Heart pulls sodium meta-analysis over duplicated, and now missing, data

heart cover may13The journal Heart has retracted a 2012 meta-analysis after learning that two of the six studies included in the review contained duplicated data.  Those studies, it so happens, were conducted by one of the co-authors.

The article, “Low sodium versus normal sodium diets in systolic heart failure: systematic review and meta-analysis,” came from an eclectic group of authors from the United States, Canada and Italy (the first author is listed as being at a Wegmans pharmacy in Ithaca, N.Y.). The paper, published online in August 2012, purported to find that: Continue reading Heart pulls sodium meta-analysis over duplicated, and now missing, data

Heart retracts stent-ReoPro paper over data dispute with authors (save one)

We’re a few months late on this one, but Heart, a BMJ title, issued a fascinating retraction notice in August about a meta-analysis on percutaneous coronary intervention (that’s stenting to you and me) after suffering a heart attack, and the drug abciximab, which is used to prevent clotting and additional near-term heart attacks. Abciximab is sold as ReoPro by Eli Lilly.

The article, “Clinical impact of intracoronary abciximab in patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention: an individual patient-data pooled analysis of randomised studies,” was published last May. But according to the retraction notice, the authors had neglected to include fresh data, already in the literature before their paper went live, that contradicted their overall findings.

Here’s the notice: Continue reading Heart retracts stent-ReoPro paper over data dispute with authors (save one)

Rabies paper retracted for plagiarism, and more from the Journal of Clinical Pathology

A cardinal (if oft-broken) rule of headline writing is to avoid the use of question marks. We think it’s particularly important to do so when the potential for ironic misadventure lurks.

To wit: The Journal of Clinical Pathology (JCP) has withdrawn/retracted a 2008 paper by a group of Indian authors (from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, at Deemed University) whose cliff-hanging title asks the question “Tracking the footprints of the rabies virus: are we any closer to decoding this elusive virus?” Continue reading Rabies paper retracted for plagiarism, and more from the Journal of Clinical Pathology

Some quick thoughts and links on Andrew Wakefield, the BMJ, autism, vaccines, and fraud

If you’re a savvy Retraction Watch reader — or if you’ve paid any attention at all to the news in the last 18 hours — you will have heard by now that the BMJ has called Andrew Wakefield’s work on autism and the MMR vaccine a “hoax.”

The February 2010 retraction of the original Wakefield paper in the Lancet was, of course, a huge deal. If there were a Canon of Scientific Retractions, it would be in it. It happened before we launched Retraction Watch, however, so we haven’t commented much on it.

We plan on writing about major retractions in history, but the frequency of fascinating timely ones hasn’t abated enough yet to let us do that. (One exception: Our Best of Retractions series.) And in any case, there have been a lot of pixels spilled on this one already, so we’re not sure we have much to add. That’s the nice thing about the web: It leaves us free to curate as well as create.

One comment we want to offer is that the investigation by Brian Deer in the BMJ Continue reading Some quick thoughts and links on Andrew Wakefield, the BMJ, autism, vaccines, and fraud

Sultans of swap: List of plagiarized papers grows to include BMJ

Although some readers evidently have yawned at revelations that Vahdettin Bayazit, of Alparslan University in Turkey (and, we are tempted to assume, at least a few of his co-authors) appears to have plagiarized wantonly in numerous published articles, one follower of Retraction Watch was on to this case even before we were.

In an e-mail, the tipster laid out a picture of intellectual dishonesty audacious for both its scope and ham-handedness. The researcher, who wanted to remain anonymous, used Google to detect instances of plagiarism, just as we had, coming up with “more than 10” papers with passages stolen from the scientific literature and even Wikipedia, including not only lifted text but figures, too. And, just as in our case, the editors our source contacted about the misconduct have essentially ignored it.

We confess that we’re puzzled by the attitude that a little plagiarism is no big deal. As physician Andrew Burd writes in the BMJ today: Continue reading Sultans of swap: List of plagiarized papers grows to include BMJ