The Journal of Neuroscience hasn’t changed its policy of not explaining retractions if authors don’t want to, as this October 8 notice attests.
Here’s the notice for “Coordinated Regulation of Hepatic Energy Stores by Leptin and Hypothalamic Agouti-Related Protein:”
At the request of the authors, The Journal of Neuroscience is retracting “Coordinated Regulation of Hepatic Energy Stores by Leptin and Hypothalamic Agouti-Related Protein” by James P. Warne, Jillian M. Varonin, Sofie S. Nielsen, Louise E. Olofsson, Christopher B. Kaelin, Streamson Chua, Jr., Gregory S. Barsh, Suneil K. Koliwad, and Allison W. Xu, which appeared on pages 11972–11985 of the July 17, 2013 issue.
The paper has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
A few years ago, the journal’s editor, John Maunsell, gave us an explanation for its policy. The whole thing is worth a read, but the money quote on why they don’t explain some author-initiated retractions is this:
We believe that authors are generally reluctant to retract articles, and we do not want to impose any requirements that could discourage authors from removing flawed articles from the literature.
He also suggests that scientists wondering what happened to the paper can find out by “contacting the authors directly for complete details.”
So we did. We also asked Maunsell, but no one has responded yet. We’ll let you know if they do.
Hat tip: Richard Tomsett