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

Found in translation: Authors blame language barriers after forging co-authors

When the merde hits the fan, blame the translator. That’s Rule 1 of botched international diplomacy — and, evidently, botched international science.

Otolaryngology researchers in China have lost their 2018 paper in the American Journal of Translational Research for what they’re calling (with some degree of chutzpah) language barriers.

The article, “Therapeutic ultrasound potentiates the anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin to postoperative pain via Sirt1/NF-κB signaling pathway,” came from group whose primary affiliation was the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai. (It hasn’t been cited, according to Clarivate’s Web of Science.) However, the list of authors also included several scientists in Germany.

Evidently, the Germans were most unzufrieden.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading Found in translation: Authors blame language barriers after forging co-authors

Rabbits don’t even have canines, but this group tried to pass off rabbit teeth as dog teeth

Canine canines, via Wikimedia

As any kid knows, Snoopy is a laconic beagle and Bugs Bunny is a mouth-running rabbit. The difference is pretty clear, right? Evidently not.

A group of researchers in China have lost a 2017 paper in Medical Science Monitor for trying to pass off cellular images of rabbit teeth as those of beagles.

According to the original notice, which has now been replaced with “The article is withdrawn by the authors request:” Continue reading Rabbits don’t even have canines, but this group tried to pass off rabbit teeth as dog teeth

When is asparagus not asparagus? Why, when it’s ginger, of course!

Asparagus and ginger (and other ingredients) living happily together (via Beck/Flickr)

Allow us to explain that headline.

Food Science & Nutrition has retracted a 2018 article by a group of researchers in China and Pakistan for plagiarism. The article was titled “Experimentally investigated the asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) drying with flat-plate collector under the natural convection indirect solar dryer.”  

Per the retraction notice: Continue reading When is asparagus not asparagus? Why, when it’s ginger, of course!

Graduate student in China stripped of PhD after investigation that led to a dozen retractions

On Friday we reported on the case of a group of researchers in China who have retracted at least 11 papers for various kinds of misconduct. Here’s a bit more on that story, courtesy of our commenters.

First, it turns out that the retraction total is at least 12. But more significant is that the institution in question, Tsinghua University’s Graduate School at Shenzhen, announced yesterday that it had stripped one of the researchers involved in the studies of his PhD and sanctioned another in the matter. Continue reading Graduate student in China stripped of PhD after investigation that led to a dozen retractions

Group in China earns nearly a dozen retractions for image duplication, forged authorship, and more

A group of materials scientists in China has earned 11 retractions and three corrections — so far — for image manipulation, duplication, deceptive authorship and other misconduct.

The papers, from a group at the prestigious Tsinghua University, appeared in a variety of materials journals and date back to 2014. The most recent publications arrived in 2016.

[Please see an update on this post.]

The notices read pretty much the same way. Here, for example, is the retraction statement for “Effects of high-energy electro-pulsing treatment on microstructure, mechanical properties and corrosion behavior of Ti–6Al–4V alloy,” which was published in 2015 in Materials Science and Engineering C, an Elsevier title: Continue reading Group in China earns nearly a dozen retractions for image duplication, forged authorship, and more

“Sufficiently serious” issues in study prompt company to yank drug approval application in China

The maker of a leading over-the-counter antacid has withdrawn its application for approval of the drug in China because a clinical trial of the product in that country was marred by “major protocol deviations.”

Researchers for the company, Reckitt Benckiser, maker of Gaviscon, had published a report on the study in 2015 in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. But the journal has now retracted the article, “Randomised clinical trial: The clinical efficacy and safety of an alginate‐antacid (Gaviscon Double Action) versus placebo, for decreasing upper gastrointestinal symptoms in symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in China,” at the behest of the drug maker.

According to the notice: Continue reading “Sufficiently serious” issues in study prompt company to yank drug approval application in China

“Irreconcilable” differences about author order, other issues topple two articles in Spandidos journal

Researchers in China have retracted a pair of papers in the same journal after running into “irreconcilable” differences with the articles.

Both articles appeared in Molecular Medicine Reports, from Spandidos.

One article, “Combined treatment with extracorporeal shock‑wave therapy and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell transplantation improves bone repair in a rabbit model of bone nonunion,” published in November 2017, suffered from, well, serious nonunion: Continue reading “Irreconcilable” differences about author order, other issues topple two articles in Spandidos journal

Persistence pays off for plagiarized author: emails spur retraction, sanctions against researcher

Note: This post has been updated.

Here’s an object lesson for scientists who find out they’ve been ripped off by other researchers: Taking matters into your own hands can produce results.  

An aggrieved author’s doggedness led to the retraction of a 2013 paper that plagiarized his work, along with the revocation of a doctoral degree by one of the scientists responsible for the theft and sanctions against another.

We don’t often get the blow-by-blow, but in this case we have the details to share. The story begins in early 2017, when Andrew Boyle, a professor of cardiac medicine at the University of Newcastle, in Australia, noticed something fishy in an article, “Cathepsin B inhibition attenuates cardiac dysfunction and remodeling following myocardial infarction by inhibiting the NLRP3 pathway.” The paper had appeared in a journal called Molecular Medicine Reports, from Spandidos.

The article, published by a group from Shandong Provincial Hospital, contained a pair of figures that Boyle recognized from his 2005 article in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. One of the images had been altered, but the other was a patent duplication.

Boyle explained that: Continue reading Persistence pays off for plagiarized author: emails spur retraction, sanctions against researcher

Hey journals, it is possible to quickly correct the record

Even when a paper is obviously flawed, it can take years for journals to take action. Some never do. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

On April 27, a reader emailed the editors of two journals, noting that each had recently published a paper by the same group of authors that appeared strikingly similar.

Four days later, on May 1, a representative at Medicine, the journal that published the most recent version of the paper, wrote the reader back, saying the paper was going to be retracted.

Continue reading Hey journals, it is possible to quickly correct the record