Weekend reads: Researcher loses grant following bullying allegations; 40+ retractions later, still an enigma; predatory journal critic suspended

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 look at a court case that suggests senior researchers are responsible for misconduct by others; a journal full of baloney; and how a researcher with 16 retractions earned a new professorship. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: Researcher loses grant following bullying allegations; 40+ retractions later, still an enigma; predatory journal critic suspended

Cancer researcher at OSU up to nine retractions

Samson Jacob

A cancer researcher and emeritus professor at The Ohio State University has retracted four more papers, bringing his total to nine from a single journal.

The four retractions of work by Samson Jacob appear in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, from which Jacob retracted five papers in March. The original papers — one of which has been cited more than 250 times — date back to 2002.

OSU declined to say whether Jacob’s work was under investigation: Continue reading Cancer researcher at OSU up to nine retractions

Dear editor: Your retraction notice stinks

When you think a retraction notice doesn’t tell the whole story, what should you do?

For one group of researchers who’ve been closely following how journals handle the work associated with a bone researcher found guilty of misconduct, the actions of one publication were too problematic to let go.

So the researchers wrote to the journal about their concerns, stating a recent retraction notice for a meta-analysis “oversimplifies a complex situation and might be misinterpreted by readers.” And the journal recently published their concerns in a letter to the editor.

The retracted paper is co-authored by researchers who used to collaborate with Yoshihiro Sato, a now-deceased bone researcher who has accrued dozens of retractions. The retraction, issued earlier this year by Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, notes that the meta-analysis cited research by Sato that was “extensively duplicated,” and includes a statement from the first author of the retracted paper, Jun Iwamoto, stating that he was an “honorary author of Sato’s papers,” and played no role in Sato’s scientific misconduct.

That’s not good enough, according to Andrew Grey of the University of Auckland, who co-authored the recent letter in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica. Grey tells Retraction Watch the letter was prompted by:

Continue reading Dear editor: Your retraction notice stinks

Meet the journal full of baloney (and cheese)

“Baloney on Wonder Bread with American Cheese,” by Ann Larie Valentine

For researchers wandering in the food desert of scientific publishing, the journal description is irresistible — or, you might say, appetizing. Meet The International Cheese Journal:

Have you ever wondered how your colleagues got each cheese published in journals with great sounding names? And that there was so little content in it? You can now too!

We asked Marcel Waldvogel, who created the new journal, some questions how he came up with this delicious idea. He was kind enough to interrupt his sandwich lunch to answer: Continue reading Meet the journal full of baloney (and cheese)

Management researcher with 16 retractions has new professorship

Ulrich Lichtenthaler

Ulrich Lichtenthaler, a management professor who has had to retract 16 papers for data irregularities, has a new position in academia.

According to a news release from the International School of Management (ISM), a business school based in Germany, Lichtenthaler has been appointed Professor of Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the Cologne campus. Lichtenthaler is also taking over as one of the directors of the Entrepreneurship Institute at ISM, which conducts research in the field.

Lichtenthaler’s name may be familiar to readers: After journals retracted more than a dozen of his articles, he resigned from a previous post at the University of Mannheim in 2015.

We emailed Lichtenthaler to ask if he had disclosed his history to his new employers; he forwarded the email to ISM’s head of marketing and sales, who told us:

Continue reading Management researcher with 16 retractions has new professorship

Are you liable for misconduct by scientific collaborators? What a recent court decision could mean for scientists

Richard Goldstein

Retraction Watch readers may have followed our coverage of the case of Christian Kreipke, a former Wayne State researcher who was recently barred from U.S. Federal funding for five years. That punishment followed years of allegations and court cases, along with half a dozen retractions. The case has been complicated, to say the least, and led to a 126-page decision by a judge last month. Here, Boston-based attorney Richard Goldstein, who represented the scientist in Bois v. HHS, the first case to overturn a funding ban by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI), tries to explain what it could all mean.

Can you commit research misconduct if you fail to detect false data from another scientist? Continue reading Are you liable for misconduct by scientific collaborators? What a recent court decision could mean for scientists

Weekend reads: Why rhetoric and self-censorship is bad for science; an author threatens to sue his critics; why whistleblowing is critical

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 the departure of a professor in Glasgow amidst three retraction; the mysterious removal of a 26-year-old paper, and a four-page correction for a six-page paper. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: Why rhetoric and self-censorship is bad for science; an author threatens to sue his critics; why whistleblowing is critical

Researcher and biotech founder in Ireland issues four retractions

Therese Kinsella

An award-winning researcher and founder of a biotech company based in Ireland has retracted four papers and corrected another.

In the last few weeks, Therese Kinsella — a professor at the University of College of Dublin (UCD) — has issued a correction and three retractions in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) of papers dating back to 2001, and retracted a 2012 paper in the Journal of Lipid Research.

The retraction notices describe image manipulations, but add that the authors stand by the results. The corrected paper discloses a “possible duplication,” and presents replicated data.

Kinsella is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of ATXA Therapeutics Limited, a UCD spinoff developing drugs for pulmonary arterial hypertension which recently secured €2.5 million in public funding. Most of her retracted papers investigate the molecular biology of prostacyclin, a synthetic form of which is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Continue reading Researcher and biotech founder in Ireland issues four retractions

Glasgow professor leaves post amidst multiple retractions

A professor specializing in the health of children and pregnant women has left her post at the University of Glasgow, and issued three retractions in recent months.

All three notices — issued by PLOS ONE — mention an investigation at the university, which found signs of data manipulation and falsification. Fiona Lyall, the last author on all three papers, is also the only author in common to all three papers; she did not respond to the journal’s inquiries.

According to the University of Glasgow, the affiliation listed for Lyall, she is no longer based at the university. When we asked about the circumstances of her departure, the spokesperson told us the university has a “commitment to confidentiality,” but noted:

Continue reading Glasgow professor leaves post amidst multiple retractions

A journal just removed a 26-year-old article from its archives, with little explanation

This one gave us pause: A journal recently removed a 1992 paper, providing only a terse explanation — “The above article has been removed at the author’s request.”

Author John Frank Nowikowski tells Retraction Watch he never submitted the article to the Police Journal; it was originally published in the Buenos Aires Herald in Argentina. He asked the journal to remove it because, as a freelance writer, he had expected to be paid for it, but never had been. SAGE purchased the journal from its original publisher, Vathek, in 2014, and agreed to honor the author’s request. But the notice says only that — the 26-year-old article was withdrawn at the author’s request.

According to Nowikowski:

Continue reading A journal just removed a 26-year-old article from its archives, with little explanation