Post-publication peer review isn’t just for scientists. Newspaper reporters can help correct the scientific record, too.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has corrected a journal article on Legionnaire’s disease after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed what seems to be efforts by the researchers to misrepresent their data.
In a series of articles last December, the newspaper raised questions about the CDC’s actions in the aftermath of outbreaks in 2011 and 2012 of Legionnaire’s that sickened 22 veterans, killing six. The Post-Gazette obtained emails from CDC scientists that appeared to reveal their disdain for the sterilization method the hospital had been using to suppress the growth of Legionella bacteria. That method, a copper-silver system, is widely considered to be effective. But according to the newspaper, the CDC investigators were so critical of the copper-silver disinfectant technology that the VA ultimately switched to a system based on chlorine. Continue reading Newspaper series prompts CDC to correct paper on Legionnaire’s disease
We brought you this story last week, about a paper on drug resistant staph being retracted for a lab error. Now, we’ve got an update from Rachel Safer, senior editor for medical journals at Oxford University Press, where the paper was published.
Apparently, the researchers “inadvertently relied upon the use of a test system that was not approved for the microorganism studied in their paper,” leading to the retraction, and the corresponding author of the study wasn’t initially all that responsive:
Continue reading Publisher updates with more info on staph retraction
What could have been a truly scary study about drug resistant staph infections in hospitals has been retracted due to a lab error.
Researchers at a community hospital in Pittsburgh claimed that the commonly quoted 3% rate of staph that is resistant to ceftriaxone and sensitive to methicillin was drastically understated. However, an “honest error in the interpretation of a key lab test” called the findings into question.
Here’s the abstract: Continue reading 87% of bugs resistant to antibiotics? Not so fast, as staph paper yanked after staff mistake
A few days after Clinical Infectious Diseases published a set of guidelines for using antibiotics in patients with cancer and dangerously compromised immune systems, we noticed that they had retracted the paper. The Medline notice read: Continue reading Clinical Infectious Diseases retracts antibiotic guidelines after posting uncorrected version