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.
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:
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The first author of the retracted article is Ronald L. Moy, a plastic surgeon to the stars in Beverly Hills, Calif., and a past president of both the American Academy of Dermatology and the American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.”
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:
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.”
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:
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.