Weekend reads: New revelations about CRISPR’d babies experiment; Impact Factor developer warns against using single metrics; is peer review just a game?

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 eight retractions at once for a biochemist in Spain; a researcher who lost her medical license for her misconduct; and news of an upcoming retraction in a food journal. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: New revelations about CRISPR’d babies experiment; Impact Factor developer warns against using single metrics; is peer review just a game?

Biochemist in Spain retracts eight papers at once

Carlos López-Otín

A high-profile researcher at the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain has retracted eight papers from the Journal of Biological Chemistry for figure issues.

All of the papers were co-authored by Carlos López-Otín, who studies a group of enzymes that break down proteins, cancer genomics and aging, and whose lab web site boasts that

His works have been collected in more than 400 articles in international journals and have been cited to date more than 44.000 times, with an aggregate Hirsch index of h=100.

A representative notice: Continue reading Biochemist in Spain retracts eight papers at once

Weekend reads: Sokal on Sokal Squared hoax; is open access enough?; replication in the humanities

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 showdown over a paper on abortion laws that left no one happy; the retraction of a highly cited paper for “overlap;” and three retractions for researchers whose university stopped responding to a publisher. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: Sokal on Sokal Squared hoax; is open access enough?; replication in the humanities

After university goes silent, diabetes journal retracts three papers

A group of researchers based in Italy has had three papers retracted for likely using the same images to represent different experimental conditions.

The retractions, in Diabetes, published by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), follow expressions of concern for the papers in early 2018 and the launch of an investigation by the authors’ institution into the work. The status of that investigation by Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, however, is unclear, as the university has stopped responding to the journal’s inquiries.

Here are the three now-retracted papers: Continue reading After university goes silent, diabetes journal retracts three papers

Retraction Watch readers, we need your help to be able to continue our work

Dear Retraction Watch readers:

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 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 need your help to be able to continue our work

Showdown over a study of abortion policy leads to a retraction, and leaves no one happy

Elard Koch

A paper in Contraception that purported to show serious flaws in an earlier study of abortion laws and maternal health has been retracted, after the authors of the original study found what were apparently significant flaws in the study doing the debunking.

That’s the short version of this story. The longer version involves years of back-and-forth, accusations of conflict of interest and poor research practice, and lawyers for at least two parties. Be warned: We have an unusual amount of information to quote from here that’s worth following.

As the editor of Contraception, Carolyn Westhoff, put it:

I got to make everybody angry.

Continue reading Showdown over a study of abortion policy leads to a retraction, and leaves no one happy

Weekend reads: #MeToo in a political science journal; 15 articles that challenged dogma in 2018; an entire editorial board resigns

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 sixth retraction for a researcher cleared of misconduct; a retraction for “something that we have never seen before in any study;” and two retractions that took more than four years. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: #MeToo in a political science journal; 15 articles that challenged dogma in 2018; an entire editorial board resigns

“This is something that we have never seen before in any study:” Group loses two more papers

Alexandria University, via Wikimedia

A group of rheumatology researchers in Egypt that lost a paper in 2016 for a variety of problems has lost two more.

The authors common to the two papers, Anna Abou-Raya and Suzan Abou-Raya, are based at the University of Alexandria, which did not find evidence of scientific misconduct, according to one of the retraction notices. The journal that published the two papers, The Journal of Rheumatology, however, found several other issues that led them to retract the papers.

Among them was that for one of the studies to have proceeded as described, all 125 subjects would have had to been enrolled and randomized on a single day: Continue reading “This is something that we have never seen before in any study:” Group loses two more papers

Journal flags papers about radiation exposure following Fukushima disaster

Ryugo Hayano

A physicist and a radiation health expert have had two papers about people’s exposure to radiation following the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster subject to expressions of concern.

The authors of the two papers are Makoto Miyazaki, a of the department of radiation health management at Fukushima Medical University, and Ryugo Hayano, a professor of physics emeritus at the University of Tokyo. As the Asahi Shimbun put it last week, referring to one of the two papers: Continue reading Journal flags papers about radiation exposure following Fukushima disaster

An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers.

Levon Khachigian

The story of Levon Khachigian’s research is a long and winding tale.

One place to start would be in October 2009, when a paper co-authored by Khachigian — whose work at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has been funded by millions of dollars in funding from the Australian government, and has led to clinical trials, although more on that later — was retracted from Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The “corresponding author published the paper without the full consent or acknowledgement of all the researchers and would like to apologize for this error,” according to that notice. Continue reading An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers.