Pair of nanotech researchers up to at least two dozen retractions

A pair of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) has had a total of nine more papers retracted, pushing their totals to 24 and 26, respectively.

The totals put the two researchers — Rashmi Madhuri, with 24 retractions, and Prashant Sharma, with 26 — on our leaderboard of the 30 authors with the most retractions in the world.

Three of the retractions appeared in RSC Advances, two appeared in Journal of Materials Chemistry B, and one each appeared in Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, Biomaterials Science, and CrystEngComm.

For example, here is the retraction notice from Journal of Materials Chemistry C: Continue reading Pair of nanotech researchers up to at least two dozen retractions

One retraction notice says plagiarism. The other says it was an error in an algorithm. Which was it?

For the second time in a week, we’ve come across a retraction notice that gave the wrong reason for the retraction.

Last week, it was an Elsevier journal that called a plagiarized paper a duplicate of work by the same authors who’d written the original. Today, here’s the story of a chapter in a book published by Springer Nature that manages to list two different reasons for retraction.

According to one notice for “In-silico Analysis of LncRNA-mRNA Target Prediction” in: D. Reddy Edla et al. (eds.), Advances in Machine Learning and Data Science, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 705, the chapter was retracted for plagiarism.

But according to the other notice, the retraction happened because Continue reading One retraction notice says plagiarism. The other says it was an error in an algorithm. Which was it?

Caught Our Notice: Hey peer reviewers — did you even read this paper??

What Caught Our Attention: A tree of life paper has been axed — and based on the information in the retraction notice, we’re wondering how it ever passed peer review.

Specifically, the notice states a review of the paper found “concerns regarding the study design, methodology, and interpretation of the data.” Overall, the research “contradict(s) a large body of existing literature and do(es) not provide a sufficient level of evidence to support the claims made in the paper.” Um, so what did it get right?

Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Hey peer reviewers — did you even read this paper??

Infighting at journal prompts retraction of editorial “full of misinformation”

An editor thought she did a great job running an anesthesiology journal. But her colleagues— including the new editor who took over for her—heartily disagree.

During her tenure at the journal, the outgoing editor penned an editorial taking credit for the journal’s rise to success. But, according to a new commentary published in the journal, the former editor’s article presented wrong statistics, and minimized the contributions of those who had come before her. So when the new editor took office, he retracted it—and published the lengthy commentary explaining why. Continue reading Infighting at journal prompts retraction of editorial “full of misinformation”

Author under fire has eight papers retracted, including seven from one journal

A researcher whose work on the use of nanomaterials has been heavily scrutinized on PubPeer — with one critic alleging a paper contained “obviously fabricated” images — has lost eight papers. [Editor’s note: See update below.]

The eight articles — seven from Biosensors and Bioelectronics and one from Analytica Chimica Acta, both published by Elsevier — all cite issues related to duplications, and conclude with some version of the following:

Continue reading Author under fire has eight papers retracted, including seven from one journal

A “GROSS CASE OF PLAGIARISM:” How did one Elsevier journal plagiarize another?

Nicholas Peppas

When Nicholas Peppas, chair of engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, discovered one of his papers had been plagiarized, he decided to “go public!”

On February 27, Peppas tweeted about a “gross case of plagiarism:” He alleged a 2013 review published in Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal had directly copied sections of his 2011 review in Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews—both published by Elsevier. (The tweet includes a side-by-side image of a section of the two texts.) Continue reading A “GROSS CASE OF PLAGIARISM:” How did one Elsevier journal plagiarize another?

Chemistry journal retracts highly criticized paper

A chemistry journal has retracted a nanoparticle paper following heavy outcry from readers, who alleged the paper contained signs of obvious manipulation.

After the paper appeared in 2017, one critic lamented it contained “obviously fabricated” images, and asked the journal to retract it. Another suggested the presence of one image merited “an instant lifetime ban.”

The first comment about the paper appeared on PubPeer three months ago; earlier this month, the journal ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering retracted the paper.

Here’s the notice:

Continue reading Chemistry journal retracts highly criticized paper

Caught Our Notice: Oops, wrong species

Title: Virulent Diuraphis noxia Aphids Over-Express Calcium Signaling Proteins to Overcome Defenses of Aphid-Resistant Wheat Plants

What Caught Our Attention: Sadly, it’s not uncommon for researchers to mistake the identity of what they’re working with — but not everyone comes clean and works to transparently correct the record. So it’s nice to see some authors among a group based in the US and India take the initiative to retract their paper after realizing they had based some of their conclusions on the wrong species of aphid. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Oops, wrong species

Author under fire on PubPeer issues puzzling correction to chem paper

A researcher whose work has been heavily questioned on PubPeer has corrected a figure on a 2015 paper in Talanta — but the text of the correction doesn’t match the actual changes.

Recently, Rashmi Madhuri at the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) in Dhanbad corrected a 2015 paper about a diagnostic sensor that uses nanoparticles, noting that there was a “small error” in the legend describing figure 1. But the corrected image bears the same legend it had before, and instead swapped a panel of the figure that had been questioned on PubPeer.

Here’s another puzzling element to the story: Gary Christian at the University of Washington, one of the editors-in-chief of the journal, tells us he doesn’t “recall being aware of the corrigendum:”

Continue reading Author under fire on PubPeer issues puzzling correction to chem paper

Caught Our Notice: “Ironically,” same error in same journal “was noted last year”

Via Wikimedia

Title: Sleep quality and body composition variations in obese male adults after 14 weeks of yoga intervention: A randomized controlled trial

What Caught Our Attention: Last year, researchers led by David Allison at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health called for the retraction of an article linking weight loss and obese female yoga participants in the International Journal of Yoga, citing problems with randomization and baseline statistics. Despite the first author’s statement that he planned to retract the article, the journal refused to retract it.   Continue reading Caught Our Notice: “Ironically,” same error in same journal “was noted last year”