Neuro journal pulls comatose brain abstract due to “several mistakes”

clinical neurophysiologySwiss researchers have retracted an abstract in Clinical Neurophysiology because only one of them actually knew about the paper — and what he submitted had “several mistakes.”

The abstract, about electric impulses in the brain of comatose patients, originally appeared as a poster at the June 2014 joint meeting of multiple Swiss neuroscience societies. It was submitted by first author Alexandre Simonin, who lists his affiliation as the University Hospital of Lausanne, a Swiss hospital.

The meeting proceedings ran in the October issue of Clinical Neurophysiology. Besides the issues of authorship and errors, the notice also says the abstract “potentially conflicts with another publication,” suggesting the data might have already appeared in a paper.

Here’s the notice for “P02. Predicting the outcome of post-anoxic comatose patients based on single-trial EEG analysis”:

This Abstract has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (

This Abstract has been retracted at the request of the co-authors due to the fact that the Abstract was prepared and submitted by a single author, without the agreement of other co-authors, includes several mistakes and potentially conflicts with another publication.

Author Marzia De Lucia emailed us with more details:

The main reason for retracting the abstract is that it contained some mistakes as it was based on a preliminary version of the analyses. The first author had submitted it without notifying the other authors.

For these reasons we all agreed to retract this abstract.

We’ve reached out to the first author and the editor, and will update if we hear back.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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