Social networking site privacy breach complaint prompts retraction

patients-like-meA journal has removed a paper after realizing it contained a verbatim quote from a patient that could reveal the patient’s identity.

The journal learned of the slip-up after receiving a complaint from a social networking site for patients called PatientsLikeMe, which enables people with similar conditions to connect with each other. The retracted paper — ironically about automatically sanitizing private information on social networking sites — included a brief quote from an HIV-positive user of the site, containing specific dates and infections the patient had experienced.

The corresponding author of the study in Expert Systems and Applications confirmed to us that the letter from PatientsLikeMe about two lines of text in the study triggered its removal.

The journal has republished an updated version of the paper without the problematic text. 

Here’s an excerpt from the complaint, sent by Paul Wicks, Principal Scientist and Vice President of Innovation at PatientsLikeMe, to the researchers and the journal in December 2015: Continue reading Social networking site privacy breach complaint prompts retraction

Double-dipping leads to removal of petroleum research paper

pst journalcoverIranian scientists have lost one of two articles they submitted — and published — simultaneously to different journals. Watch as confusion ensues.

The retracted paper, “Permeability Estimation of a Reservoir Based on Neural Networks Coupled with Genetic Algorithms,” appeared online in August 2011  in Petroleum Science and Technology, a Taylor & Francis journal. According to the liner notes, the paper had been received on January 15, 2010 and accepted a few weeks later. It has been cited once since, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, by its authors, in a paper published in the same journal.

Meanwhile, in August 2011 the authors (minus one name) also published “Evolving neural network using real coded genetic algorithm for permeability estimation of the reservoir,”  in Expert Systems With Applications, an Elsevier title.

The standing paper — which has been cited seven times — now carries the following erratum notice (dated far into the future, September 2013): Continue reading Double-dipping leads to removal of petroleum research paper