Court orders publisher OMICS to pay U.S. gov’t $50 million in suit alleging “unfair and deceptive practices”

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has won a judgment against a publisher and conference organizer that has been widely viewed as predatory.

As reported in brief by Courthouse News Service, U.S. District of Nevada Judge Gloria M. Navarro ordered OMICS International to pay the U.S. government $50,130,810. Among other findings, Navarro writes: Continue reading Court orders publisher OMICS to pay U.S. gov’t $50 million in suit alleging “unfair and deceptive practices”

Former University of Washington researcher faked data, say Feds

Edward J. Fox, a former faculty member at the University of Washington in Seattle, faked data in a manuscript submitted to Nature and in an NIH grant application, according to new findings from the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

Fox, who initially confessed to some of the misconduct when confronted by the university, “neither admits nor denies ORI’s finding of research misconduct related to grant application R01 CA193649-01A1,” the ORI said in an announcement. However, he Continue reading Former University of Washington researcher faked data, say Feds

Weekend reads: Autism-“male brain” paper retracted; impact factor poison; meet a data detective

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 $112.5 million settlement at Duke following allegations of misconduct; a bizarre paper featuring ancient astronauts; and the retraction of two papers about homeopathy. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: Autism-“male brain” paper retracted; impact factor poison; meet a data detective

Science standing by for updates as university finds fraud in earthquake paper

Damage from the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake

A researcher at Kyoto University in Japan faked some of the data in a 2017 paper in Science about the deadly Kumamoto earthquake, the university said.

According to media reports about a press conference held today, Kyoto found that the paper’s first author, Aiming Lin, had committed misconduct, including falsification of data and plagiarism. They recommended that Lin retract the paper, and said he would face sanctions, while his co-authors were cleared of wrongdoing.

Science editor in chief Jeremy Berg tells us: Continue reading Science standing by for updates as university finds fraud in earthquake paper

Joseph Thomas just earned $33.8 million in a $112.5 million settlement with Duke. Here’s his story.

Joseph Thomas

Tomorrow is Joe Thomas’s 35th birthday. And earlier this week, he received quite a birthday present, even if it wasn’t intended that way: Thomas earned a $33.75 million payout from a lawsuit he filed against Duke University six years ago.

As Retraction Watch readers may recall, Thomas was the whistleblower in a case alleging scientific misconduct that Duke settled yesterday for $112.5 million. Our Ivan Oransky has an exclusive profile of him — including how he “celebrated” the settlement — at Medscape. Continue reading Joseph Thomas just earned $33.8 million in a $112.5 million settlement with Duke. Here’s his story.

Duke settles case alleging data doctoring for $112.5 million

Retraction Watch readers may recall the name Erin Potts-Kant. We’ve been reporting on retractions by Potts-Kant, a former lab tech at Duke, since 2013. (The count is now 17.) Along the way, we learned that she had been convicted of embezzlement, but that there was a bigger story: There was a False Claims Act case against Duke, Potts-Kant, and Michael Foster, in whose lab she worked, alleging that the university had known that faked data had been included in grant applications.

The case has now settled, for what Duke acknowledges is a “substantial” sum of $112.5 million. That means the whistleblower, another former lab tech, will earn more than $30 million. For details, head over to Ivan’s story on Medscape. Continue reading Duke settles case alleging data doctoring for $112.5 million

Weekend reads: Controversial paper on transgender teens revised; e-cigarette maker touts study in a questionable journal; Science warns readers about monkey HIV study

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 researcher who faked earthquake data, an ambivalent co-author, and a call by statisticians to end black-and-white definitions of “statistical significance.” Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: Controversial paper on transgender teens revised; e-cigarette maker touts study in a questionable journal; Science warns readers about monkey HIV study

Time to say goodbye to “statistically significant” and embrace uncertainty, say statisticians

Nicole Lazar

Three years ago, the American Statistical Association (ASA) expressed hope that the world would move to a “post-p-value era.” The statement in which they made that recommendation has been cited more than 1,700 times, and apparently, the organization has decided that era’s time has come. (At least one journal had already banned p values by 2016.) In an editorial in a special issue of The American Statistician out today, “Statistical Inference in the 21st Century: A World Beyond P<0.05,” the executive director of the ASA, Ron Wasserstein, along with two co-authors, recommends that when it comes to the term “statistically significant,” “don’t say it and don’t use it.” (More than 800 researchers signed onto a piece published in Nature yesterday calling for the same thing.) We asked Wasserstein’s co-author, Nicole Lazar of the University of Georgia, to answer a few questions about the move. Here are her responses, prepared in collaboration with Wasserstein and the editorial’s third co-author, Allen Schirm.

So the ASA wants to say goodbye to “statistically significant.” Why, and why now? Continue reading Time to say goodbye to “statistically significant” and embrace uncertainty, say statisticians

Group in China up to three retractions, ostensibly for three different reasons

A group of researchers at Harbin Medical University in China has had a third paper retracted, making for a tale of three notices.

The first retraction appeared in April 2017 as one of more than 100 from Tumor Biology for fake peer review.

The second, for “Functions as a Tumor Suppressor in Osteosarcoma by Targeting Sox2,” was from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, an MDPI title, in 2018: Continue reading Group in China up to three retractions, ostensibly for three different reasons

Late researcher faked Kumamoto earthquake data, university finds

Damage from the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, via Wikimedia

A researcher in Japan who published at least five papers about a deadly 2016 earthquake faked some of the data, Osaka University announced late last week.

Yoshiya Hata resigned his Osaka post and later died, according to media outlet NHK. He claimed to have studied the April 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, which killed at least 50 people, and injured thousands.

In October 2017, we reported that Hiroyuki Goto, of Kyoto University and one of Hata’s co-authors, had apologized because he said that the data contained “wide reaching errors.” One of the papers the two co-authored earned an editor’s note. Continue reading Late researcher faked Kumamoto earthquake data, university finds