On June 25, 2015, following an investigation into the work of a then-graduate student at University College Cork in Ireland, the senior author of a 2014 paper in PLOS ONE requested its retraction. The paper, said senior author Zubair Kabir in an email to Iratxe Puebla, the journal’s managing editor, was “fundamentally flawed.”
Puebla responded on July 1, saying she would contact the graduate student — Olurotimi Bankole Ajagbe, corresponding author of the paper — and get back to Kabir. A few more emails, including one on Aug. 26, 2015, in which Ajagbe also requested the retraction, resulted. On August 31, Puebla wrote to Ivan Perry, head of Cork’s department of public health, where Ajagbe had been working on his PhD, to say she would discuss the case with colleagues and follow up.
A once-lauded researcher in the field of infectious disease — who has since been found guilty of misconduct — has retracted a second paper.
Last year, the University of Dundee in Scotland investigated and ultimately concluded that Robert Ryan — whose work focused on infections that can be deadly in people with lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis — had committed “serious research misconduct,” affecting multiple publications. After appealing the decision, Ryan resigned.
We covered his first retraction earlier this month, which cited multiple instances of image duplication. Now Ryan has retracted his second paper, published in 2011 in Journal of Bacteriology, also due to image problems.
Researchers in Ireland have retracted a case study about a rare type of cancer in a child because – contrary to what they claimed in the paper – they had not obtained the necessary permission from the parents.
In the June 2016 article, the authors stated they had received “written informed consent” from the parents to publish the case. But according to the retraction notice — issued just a few months later in October — that was not the case.
A scientist in Ireland has corrected five of his papers in a single journal dating back more than a decade, after image-related problems were brought to his attention.
Four of the newly corrected papers have a common last and corresponding author: Luke O’Neill of Trinity College Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. O’Neill is also a co-author of the remaining paper that was fixed. O’Neill told us the mistakes were a “bit sloppy,” noting that he takes responsibility for the errors in the four papers on which he is last author.
The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC)has retracted two 2003 studies after concluding that figures in the papers had been duplicated, and portions of some figures in one paper “did not accurately represent the results of the experimental conditions.”
The two newly retracted papers have the same last author — Therese Kinsella, a biochemist at the University College Dublin (UCD), who told us the data have been upheld by subsequent research, but that she supports the retractions, which are now part of a UCD investigation.
Butt, however, is not an author of either of the newly retracted papers. Although Butt’s LinkedIn page still lists her as a postdoctoral researcher at UCD, a spokesperson from the institution told us she is no longer based there.
The journal’s editor-in-chief, Debra Jackson, confirmed the dates and said that “a commercial company” brought the matter to their attention. After the journal asked a statistician to weigh in, they stated that a “substantial re-write would be required to correct the article,” and a retraction would be “the most suitable course of action.”
Although she said the authors initially sought to correct, not retract, the study, they eventually agreed with the decision.
An environmental journal is retracting an article about the risks of pesticides to groundwater after determining it contained data that “the authors did not have permission (implicit or explicit) to publish.”
A paper on dressing wounds with honey has been retracted after the journal realized that an outlier patient was throwing off the data analysis.
Honey has been used for millennia as an antimicrobial wound dressing. Doctors can even buy sterile preparations of the sweetener. But the evidence that honey is better than other wound dressings is still inconclusive.
According to the retracted paper, published in International Wound Journal in 2008, Manuka honey has an acidic pH which helps reduce the alkaline environment of chronic woulds. Indeed, the authors found that Manuka honey dressings lowered wound pH and reduced wound size.
Sadly, the paper was pulled in 2014, after someone realized one patient had a particularly large wound that was throwing off statistics. The injury was 61 cm^2 at the beginning of the study, while the others ranged from .9 to 22 cm^2. After removing that patient from the analysis, the results no longer held up.