Political science has a #metoo moment

Many political scientists are up in arms over an editor’s decision to use his journal as a platform to defend himself from allegations of sexual harassment.

The editor, William Jacoby of Michigan State University, has since removed a statement denying the allegations from the American Journal of Political Science (AJPS), and posted an apology. Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA), which publishes the journal, has announced it’s asked Jacoby to “suspend all editorial operations until the council can take formal action later this week.”

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Nutrition paper claims intervention cuts child obesity. Experts disagree.

Does incorporating gardens and their harvest into school-based nutrition programs help children get healthier? A 2017 paper claims it does, but a group of outside experts disagrees — strongly.

The 2017 paper reported that adding gardens to schools and teaching kids how to cook the harvest, among other elements, helped kids learn about nutrition — and even improved their body mass index, a measure of body weight.

However, soon after the paper appeared, a group of outside experts told the journal the data reported by the paper didn’t support its conclusions — namely, the authors hadn’t shown that the intervention had any effect. The authors performed an inappropriate analysis of the data, the critics claimed, and the paper needed to be either corrected or retracted outright.

But the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has not amended the paper in any way. Instead, last month, it published the outside experts’ criticism of the paper, including their explicit calls to either correct or retract it, along with the authors’ response to the critics.

David Allison, the last author on the critical letter and the dean of the school of public health at Indiana University Bloomington, said he was surprised to see the journal chose to publish his critical letter, but not alter the paper itself:

Continue reading Nutrition paper claims intervention cuts child obesity. Experts disagree.

“Youth Guru” loses turkey-neck paper that overlapped with book chapter

Ronald Moy

A prominent cosmetic surgeon and his daughter have lost a 2017 paper on treating men with excessive neck flab — otherwise known as “turkey neck” — because much of the work appears to have duplicated a book chapter he co-authored about the topic.

The first author of the retracted article is Ronald L. Moy, a plastic surgeon to the stars in Beverly Hills, Calif., and a past president of both the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Dermatology. In a 2012 article about area plastic surgeons, LA Confidential Magazine dubbed Moy the “youth guru” and a local leader in the use of “new research and a comprehensive approach to restore a youthful complexion—no cutting required.”

His co-author was his daughter, Lauren Moy, who appears to be working with him in his Rodeo Drive dermatology practice.

Continue reading “Youth Guru” loses turkey-neck paper that overlapped with book chapter

Don’t like a paper, but don’t want to retract it? Just issue an “editorial statement”

Last April, the American Journal of Epidemiology and the American Journal of Public Health published a rare joint editorial statement. It concerned a pair of papers on the topic of mortality and obesity. Several complaints had prompted the journals to investigate. Their assessment: These papers contained inaccurate results.

The statement was not a retraction—it was a compromise the editors came up with that would set the academic record straight, while not tainting the authors’ publication record, given that they had (in the editors’ opinion) made honest mistakes. It was an unusual solution to a not-uncommon problem (criticisms of a paper), in which the editors tried to balance their duty to the scientific record against its potential impact on the authors. And it left few people happy — including researchers in the field, who are left unsure about the validity of the results.

Roland Sturm, an economist at Pardee RAND Graduate School who was not a co-author on the papers, told Retraction Watch:

Continue reading Don’t like a paper, but don’t want to retract it? Just issue an “editorial statement”

Caught Our Notice: JAMA warns readers about all of Brian Wansink’s papers in its journals

Titles:

    1. First Foods Most: After 18-Hour Fast, People Drawn to Starches First and Vegetables Last
    2. Fattening Fasting: Hungry Grocery Shoppers Buy More Calories, Not More Food
    3. Watch What You Eat: Action-Related Television Content Increases Food Intake
    4. Super Bowls: serving bowl size and food consumption
    5. Consequences of belonging to the “clean plate club”
    6. Preordering school lunch encourages better food choices by children
Brian Wansink

What Caught Our Attention: Brian Wansink, the beleaguered food marketing researcher at Cornell University, has already earned a retraction — two, if you count the fact that a retracted and replaced article was then retracted — and a correction from JAMA journals. Today, JAMA and two of its journals issued Expressions of Concern for six articles by Wansink and colleagues — all of those by him that have not yet been retracted. One of those paper has been cited more than 100 times. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: JAMA warns readers about all of Brian Wansink’s papers in its journals

A retraction gets retracted

Last year, an emergency medicine journal retracted a letter to the editor because it didn’t include the author’s potential conflict of interest. Now, it’s had a change of heart.

Earlier this month, the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine withdrew the retraction after determining the author, Guy Weinberg, had, in fact, provided information about his potential conflict  with his initial submission. Continue reading A retraction gets retracted

Child psychiatrist’s research was suspended “indefinitely” following probe

Mani Pavuluri

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) permanently suspended all research activities for a child psychiatrist years ago following an inquiry into her work, Retraction Watch has learned.

In 2015, a UIC spokesperson told us the university had suspended Mani Pavuluri’s clinical research in 2013, after a child in one of her studies had been hospitalized for exhibiting an increase in irritability and aggression. This prompted the university to launch a misconduct probe, and send letters to approximately 350 families of children participating in the research, notifying them of what happened. Now, a spokesperson has informed us that after the institution concluded its probe, it suspended her research “indefinitely.”

Continue reading Child psychiatrist’s research was suspended “indefinitely” following probe

Infamous case of fraud by protein crystallographer ends in 10-year funding ban

In 2009, a university announced a prominent researcher in the field of protein crystallography had likely fabricated nearly a dozen protein structures. Nine years later, the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has upheld the results — and announced a relatively long sanction, by the agency’s standards.

Today, the ORI placed a 10-year ban on Federal funding for H.M. Krishna Murthy, a former research associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), noting he “falsified and/or fabricated” research in nine papers and multiple structures added to a widely used database. Four of the papers have already been retracted; two others have been flagged with an expression of concern by the journal. Three remain otherwise intact.

The announcement was a long time coming — after the ORI provided Murthy with its initial finding and proposed sanctions, he appealed. On January 19, 2018, and Administrative Law Judge declined to move forward with the appeal, allowing the agency to proceed. Today’s finding was accompanied by a rare message from the interim office of the director, Wanda Jones, in which she notes today’s announcement:

Continue reading Infamous case of fraud by protein crystallographer ends in 10-year funding ban

Caught Our Notice: Researcher who once threatened to sue Retraction Watch now up to 19 retractions

Title: Curcumin-Free Turmeric Exhibits Activity against Human HCT-116 Colon Tumor Xenograft: Comparison with Curcumin and Whole Turmeric

What Caught Our Attention: We haven’t heard much about Bharat Aggarwal since his seven retractions in 2016 propelled him onto our leaderboard (and long after he threatened to sue Retraction Watch for our reporting). There was a whisper of a mention, when his name was listed as one of the organizers of a cancer conference from which MD Anderson (his former employer) had to publicly distance themselves as a co-sponsor. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Researcher who once threatened to sue Retraction Watch now up to 19 retractions

Authors retract, replace highly cited paper on ADHD in kids

Researchers have retracted and replaced a 2014 paper in JAMA Psychiatry, exploring a new way to classify attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, after discovering errors in the data.

Some experts have criticized the current diagnostic criteria for ADHD—noting, in some cases, it could inflate the rate of diagnosis. Sarah L. Karalunas, the paper’s corresponding author, told Retraction Watch that the aim of the study was to look beyond current criteria and “demonstrate an approach that could be used to better delineate the boundaries of ADHD and other psychiatric diagnostic categories.”   Continue reading Authors retract, replace highly cited paper on ADHD in kids