In June of last year, the Archives of Internal Medicine yanked a paper just 12 minutes before it was scheduled to publish, to
…allow time for review and statistical analysis of additional data not included in the original paper that the authors provided less than 24 hours before posting…
Now a new version of the paper has been published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes. The first author is Robert Schneider, from the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa. The co-authors are from the same institution and from the department of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Wisconin. It is clearly the same study of 201 African American patients randomized to TM or health education (HE) and followed for 5.4 years, though some of the numbers have changed in important ways between the earlier and later publications. Without full access to the earlier paper it is impossible to make a detailed comparison, but one change is quite glaring: The new paper in Circ:CVQ&O reports that 52 primary endpoint events (the composite of death, MI, or stroke). Of these, 20 events occurred in the TM group and 32 in the HE group. By contrast, in the previous Archives version there were 12 fewer, or 40, primary endpoint events: 17 in the TM group and 23 in the control group.
Husten has lots more detail over at his post, so head over there and check it out. One comment from Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes Harlan Krumholz in particular stood out for us:
We had no prior knowledge of what transpired with the Archives of Internal Medicine.
That suggests Krumholz hasn’t read Retraction Watch – sniff! — or CardioBrief — which seems unlikely. All kidding aside, we wonder if it would help for authors to share previous reviews and rejections with the next journals where they submit. Is this a job for Rubriq, a service we heard about recently?
And does this count as a retraction from the Archives of Internal Medicine, if it was accepted, press-released, and then yanked only 12 minutes from being published?
The latter is probably more rhetorical than anything else, since there’s no official citation. But still.