Controversial pediatrics researcher has 20-year-old paper retracted for misconduct

A journal has retracted a paper on a drug for a blood disorder 20 years after it was published — and 17 years after an author of the article was told to request the move by his university.

The retraction is of a paper in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring by Gideon Koren and colleagues, then at the University of Toronto (U of T): Continue reading Controversial pediatrics researcher has 20-year-old paper retracted for misconduct

Researcher banned from federal Canadian funding after misconduct loses medical license

via WCH

A once-prominent bone researcher whose career crumbled after allegations of misconduct has lost her medical license in Canada.  

The researcher, Abida Sophina “Sophie” Jamal, formerly of the University of Toronto, had been considered a rising star in the international community of osteoporosis researchers, winning awards and collaborating with some of the leading senior investigators in the field.

But on March 6, 2018, Jamal was summoned by a disciplinary committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to hear the following letter: Continue reading Researcher banned from federal Canadian funding after misconduct loses medical license

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

Journals flag two papers by prominent researcher — who is also on trial for domestic abuse

Adeel Safdar was once a rising star in the field of kinesiology. After completing his doctorate degree at McMaster University in Canada, working with one of the titans of his field, Safdar took a postdoc at Harvard, then accepted a newly created chair position at another university in Ontario.

That all came crashing down last year, when Safdar went on trial in Canada, accused of horrifically abusing his wife. Over the course of the trial, allegations arose about his research, prompting two journals to flag papers he co-authored with his former mentor, Mark Tarnopolsky.

Tarnopolsky — author of more than 400 papers, which have collectively been cited more than 17,000 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science — told Retraction Watch:

Continue reading Journals flag two papers by prominent researcher — who is also on trial for domestic abuse

Yosemite Sam: Bunny nemesis…and renowned scientist who nominates a journalist for a Nobel?

If you’re unfamiliar with the work of Tom Spears, a reporter at the Ottawa Citizen, you have missed some clever lampooning of fake journals. But that work has not gone unnoticed in some circles, apparently: In the not-so-cleverly named journal Significances of Bioengineering & Biosciences, whose publisher’s motto is “Wings To The Research,” a researcher named Sam Yosemite seems to have nominated Spears for the Nobel Prize. And in what some might consider a miracle — or just a made-up story — we managed to locate questions that the “late Dr. Adam Oransky, who gave his life rescuing six frostbitten Sherpas from an ascent of the Catskills without oxygen last August,” according to Yosemite’s editorial, meant to ask Spears. (Oransky’s work on time travel has been rumored to be in the running for a Nobel for some time, but his untimely death of course ended that possibility, given the Prize’s prohibition against posthumous awards.) That interview follows.

Retraction Watch: Dr. Yosemite seems to be nominating you for “the Nobel Prize,” but as everyone knows, there is more than one Nobel Prize. Which one do you think he meant? And do you think you deserve this honor?

Continue reading Yosemite Sam: Bunny nemesis…and renowned scientist who nominates a journalist for a Nobel?

McGill dept chair says she was blindsided by coauthor’s plagiarism

When Parisa Ariya was invited to write a review for a special issue of the journal Atmosphere, she asked one of her former doctoral students to take the lead. But she soon regretted that decision after discovering Lin (Emma) Si had plagiarized and duplicated significant portions of the review.

Ariya, chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill University in Montreal, told Retraction Watch that she believes it’s important to foster the careers of young women in science and was excited for her former student, Si, to take on the challenge of writing her first review. (Si was cc’d on our email communications with Ariya, but did not respond to our individual request for comment.)
Continue reading McGill dept chair says she was blindsided by coauthor’s plagiarism

Caught Our Notice: Yes, a 20-year-old article is wrong — but it won’t be corrected online

Title: AMPA receptor-mediated regulation of a Gi-protein in cortical neurons

What Caught Our Attention:  Usually, when journals publish corrections to articles, they also correct the original article, except when the original is unavailable online.  When Nature noticed that some figure panels in a 20-year-old paper were duplicated, it flagged the issue for readers — but didn’t correct the online version of the original paper. According to the notice, the duplications don’t disturb the conclusion illustrated by the figure, the original data couldn’t be found, and the last two authors had retired. We contacted a spokesperson at Nature, who told us “the information at the start of the paper clearly links to the corrigendum.”   Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Yes, a 20-year-old article is wrong — but it won’t be corrected online

“The ‘1’ key was not pressed hard enough:” Did a typo kill a cancer paper?

Errors in a 2017 paper about a new cancer test may have occurred because of a simple typo while performing calculations of the tool’s effectiveness.

According to the last author, the “1” key was likely not pressed hard enough.

The error, however small, affected key values “so greatly that the conclusions of the paper can no longer be supported,” the editor said, which prompted the journal to retract the paper. Continue reading “The ‘1’ key was not pressed hard enough:” Did a typo kill a cancer paper?

Caught Our Notice: Swiss group loses 4th paper for data manipulation

Title: Dysferlin Interacts with Histone Deacetylase 6 and Increases alpha-Tubulin Acetylation

What Caught Our Attention:  After losing three articles for data manipulation, Michael Sinnreich has retracted another paper in PLoS ONE.  All four retractions share some of the same authors, including Bilal Azakir and Sabrina Di Fulvio, who is listed as the first author on the latest retraction. None of the notices have identified a person responsible for the data manipulation. Three years ago, PubPeer user had flagged some of the figures mentioned in the notice — noting that he was “led to this paper by a story on Retraction Watch” — most likely, a 2014 post that flagged an ongoing discussion about one of Sinnreich’s papers on PubPeer. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Swiss group loses 4th paper for data manipulation

For the second time, researchers retract — then republish — a vaccine paper

Photo credit: Blake Patterson

Two researchers with a troubled publication history about vaccine safety have withdrawn their third paper.

Along with several other co-authors, Christopher Shaw, of the University of British Columbia, and Lucija Tomljenovic, of the Neural Dynamics Research Group, recently withdrew a 2017 paper about a controversy over a tetanus vaccination program in Kenya.  

The paper has been republished in the same journal, adding another chapter to Shaw and Tomljenovic’s confusing record of publishing and withdrawing papers. The journal did not respond to our request for comment, but Shaw told Retraction Watch:

Continue reading For the second time, researchers retract — then republish — a vaccine paper