After more than a year of back and forth, an accounting journal retracts a paper on tax avoidance

A pair of business researchers in Pittsburgh has lost a controversial 2017 paper on how institutional stock holdings affect tax strategies amid concerns about the validity of the data.

The article, “Governance and taxes: evidence from regression discontinuity,” which appeared in The Accounting Review, was written by Andrew Bird and Stephen Karolyi, of Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.

According to the abstract: Continue reading After more than a year of back and forth, an accounting journal retracts a paper on tax avoidance

Group issues model retraction over antibody error

The authors of a 2013 paper on antibody production in patients with rheumatoid arthritis have retracted the work in what looks to us like a case study in how to handle operator error.

The paper, “Monoclonal IgG antibodies generated from joint-derived B cells of RA patients have a strong bias toward citrullinated autoantigen recognition,” was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine by a group from the Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden and elsewhere, and has been cited 128 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science. The last author, Vivianne Malmström, is a specialist in cellular immunology at the KI.

Here’s an excerpt from the lengthy notice: Continue reading Group issues model retraction over antibody error

OSU cancer researcher who has faced misconduct allegations sues to regain lost department chairmanship

Carlo Croce

Carlo Croce, the embattled cancer researcher at The Ohio State University (OSU), is suing the institution to reclaim the department chair he lost late last year for reasons that he says are unclear.

In a filing with the Franklin County civil court, Croce and his attorneys, from the Columbus firm of James E. Arnold and Associates, argue that the university failed to follow its own rules for demoting faculty members last year when it stripped Croce of his position of chair of the Department of Cancer Genetics and Biology. Croce had held the post for more than three consecutive four-year terms, starting in October 2004.

The nut of Croce’s claim centers on the alleged failure of K. Craig Kent, the university’s Dean of the College of Medicine, to consult with the college’s faculty members before demoting him in early November 2018 — a move Croce opposed. Continue reading OSU cancer researcher who has faced misconduct allegations sues to regain lost department chairmanship

Oft-quoted paper on spread of fake news turns out to be…fake news

*See update at end of post

The authors of an much-ballyhooed 2017 paper about the spread of fake news on social media have retracted their article after finding that they’d botched their analysis.

The paper, “Limited individual attention and online virality of low-quality information,” presented an argument for why bogus facts seem to gain so much traction on sites such as Facebook. According to the researchers — — from Shanghai Institute of Technology, Indiana University and Yahoo — the key was in the sheer volume of bad information, which swamps the brain’s ability to discern the real from the merely plausible or even the downright ridiculous, competing with limited attention spans and time.

As they reported: Continue reading Oft-quoted paper on spread of fake news turns out to be…fake news

Japanese stem cell fraud leads to a new retraction

Last March, we reported on the retraction of a 2017 paper in Stem Cell Reports by Kohei Yamamizu and colleagues for widespread fabrication of figures. Turns out the problems were at least five years older than that.

Yamamizu had received a pink slip from his institution, the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), which had put the blame for the misconduct squarely on his shoulders. (The director of the institute, Nobel winner Shinya Yamanaka, also took some of the blame in a public statement in which he said he bore “a strong responsibility for not having prevented research misconduct at our institute.”)

Yamamizu has a new retraction, but this time’s a bit different. Here’s the notice for the paper, “Protein Kinase A Determines Timing of Early Differentiation through Epigenetic Regulation with G9,” which appeared in Cell Stem Cell in June 2012 (Yamanaka was not a co-author on either study).  Although the statement acknowledges the internal investigation, it doesn’t mention misconduct or name Yamamizu: Continue reading Japanese stem cell fraud leads to a new retraction

Rabbits don’t even have canines, but this group tried to pass off rabbit teeth as dog teeth

Canine canines, via Wikimedia

As any kid knows, Snoopy is a laconic beagle and Bugs Bunny is a mouth-running rabbit. The difference is pretty clear, right? Evidently not.

A group of researchers in China have lost a 2017 paper in Medical Science Monitor for trying to pass off cellular images of rabbit teeth as those of beagles.

According to the original notice, which has now been replaced with “The article is withdrawn by the authors request:” Continue reading Rabbits don’t even have canines, but this group tried to pass off rabbit teeth as dog teeth

Authors try to duplicate bad data, fail miserably

Cangaroojack via Flickr

We’ve seen plagiarizers plagiarizing plagiarizers, but here’s what seems to be a first: A journal has retracted an article that duplicated text…from a paper that had been retracted for containing dubious data.

The Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science published the recycled paper, titled “Development and in vitro-in vivo characterization of chronomodulated multi-particulate drug delivery system of terbutaline sulphate for treatment of nocturnal asthma by box–Behnken statistical design.” The authors were from several institutions in India.

As the retraction notice explains: Continue reading Authors try to duplicate bad data, fail miserably

Former Colorado “golden boy” earns three-year ban on Federal funding

The U.S. Office of Research Integrity has announced findings of misconduct against a once-promising pharmaceutical scientist at the University of Colorado.

The ORI says Rajendra Kadam fabricated data on government grants while working on his PhD at UC Denver under the supervision of Uday Kompella. As we reported in 2015 when this case first broke, Kadam was put in charge of a piece of technology that apparently he alone knew how to operate — giving him ample opportunity to cook results without fear of detection.

Under the terms of the ORI finding — which comes nearly four years after the UC inquiry wrapped up — Kadam will be barred from Federal U.S. research funding for three years, beginning November 13, 2018. Continue reading Former Colorado “golden boy” earns three-year ban on Federal funding

Majority of journal’s editorial board resigns after publisher’s handling of letter about move to open access

A leading journal in ecology and evolution is going through an evolution of its own, following the resignation of its editor in chief and more than half of its editorial board.

The mass exodus at Diversity & Distributions came after Wiley, which publishes the journal, allegedly blocked it from running a letter protesting the company’s decision to make D & D open access (the company disputes the claim, as we’ll detail in a bit). A letter about the issue, signed by scores of researchers worldwide, decried Wiley’s move: Continue reading Majority of journal’s editorial board resigns after publisher’s handling of letter about move to open access

Psychology journal to retract study claiming that people fear contagion less in the dark

As we’re fond of repeating, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Which doesn’t jibe with the findings in an eye-catching  2018 paper that found people were less fearful of catching a contagious illness if they were in a dark room or were wearing sunglasses.

Fortunately for us, although not for the researchers, we no longer have to live with the cognitive dissonance. The paper, the journal tells us, will be retracted for flaws in the data — which, thanks to the open sharing of data, quickly came to light.

The study, which appeared in May in Psychological Science, reported that: Continue reading Psychology journal to retract study claiming that people fear contagion less in the dark