Retraction of paper by Brazilian entomologist downgraded to an Expression of Concern

In August, we reported on an upcoming retraction of a paper in The Journal of Insect Behavior by Leonardo Gomes, a Brazilian forensic entomologist. At the time, one of the journal’s editors, Thomas Payne, told us that Gomes and his co-authors had been informed that “Dispersal and Burial Behavior in Larvae of Chrysomya megacephala and Chrysomya albiceps (Diptera, Calliphoridae),” would be retracted.

Gomes, as we noted in August, had already been forced to retract another paper, along with several chapters of a textbook, after editors found evidence of plagiarism.

This weekend, we learned that the 2005 paper in The Journal of Insect Behavior will be subject to an Expression of Concern, and not a retraction. Payne tells us the notice:

Will be an expression since actual new data did appear in the paper in question.

The paper has been cited 7 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. We’ve contacted Gomes for comment, and will update with anything we hear back.

Readers may also find an analysis, by the Abnormal Science blog, of a 2008 erratum by Gomes and a co-author of interest.

9 thoughts on “Retraction of paper by Brazilian entomologist downgraded to an Expression of Concern”

  1. Interesting! Forensic Entomology is a hot, fast-pace growing field of general interest, and it is good that we get some transparency on the reliability of what has been published.

    An expression of concern is always a good way of letting readers know about worries behind published materials which have been brought up by other scientists.

    Especially when that pertains authors of highly questionable nature according with other sources. (The post in Abnormal Science Blog is truly intriguing, I am outraged.)

    This is good of this Journal of Insect Behavior. One day maybe others (Iheringia in Brazil?) will follow they example.

  2. Another field where findings are highly suspicious is the one of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). If you do a search, you’ll find that this simple technique involving sending a tiny current through people’s heads has been shown to do all sorts of miraculous stuff: from attention to memory improvement, from reducing cravings for food and nicotine to improving depression! A flaw in this technique is that it is hard to reproduce exactly the same stimulation paradigm between experiments (exact location of the electrodes), and there is usually no objective record of what condition was used at what time: in other words, there is no computer log of when the stimulator was turned on, off, and at what intensity. You can imagine all sorts of ways in which people can cheat under these circumstances, although I’m open to the possibility that the main mechanism of action may simply be placebo… Any neuroscientist interested in looking into this? I was thinking of writing a review paper of some sort, actually…

  3. This is possibly the most widely divulged case of a “serial fraudster” (in opposition to serial killer) in Brazil.

  4. And yet nothing was officially published in Journal of Insect Behavior until now. They probably just made a statement to RW to make a scene, and now expect everyone to forget the matter.

    1. I should note that he removed the information from his CV few days ago, possibly when he saw that posted here.

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