Weekend reads: What $50 million won’t fix; was a prized research tarantula poached?; “statistical anarchy”

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 “clandestine retraction,” faked data at the University of Washington, and the retraction of yet another paper claiming a link between vaccines and behavioral issues. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: What $50 million won’t fix; was a prized research tarantula poached?; “statistical anarchy”

Former university president up to ten retractions

Akihisa Inoue

The former president of Tohoku University in Japan has just had a tenth paper retracted, because it duplicated one of his earlier works.

One of the most recent retractions by materials scientist Akihisa Inoue, late last month, was of a paper in Materials Transactions that had duplicated a now-retracted paper and was subject to an expression of concern in 2012: Continue reading Former university president up to ten retractions

Here we go again: Paper linking vaccines to cognitive damage (in sheep) retracted

In what seems like another entry in our occasional “Retraction Watch Mad Libs” series, Elsevier has withdrawn a paper that claimed to link the aluminum in vaccines to behavioral changes in sheep.

The paper, which appeared online in Pharmacological Research in November of last year, was swiftly picked up by antivaccine advocates such as Celeste McGovern, whose article about it was posted on Children’s Health Defense, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr’s, site.

But it also earned harsh criticism from Skeptical Raptor and Orac, who called it Continue reading Here we go again: Paper linking vaccines to cognitive damage (in sheep) retracted

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