The authors of a 2017 paper on emotional and behavioral gaps between boys and girls have retracted the article after discovering a coding error that completely undermined their conclusions.
The revelation prompted the researchers to republish their findings in the same journal, this time with a title that flips the narrative.
The PsychJournal study, first published in March, looked at self-regulation — loosely defined as the ability to get stuff done and keep a lid on it — in boys and girls in German elementary schools. Although previous studies had found girls might do better on this front, the authors, from the University of Leipzig and New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, initially found the opposite:
A chemistry journal has issued a retraction after “a thorough and time-consuming analysis” revealed two out of four authors did not agree to submitting an article published in May, which also contains “considerable overlap and redundancy” with another paper published a few weeks prior in a different journal.
Shortly after the paper appeared in Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, the journal was told “that parts of the manuscript were reused” from an article in the Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers that was published online March 16. That led to the investigation, and the discovery of the additional authorship issues.
When our co-founders launched the site in 2010, they wondered whether there would be enough retractions to write about on a regular basis. Five+ years and three full-time staffers later, and we simply don’t have the time to cover everything that comes across our desk.
In 2012, we covered a group of duplication retractions in a single post, simply because duplications happen so frequently (sadly) and often don’t tell an interesting story. So in the interest of bookkeeping, we’re picking up the practice again.
Here are five unrelated retractions for your perusal: all addressing duplications, in which the same – or mostly the same – authors published the same – or mostly the same – information in two different – or sometimes the same – journals.
The journal Neuroscience has retracted a 2011 paper by an alcohol researcher from the United Arab Emirates, who apparently conducted some mouse studies without the blessing of his institution’s animal ethics officials. At least, that’s what the retraction notice would have us believe.
The paper in question, “The pre-synaptic metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 “mGluR7” is a critical modulator of ethanol sensitivity in mice,” by Amine Bahi, was published in December 2011 and cited three times (twice by the author), according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. But as the notice explains:
Is self-plagiarism — perhaps best referred to as duplication of your own work — a big problem in nanotechnology research?
The American Chemical Society (ACS) Nano journal retracted a study, “Retraction of Nanoembossing Induced Ferroelectric Lithography on PZT Films for Silver Particle Patterning,” late last month because of such duplication:
This article was withdrawn at the request of the Editor-in-Chief, with agreement by the authors, due to unacceptable redundant text and figures with a previously published article by the same authors (Langmuir 2011, 27, 5167-5170. DOI: 10.1021/la200377b).
Readers of this blog by now know that if there’s one thing that really gets us going, it’s obfuscation. So it shouldn’t be surprising that the following retraction notice from the journal Psychopharmacology, made us particularly batty:
This paper has been retracted by the author because of legal issues.