Weekend reads: “Chronic compulsive writing syndrome;” a new way to respond to rejection; rewards for a center that doesn’t yet exist

Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.

The week at Retraction Watch featured, unfortunately, a likely DDOS attack that kept our site dark for much of Tuesday and Wednesday. That means you may have missed this post, about the temporary withdrawal of a paper about a controversial “abortion reversal” method. But the week also featured the retraction of a paper about the Shroud of Turin, a researcher who lost a PhD despite the lack of any misconduct, and a new look at a study of whether spouses were more likely to cheat if their partners earned more than they did. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: “Chronic compulsive writing syndrome;” a new way to respond to rejection; rewards for a center that doesn’t yet exist

Over authors’ objections, PLOS ONE retracts paper claiming Shroud of Turin showed evidence of trauma

A year ago, PLOS ONE published a study claiming that there was strong evidence that a person wrapped in the Shroud of Turin — according to lore, the burial shroud of Jesus Christ — had suffered “strong polytrauma.”

Today, they retracted it.

According to the retraction notice for “Atomic resolution studies detect new biologic evidences on the Turin Shroud,” Continue reading Over authors’ objections, PLOS ONE retracts paper claiming Shroud of Turin showed evidence of trauma

Study claiming “abortion reversal” is safe and effective temporarily withdrawn for ethical issues

A journal has temporarily removed a study by a researcher who has long championed a highly controversial “abortion reversal” method over concerns about its ethical approval.

The study, “A Case Series Detailing the Successful Reversal of the Effects of Mifepristone Using Progesterone,” appeared in Issues In Law And Medicine in April. Its first author, George Delgado, is the medical director of Culture of Life Family Services, which operates a ‘‘crisis pregnancy center,’ according to a 2017 New York Times Magazine article about “abortion-pill reversal.”

Medical abortion consists of two pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, taken some time apart. In order to see if its effects could be undone, here’s what the authors of the withdrawn study say they did: Continue reading Study claiming “abortion reversal” is safe and effective temporarily withdrawn for ethical issues

Weekend reads: Kim Kardashian loses an authorship; legal threats follow misconduct allegations; faked job offer leads to prosecution

Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.

The week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction of a Nature paper over the objections of the first author — who hired a lawyer; a call for a new research misconduct body in the UK; and a look at why retractions take so long. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: Kim Kardashian loses an authorship; legal threats follow misconduct allegations; faked job offer leads to prosecution

Nearly two years after a university asked for retractions, two journals have done nothing

How long should a retraction take?

That’s a complex question, of course, depending on how long the alleged issues with a paper take to be investigated, whether authors — and their lawyers — fight tooth-and-nail against a retraction, and other factors. But once a university officially requests a retraction, how long should one take?

The answer, for two journals who published work by cancer researcher Anil Jaiswal, is 22 months — and counting. Continue reading Nearly two years after a university asked for retractions, two journals have done nothing

Retraction Watch readers, we could still really use your help

Dear Retraction Watch readers:

We hope that you continue to enjoy Retraction Watch, and find it — and our database of retractions — useful. Maybe you’re a researcher who likes keeping up with developments in scientific integrity. Maybe you’re a reporter who has found a story idea in our database, or on the blog. Maybe you’re an ethics instructor who uses the site to find case studies. Or a publisher who uses our blog to screen authors who submit manuscripts — we know at least two who do.

Whether you fall into one of those categories or another, we need your help. Continue reading Retraction Watch readers, we could still really use your help

Three years after questions surfaced, PLOS ONE retracts paper about potential antibiotic

In April 2015, two high-profile chemistry bloggers — and their commenters — raised questions about a paper that had been published in PLOS ONE some 18 months earlier. More than three years later, the journal has now retracted the paper, with a notice that echoes the 2015 blog posts.

So what took so long? PLOS tells Retraction Watch: Continue reading Three years after questions surfaced, PLOS ONE retracts paper about potential antibiotic

Journals punished by high-profile indexing service cry foul, demand a recount

A group of editors of journals focused on the history of economics has gone public to urge Clarivate Analytics, which publishes a highly influential ranking of journals, to reconsider its decision to drop the titles from this year’s index.

Clarivate said it suppressed the titles because of apparent “citation stacking,” in which various editors agree to cite one another to boost their journals’ Impact Factors (JIFs). The metric is based on average rates of citation over a given period. As we noted in a June 26 post about the suppressions, suppressing titles Continue reading Journals punished by high-profile indexing service cry foul, demand a recount

Weekend reads: “Ethics dumping;” getting scientists to admit mistakes; the problem with conference dinner chatter

Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.

The week at Retraction Watch featured a collection of reports of scientific misconduct investigations, the story of a researcher who thought his work was important enough to be published three times, and a look at what happened when Elsevier tried open peer review. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: “Ethics dumping;” getting scientists to admit mistakes; the problem with conference dinner chatter

“The final verdict:” Lancet retracts two papers by Macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

The Lancet chapter of the Paolo Macchiarini saga appears to finally be over.

In an editorial titled “The final verdict on Paolo Macchiarini: guilty of misconduct,” the editors of the journal announce that they are retracting two papers by the now-disgraced surgeon and colleagues “after receiving requests to do so from the new President of the Karolinska Institute (KI), Ole Petter Ottersen.” Late last month, Ottersen declared Macchiarini and six other researchers — including one of the whistleblowers in the case — guilty of misconduct.

The long story took many twists and turns — for instance, in September 2015, Lancet editors wrote an editorial with close to the opposite title: “Paolo Macchiarini is not guilty of scientific misconduct,” published after KI released the results of a previous investigation:   Continue reading “The final verdict:” Lancet retracts two papers by Macchiarini