“Unacceptable level of text parallels” loses neuroscientist a paper, but not her PhD

maynoothWe should probably launch a new blog just on the euphemisms used for plagiarism.

A case of “inadequate procedural or methodological practices of citation or quotation” causing an “unacceptable level of text parallels” has sunk a review paper, but not a thesis, for a PhD who studied memory consolidation at Maynooth University in Ireland. According to a statement from the school, Jennifer Moore used “poor practice of citation and attribution” in both her thesis and in a review article published with her post-graduate P.I. in Reviews in the Neurosciences.

The review article, which has been cited four times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, will be retracted. Because there was no data fabrication and “no misleading of other scientists or laboratories,” the school will not be retracting the thesis nor taking away her PhD.

According to Google Scholar, the review has been cited 8 times. Moore now works as a neuropsychologist at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. We’ve contacted her for comment and will update if we hear back.

Here’s the notice for “Reconsolidation Revisited: A Review and Commentary on the Phenomenon”: Continue reading “Unacceptable level of text parallels” loses neuroscientist a paper, but not her PhD

“The main improvements reported are invalid”: Quantum communication paper retracted

scientificreportsA paper on quantum communication has been retracted for failing to address several important problems, making the conclusions invalid.

Quantum communication involves sending a series of photons in specific quantum states over fiberoptic cables. It’s a little like the 1s and 0s of traditional computing, but much more secure. If the photons are intercepted on their way to the intended target, the quantum states will change, and the recipients can know their information was accessed by other parties. This is especially interesting to governments with a lot of secret information to transmit: both China and the U.S. have programs to develop these networks.

The retracted paper was a discussion of how to efficiently send lots of quantum information from different sources through the same fiberoptic cables at once.

Here’s the notice for “Efficient Quantum Transmission in Multiple-Source Networks”: Continue reading “The main improvements reported are invalid”: Quantum communication paper retracted

Plagiarism scandal tarnishes student newspaper at Trinity College, Dublin

utbanner4Irish eyes definitely are not smiling at Trinity College in Dublin, where the campus paper, The University Times, has acknowledged that one of its editors seems to have been a serial plagiarist.

According to an editorial in the paper published on Friday: Continue reading Plagiarism scandal tarnishes student newspaper at Trinity College, Dublin

Can you hear me now? Neuroscience paper sunk by audio stimulus error

j neurophysHave you ever noticed that hearing something read aloud as you follow along helps you remember what you’re reading better?

Two bioengineers at Trinity College Dublin, Michael Crosse and Edmund Lalor, decided to investigate the underlying reason for the phenomenon. Unfortunately, after they published their findings in the Journal of Neurophysiology earlier this year, they tried to recreate the experiments and discovered that their equipment didn’t line up the audio and visual stimuli properly.

They did the right thing and contacted the journal for a retraction. Here’s the notice for “The cortical representation of the speech envelope is earlier for audiovisual speech than audio speech”: Continue reading Can you hear me now? Neuroscience paper sunk by audio stimulus error

Scientist in Ireland notches two mysterious retractions and a correction

Sinead Miggin, via NUIM
Sinead Miggin, via NUIM

Sinead Miggin, a biologist at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, has withdrawn two papers from the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) and has corrected another paper, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Here’s the opaque JBC notice for “14-3-3ϵ and 14-3-3σ inhibit Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated proinflammatory cytokine induction,” a paper first published in November 2012: Continue reading Scientist in Ireland notches two mysterious retractions and a correction

ALS paper retracted for figure problems

cd&dA group of researchers in Ireland has retracted their 2013 article on a possible new method for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — ALS, also commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease — after identifying errors in several images in the paper.

The article, “Acidotoxicity and acid-sensing ion channels contribute to motoneuron degeneration,” was published online in Cell Death & Differentiation (and appeared in the April 1 print issue, although we think that was a coincidence…). Continue reading ALS paper retracted for figure problems

He said, she said: Journal of Neuroscience expresses concern, but doesn’t pursue investigation

j neuroscienceThe Journal of Neuroscience‘s retraction notices often give us plenty to chew on, and a new Expression of Concern does the same.

In the notice — for a 16-year-old paper — the journal notes three cases of what certainly sounds like image manipulation, but carefully avoids calling it that: Continue reading He said, she said: Journal of Neuroscience expresses concern, but doesn’t pursue investigation

Two cancer papers retracted because authors “are unable to guarantee the accuracy of some of the figures”

cancer lettersA team of researchers in Ireland has retracted two papers from Cancer Letters after concerns were apparently raised about some of the studies’ figures.

Denise Egan, of the Institute of Technology Tallaght in Dublin, and colleagues published “In vitro anti-tumour and cyto-selective effects of coumarin-3-carboxylic acid and three of its hydroxylated derivatives, along with their silver-based complexes, using human epithelial carcinoma cell lines” and “A study of the role of apoptotic cell death and cell cycle events mediating the mechanism of action of 6-hydroxycoumarin-3-carboxylatosilver in human malignant hepatic cells” in 2007.

The two notices say the same thing: Continue reading Two cancer papers retracted because authors “are unable to guarantee the accuracy of some of the figures”