Chaos as Chaos retracts paper it apparently never should have published in the first place

Apologies in advance for the headache that might come your way after reading this post, but the journal Chaos has a mindbending retraction.

The editors have pulled an article they published in January 2019 over concerns about contaminated peer review and other problems. The paper, “Neglecting nonlocality leads to unrealistic numerical scheme for fractional differential equation: Fake and manipulated results,” was a broadside against an article that had appeared in a different journal.

According to the author, Muhammad Altaf Khan, of the City University of Science and Information Technology in Peshawar, Pakistan:

Continue reading Chaos as Chaos retracts paper it apparently never should have published in the first place

Researchers retract a paper because it turns out not to be about bullshit

via Flickr

Sometimes what science really needs is more bullshit.

Just ask a group of environmental scientists in China, who lost their 2019 article on soil contamination because what they thought was manure was in fact something else.

The article, titled “Immobilization of heavy metals in e-waste contaminated soils by combined application of biochar and phosphate fertilizer,” appeared in February in Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, and was written a team from the South China Institute of Environmental Science and Sun Yat-sen University, both in Guangzhou.

According to the researchers:

Continue reading Researchers retract a paper because it turns out not to be about bullshit

Critic up to 18 retractions for plagiarism

Robert Cardullo

H. L. Mencken once wrote that “It is impossible to think of a man of any actual force and originality, universally recognized as having those qualities, who spent his whole life appraising and describing the work of other men.” One wonders what linguistic Hell Mencken would have divined for Robert Cardullo.

Continue reading Critic up to 18 retractions for plagiarism

“Great dismay:” When a lack of originality is tough to swallow

Findings in dysphagia lusoria

Researchers in India have retracted their 2013 case report of a “novel” way to treat a swallowing disorder because, well, the way wasn’t novel at all.

The article, “A novel approach for the treatment of dysphagia lusoria,” was published in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery by a group from the Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research in Bangalore.

Per the abstract:

Continue reading “Great dismay:” When a lack of originality is tough to swallow

Up to 19% plagiarism is just fine, journal tells authors

Punjab University

Apparently, you can be a little bit pregnant. We’ll explain.

The other day we received an email from a researcher tipping us off to a remarkable admission from a journal in Pakistan about how much (as in, precisely how much) plagiarism it was willing to accept in its pages.

The publication, the Punjab University Journal of Mathematics, had approached the researcher (whom we’re not identifying, at their request) asking them to be a reviewer. When the scientist demurred, the following message arrived:

Continue reading Up to 19% plagiarism is just fine, journal tells authors

Study of autism and vitamin D earns retraction after questions about reliability

Marco Vertch

A pediatrics journal has retracted a 2016 article purporting to be the first randomized controlled trial on the effects of vitamin D supplements on autism over concerns about the reliability of the findings.

The paper, “Randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in children with autism spectrum disorder,” appeared in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and has been cited 27 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, earning it a “highly cited paper” designation compared to its counterparts of a similar age.

The authors came from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, China, Chile, the UK and Norway. According to the abstract, the researchers looked at the effects of vitamin D supplements on 109 boys and girls with autism:

Continue reading Study of autism and vitamin D earns retraction after questions about reliability

“This is how science works:” Error leads to recall of paper linking Jon Stewart and election results

Jon Stewart in 2010

Jon Stewart is a powerful figure in American media. How powerful is he? So powerful that his departure in 2015 as host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central may have tipped the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.

Continue reading “This is how science works:” Error leads to recall of paper linking Jon Stewart and election results

After 18 months — and recommended retractions — no movement in psychology case

The University of Rennes-2

“Dissatisfied.” That’s how Nick Brown and James Heathers describe their reaction to the progress — or lack thereof — in the case of Nicholas Guéguen, a psychology researcher whose work the two data sleuths have questioned.

Brown and Heathers first wrote about the case in 2017. In a new blog post, they write that the science integrity office at the University of Rennes-2, where Guéguen works, pulled punches in its investigation of its faculty member and in two reports it issued last year about the case. (Brown and Heathers, who has called himself a “data thug,” had hoped to make available a preliminary report about the case last year but said the university discouraged them from doing so — a stance that, if true, we wouldn’t find surprising given many institutions prefer to sit on reports of such investigations.)

Continue reading After 18 months — and recommended retractions — no movement in psychology case

RETRACTED: Authors’ remorse: Researchers retract paper so they can publish it in a journal with a higher impact factor

via Derek Markham/Flickr

It was bound to happen. After more than 4,700 posts, Retraction Watch has a retraction of its own.

Earlier this month, we wrote about the opaque retraction of a paper from an open-access spine journal whose editor told us that the researchers yanked their article so that they could republish it in a more prestigious outlet.

Turns out, that wasn’t the case.

Continue reading RETRACTED: Authors’ remorse: Researchers retract paper so they can publish it in a journal with a higher impact factor

Article retracted after critics say it has “racist ideological underpinnings”

A psychology journal has retracted a controversial article about mental ability in South African women after a petition calling on the publication to withdraw the paper generated more than 5,000 signatures.  

The paper, “Age- and education-related effects on cognitive functioning in Colored South African women,” was published in Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition in March. It quickly drew attention, and outrage, from critics who objected to what they called racist overtones in the work, from the title on down.

According to the abstract:

Continue reading Article retracted after critics say it has “racist ideological underpinnings”