Even when a paper is obviously flawed, it can take years for journals to take action. Some never do. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
On April 27, a reader emailed the editors of two journals, noting that each had recently published a paper by the same group of authors that appeared strikingly similar.
Four days later, on May 1, a representative at Medicine, the journal that published the most recent version of the paper, wrote the reader back, saying the paper was going to be retracted.
Continue reading Hey journals, it is possible to quickly correct the record
When a group of authors decided to write up a curious case of a 35-year-old woman with a mysterious mass that took 11 years to be diagnosed, they tried repeatedly to contact the patient for her permission. When they couldn’t reach her, they published the paper anyway, removing any identifiable information.
But the report apparently included enough details for the patient to recognize herself — and when she read the paper, she asked the authors to retract it.
That’s the story according to the publisher of the 2016 case study, which recently retracted it with this notice:
Continue reading Authors couldn’t find a patient to give consent for case report. Then the patient found the report.
Authors have retracted a study just three months after publishing it, upon realizing they made “several critical errors.”
For one, the authors didn’t actually collect the data they claim to in the title of the paper, which reported on methods to screen patients for recurrence of lung cancer. The authors included data from positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), collected from 2003 to 2007 — but their institution didn’t have a PET/CT scanner until 2009. Instead, the authors had mistakenly reported the results of PET scans alone, which may not find tumors as effectively as PET/CT.
Here’s the retraction notice in Medicine, which explains the nature of the error in more detail. (Note: One of the authors supplied some missing text, in brackets.)
Continue reading Paper reports data from PET/CT scan, years before it arrived
A group of cancer researchers in Japan has retracted their 2011 paper in the journal Medicine. The reason: They seem to have had some trouble — well, perhaps a bit more than some — with their patient population.
The article, titled “Usefulness of systemic CT scanning in the detection of malignant lymphadenopathy,” came from the lab of Norio Komatsu, a hematologist at Juntendo University School of Medicine.
The paper’s no longer online, but we did find an abstract floating around: Continue reading Authors retract CT scan-cancer paper, citing faulty data