Authors plan to appeal Global Ecology and Biogeography retraction

The authors of a Global Ecology and Biogeography study originally published in November 2009 and retracted last week are appealing the decision with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Retraction Watch has learned. Continue reading Authors plan to appeal Global Ecology and Biogeography retraction

Journal of the American Chemical Society retracts gold nanoparticle paper

On October 20, the Journal of the American Chemical Society retracted a 2009 paper. The retraction notice for “Single Gold Nanoparticles Counter: An Ultrasensitive Detection Platform for One-Step Homogeneous Immunoassays and DNA Hybridization Assays” was somewhat opaque:

This article is being retracted due to inaccurate DNA hybridization detection results caused by application of an incorrect data processing method. The authors regret any confusion that may have been created by the paper’s publication.

We contacted the paper’s lead author, Jicun Ren, of the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites, Shanghai Jiaotong University, to ask for more detail. He responded: Continue reading Journal of the American Chemical Society retracts gold nanoparticle paper

Best of Retractions Part III: Whatever can go wrong …

Paging Dr. Murphy.

In July, the editors of Cancer Biology & Therapy published a retraction remarkable for its scope. Apparently, nearly everything dishonest authors can do to doctor a manuscript, these authors did.

The paper, “Overexpression of transketolase protein TKTL1 is associated with occurrence and progression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma,” initially appeared on the journal’s website in January 2008. It came out in print three months later, in the April issue, and has been cited 8 times since, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The authors were Song Zhang, Jian Xin Yue,  Ju Hong Yang, Peng Cheng Cai and Wei Jia Kong, of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Hubei, China. It will be quite clear why we listed all those authors in a moment. Continue reading Best of Retractions Part III: Whatever can go wrong …

Do plagiarism, fraud, and retractions make it more difficult to trust research from China?

Yesterday, we blogged about the retraction of a paper in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology from a research team in China. The paper — claiming that tai chi helped women with arthritis — was riddled with inconsistencies and plagiarism.

Today, plagiarism and fraud made the front page of the New York Times.

Coincidence? Continue reading Do plagiarism, fraud, and retractions make it more difficult to trust research from China?

Rheumatology journal retracts tai chi-arthritis paper over fraud concerns

Most retractions happen in the dark: An article appears in print. One day it is withdrawn, with only a brief paragraph or two on the page to alert us to its fate.

On rare occasions, however, the process is more transparent, and when that happens it’s like the publishing equivalent of a supernova, a chance to glimpse in (here’s where the cosmic analogy stalls) almost real-time the retraction as it unfolds.

Here’s one of those unusual events.

The Journal of Clinical Rheumatology this week has retracted a March 2010 paper by Ni and colleagues in China, in which the authors reported that elderly women with osteoarthritis of the knee gained significant improvement in physical function and pain from a six-week course of tai chi. That claim is hardly controversial—other researchers have produced similar results and published studies of tai chi’s benefits for arthritis patients date back nearly a decade on Medline.

But the appearance of the article prompted an extraordinary letter to the journal, also published this week, from Chenchen Wang, of Tufts University, who smelled a rat. (Wang recently published a study of tai chi and fibromyalgia in the New England Journal of Medicine, which was criticized by some.) Of the Ni paper she writes (we added a link): Continue reading Rheumatology journal retracts tai chi-arthritis paper over fraud concerns

The shroud of retraction: Virology Journal withdraws paper about whether Christ cured a woman with flu

Jesus healing a bleeding woman, courtesy http://campus.belmont.edu/honors/CatPix/womanblood.jpg via Wikipedia

It takes decades, and even centuries, to overturn the Catholic canon of law, but medical journals move much more quickly: Just three weeks after the Virology Journal published a paper speculating that a woman described in the Bible as being “cured by our Lord Jesus Christ” had flu, the journal has apologized for ever posting it online.

After bemused — to put it mildly — reactions from bloggers Bob O’Hara (who alerted us to the retraction), P.Z. Myers, and Tara C. Smith, as well as questions from a journal reader, the journal’s editor, Robert F. Garry, posted a retraction to O’Hara’s blog, and in his own journal: Continue reading The shroud of retraction: Virology Journal withdraws paper about whether Christ cured a woman with flu

Department of Redundancy Department: From fish to toxicology, where have all the editors gone?

Photo by shaymus22 via flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaymus22/

Readers of three science publications may be wondering, “Where in the world were the editors?” after retractions appeared recently in the journals sounding the same theme: The articles in question had too much “overlap” between previous publications.

For example, the Journal of Fish Biology notice reads, in part: “The retraction has been agreed due to overlap between this article and several previously published articles.”

Translation: Our bad!

The latest retraction notices from the journals Environmental Toxicology, the Journal of Fish Biology and the Journal of Clinical Neurology Continue reading Department of Redundancy Department: From fish to toxicology, where have all the editors gone?