have received oral — but not written — ethics approval for their research.

One paper, in the International Journal of Pediatrics, a Hindawi title, came from a group in Kuwait and Greece. Titled “Prevalence and associated factors of peer victimization (bullying) among grades 7 and 8 middle school students in Kuwait, the article appeared in February 2017.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading Two papers yanked for lack of formal ethics approval

When a paper duplicates one in another language, how can editors spot it?

By Petr Kratochvil

Same tea, different mug. Biomolecules, an MDPI journal, has retracted a 2018 paper by on the salubrious effects of tea because the authors had previously published the same article in a Chinese-language journal.

The paper, “Evaluation of anti-obesity activity, acute toxicity, and subacute toxicity of probiotic dark tea,” came from researchers in China and one from Harvard University (oddly, a post-doc in applied physics).

The case highlights a plagiarism problem that may may be difficult to spot, it turns out. According to the retraction notice, the authors were using the same tea leaves in a different cup: Continue reading When a paper duplicates one in another language, how can editors spot it?

Journal temporarily withdraws eight papers after publisher mistake

Publishers love their embargoes, whether they’re of papers that aren’t open access yet, or are available to the media before they’re published. Apparently, however, they also break embargoes, just like the journalists they sometimes sanction for the same sin.

Take Oxford University Press, which publishes the journal Physical Therapy for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Late last month, the journal temporarily withdrew eight papers because, well, the publisher broke the journal’s embargo. Jan Reynolds, the APTA’s managing editor for the journal and director of scientific communications, explained to Retraction Watch that Continue reading Journal temporarily withdraws eight papers after publisher mistake

Weekend reads: Journal editor fired for homophobic comments; “three-parent baby” paper mega-correction; the Bette Midler journal club

Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.

The week at Retraction Watch featured plagiarism by a priest; retraction of a creationist paper “published in error;” and how a PubPeer comment led a university to reopen an investigation. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: Journal editor fired for homophobic comments; “three-parent baby” paper mega-correction; the Bette Midler journal club