What Caught Our Attention: Cornell food marketing researcher Brian Wansink, the one-time media darling who has been dogged by mounting criticism of his findings, has lost another paper to retraction. As we’ve noted in the past, corrections for Wansink’s work tend to be long. This time, “the number of errors is too voluminous to be executed by issuing a correction statement,” according to the retraction notice for a paper about behaviors following weight loss surgery. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Retraction eight as errors in Wansink paper are “too voluminous” for a correction
We previously reported on the case after the VTT was accused of cutting corners in a previous investigation into Matej Orešič (now based at the Steno Diabetes Center in Gentofte, Denmark). In 2014, the VTT concluded that there was no evidence of falsification or data tampering on the part of Orešič in the 2008 paper published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM). The proceedings came into the public domain through a news article published in the Finnish media outlet Helsingin Sanomat in February 2016, which prompted the VTT to reopen the case.
Now, the same people who questioned the previous investigation told us they have doubts about the latest conclusions, noting the probe should not have focused on a single paper, but rather on alleged problems within the plasma and serum metabolomics group, previously led by Orešič.
Orešič sent us this report, which the VTT released on June 15, outlining their decision. The VTT confirmed the legitimacy of the report, which says: Continue reading Finnish institute finds no evidence to support misconduct in diabetes paper
A court in Finland has ruled that universities must go through the court system if they want to revoke a degree.
In a precedent-setting decision, a body dubbed “the court of last resort in administrative cases” in Finland ruled that universities must apply to them to revoke someone’s degree. The ruling, which occurred this month, took place after a former student filed an appeal after the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) cancelled his degree over charges of plagiarism and fraud.
Here is more from the publication Helsingin Sanomat (which we translated using One Hour Translation): Continue reading Finnish universities must now use courts to revoke degrees
The case raises important questions about when retractions are appropriate, and whether they can have a chilling effect on scientific discourse. Although Hanna Kokko of the University of Zurich, Switzerland — who co-authored both papers — agreed that the academic literature needed to be corrected, she didn’t want to retract the earlier paper; the journal imposed that course of action, said Kokko.
Let’s take a look at the retraction note: Continue reading Biologist critiques own paper, journal retracts it — against her wishes
Researchers in Finland are criticizing an investigation by VTT Technical Research Centre into one of its scientists.
The investigation followed allegations about the VTT’s plasma and serum metabolomics (QBIX) group, previously led by Matej Orešič (who is now based at the Steno Diabetes Center in Gentofte, Denmark) and Tuulia Hyötyläinen. Kai Simons, who conducted an earlier investigation of the group, and the Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Helsinki, have criticized VTT, saying it cut corners in its investigation.
VTT found no evidence of data tampering or falsification in a 2008 paper co-authored by Orešič in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, but said the paper — which has not been corrected or retracted — included some “exaggerated conclusions.” In turn, Orešič and Hyötyläinen filed a complaint for “an alleged violation of good scientific practice” by Simons during the initial investigation. Continue reading Sparks fly in Finland over misconduct investigation
An author has been added to a biochemistry paper following an investigation by the University of Helsinki.
The circumstances may be unclear, but one thing we do know: authorship issues often take down papers entirely. Since this just warranted a correction, the mistake could have just been an oversight, rather than pointing to a larger issue.
Here’s the note for “Formation of lipid/peptide tubules by IAPP and temporin B on supported lipid membranes:”
The number of so-called “predatory” open-access journals that allegedly sidestep publishing standards in order to make money off of article processing charges has dramatically expanded in recent years, and three-quarters of authors are based in either Asia or Africa, according to a new analysis from BMC Medicine.*
The number of articles published by predatory journals spiked from 53,000 in 2010 to around 420,000 in 2014, appearing in 8,000 active journals. By comparison, some 1.4-2 million papers are indexed in PubMed and similar vetted databases every year.
These types of papers have become a major problem, according to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado Denver who studies the phenomenon: Continue reading Predatory journals published 400,000 papers in 2014: Report
One of the questions we often get — but are careful to answer with some version of “we don’t know because we don’t have a denominator” — is how retraction rates vary by scientific field and country. We’ve noticed that the reasons for retraction seem to vary among countries, but didn’t really have the data. A new paper in the Journal of the Medical Library Association by Kathleen Amos takes a good step toward figuring the country part out.
Amos looked at PubMed-indexed retractions from 2008 to 2012. Here’s what she found: Continue reading Which countries have the most retractions, for which reasons?
We’ve learned more about the circumstances behind a Cell retraction that we covered last week.
First, one of the two corresponding authors left the institution where he most recently worked. Belgium’s VIB Ghent told us that Pankaj Dhonukshe was no longer employed there and said: Continue reading Cell update: Co-corresponding author let go from Belgian university; retraction notice language changed
Here’s the notice for “A PLETHORA-Auxin Transcription Module Controls Cell Division Plane Rotation through MAP65 and CLASP:” Continue reading Authors retract Cell paper amid ongoing investigation