Third party company botched student’s doctoral work, says biologist

A PhD student who was supposed to complete part of an experiment passed the job on to a third party company, which in turn provided figures that were plagiarized and fabricated. That’s according to the corresponding author of the paper, which has now been retracted. Hong Ren, affiliated with Xi’an Jiao Tong University in China, told us that he … Continue reading Third party company botched student’s doctoral work, says biologist

Editors say they missed “fairly obvious clues” of third party tampering, publish fake peer reviews

The editors of a journal that recently retracted a paper after the peer-review process was “compromised” have published the fake reviews, along with additional details about the case. In the editorial titled “Organised crime against the academic peer review system,” Adam Cohen and other editors at the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology say they missed “several fairly obvious … Continue reading Editors say they missed “fairly obvious clues” of third party tampering, publish fake peer reviews

Pharmacology journal pulls paper because third party “compromised” peer review

The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (BJCP) has retracted a 2015 paper about treating heart failure after deciding its peer review process had been compromised. This paper is one of the many we’ve noticed lately that have been felled by the actions of a “third party” — in this case, a manuscript editing company called … Continue reading Pharmacology journal pulls paper because third party “compromised” peer review

Sperm paper impaired by “corporate company” analysis

Without a certain protein, mouse sperm have motility disorders. That’s the conclusion of a paper that has itself been stopped — by errors in the data analysis, carried out by a third-party company. The retraction note pins the analysis, which led to faulty data, on a “corporate company.” Aside from the companies that sell the kits used for … Continue reading Sperm paper impaired by “corporate company” analysis

Don’t trust an image in a scientific paper? Manipulation detective’s company wants to help.

Mike Rossner has made a name for himself in academic publishing as somewhat of a “manipulation detective.” As the editor of The Journal of Cell Biology, in 2002 he initiated a policy of screening all images in accepted manuscripts, causing the journal to reject roughly 1% of papers that had already passed peer review. Other … Continue reading Don’t trust an image in a scientific paper? Manipulation detective’s company wants to help.

A plagiarism loop: Authors copied from papers that had copied from others

Note to self: If you’re going to duplicate your own work, don’t copy from papers that plagiarize others’ research. Just such a mistake has cost a PhD candidate three papers — although his co-author argues that a company is in part to blame. Hossein Jafarzadeh, who is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Tehran, apparently asked a … Continue reading A plagiarism loop: Authors copied from papers that had copied from others

A retraction cluster? Two papers retracted for overlap with other retractions

A cluster of papers by different authors has been retracted for sharing text, even though some papers were submitted at the same time. How is that possible? A spokesperson for Springer told us that they have reason to believe a third-party company may have helped prepare the papers for publication, and in the process might have spread … Continue reading A retraction cluster? Two papers retracted for overlap with other retractions

Researchers retract PNAS paper when they realize they’d been victims of an antibiotic switcheroo

In March 2017, a group of researchers in Vancouver, along with a colleague in Philadelphia,  published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) concluding that a particular antibiotic might be useful for treating conditions in people with rare mutations. Then, this past July, while continuing the work, they had an … Continue reading Researchers retract PNAS paper when they realize they’d been victims of an antibiotic switcheroo

Retraction Watch Database User Guide Appendix B: Reasons

  Reason Description Author Unresponsive Author(s) lack of communication after prior contact by Journal, Publisher or other original Authors Breach of Policy by Author A violation of the Journal, Publisher or Institutional accepted practices by the author Breach of Policy by Third Party A violation of the Journal, Publisher or Institutional accepted practices by a … Continue reading Retraction Watch Database User Guide Appendix B: Reasons

Caught Our Notice: Forged email for corresponding author dooms diabetes paper

Title: Naringin Alleviates Diabetic Kidney Disease through Inhibiting Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Reaction What Caught Our Attention: PLOS ONE had a few reasons for retracting a 2015 paper about a treatment for kidney disease due to diabetes: For one, despite what the paper claims, the authors did not obtain ethical approval to conduct the reported … Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Forged email for corresponding author dooms diabetes paper