Pharmacology journal pulls paper for “insufficient scientific quality;” authors disagree

Frontiers in PharmacologyAgainst the authors’ wishes, a pharmacology journal has retracted a paper after receiving two messages questioning the “soundness of the experimental results.”

The editors of the journal, Frontiers in Pharmacology, issued an expression of concern about the paper in April 2016, and investigated it following the allegations. According to the retraction notice, the authors disagree with the retraction.

Here’s the retraction notice for the paper:

The journal retracts the 11 June 2014 article cited above. Based on information discovered after publication and reported to Frontiers in November 2015, the article was examined, revealing that the complaint was valid and that the article should be retracted due to insufficient scientific quality. The retraction of the article was approved by the Field Chief Editor of Frontiers in Pharmacology. The authors do not agree to the retraction or to the notice.

And here’s the expression of concern, issued by the journal in April 2016:

With this notice, we alert readers that Frontiers has received two messages questioning the soundness of the experimental results of the publication “Water hyacinth: a possible alternative rate retarding natural polymer used in sustained release tablet design” published on 11 June 2014 in Frontiers in Pharmacology. Our Chief Editors, Prof. Theophile Godfraind and Dr. Dominique Dubois, will direct an investigation in full accordance with our procedures and with the collaboration of the authors. The situation will be updated as soon as the investigation is complete.

The 2014 paper has not yet been cited, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

Gearóid Ó Faoleán, ethics and integrity manager at Frontiers based in Lausanne, Switzerland, told us:

…an internal investigation was conducted by independent experts. The retraction serves as the public statement thereof.

We’ve reached out to the paper’s corresponding author, Kumar Bishwajit Sutradhar, who is based at Stamford University Bangladesh in Dhaka. We’ll update the post with anything else we learn.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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