Jens Förster, a high-profile social psychologist, has agreed to retract multiple papers following an institutional investigation — but has also fought to keep some papers intact. Recently, one publisher agreed with his appeal, and announced it would not retract two of his papers, despite the recommendation of his former employer.
Many voices contributed to the discussion about these two papers — in November, 2016, the University of Amsterdam announced it was rejecting the appeal by another co-author on both papers, Nira Liberman, based at Tel Aviv University in Israel. The following month, Tel Aviv University announced that it believed the articles should not be retracted, based on its own internal review.
The APA reviewed the various recommendations, according to last month’s announcement:
The papers are two of eight that were found to contain “strong statistical evidence for low veracity.” According to the report from an expert panel convened at the request of the board of the University of Amsterdam, following
an extensive statistical analysis, the experts conclude that many of the experiments described in the articles show an exceptionally linear link. This linearity is not only surprising, but often also too good to be true because it is at odds with the random variation within the experiments.
One of those eight papers was retracted in 2014. In November, the American Psychology Association received an appeal to keep two of the papers, and Förster agreed to the retractions of two more:
Following questions about the veracity of multiple papers by his former employer, high-profile social psychologist Jens Förster has agreed to retract two papers as part of a deal with the German Society for Psychology (DGPs).
Five months after the Office of Research Integrity announced they had found evidence of misconduct by Adam Savine, a former Washington University graduate student in neuroscience, another journal has published a retraction of his work.
The Office of Research Integrity says Adam Savine, a former post-doc graduate student in psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, committed misconduct in work that tainted three papers and six abstracts he submitted to conferences.
One of Savine’s studies that drew some media attention involved Diederik Stapel-esque research showing which brain region lights up when people see money. He was quoted in this 2010 article on Medical News Today saying:
“We wanted to see what motivates us to pursue one goal in the world above all others,” Savine says. “You might think that these mechanisms would have been addressed a long time ago in psychology and neuroscience, but it’s not been until the advent of fMRI about 15-20 years ago that we’ve had the tools to address this question in humans, and any progress in this area has been very, very recent.”