Authors of a 2018 paper have retracted it after discovering “the conclusions in the article cannot be relied upon.”
The journal, PeerJ, wasted no time. Less than a week after the paper was published, the journal issued an expression of concern to alert readers to the issue and to the forthcoming retraction notice, which appeared five days later, on January 23.
Journals can take months, even years, to retract a paper. In this case, the time from publication to retraction was 11 days. The records, best we can tell, are 48 hours and 80 years.
PeerJ is typically associated with preprints—which the journal defines as “a draft that has not yet been peer reviewed for formal publication”—but the 2018 paper was never a preprint, the publisher said. The paper was peer reviewed, after the authors submitted it last October.
As a scientist, are you always focused on improving your metrics by such means as getting papers into prestigious journals? Do your funders and institutions add to that pressure to get ahead? If so, you may be at risk of a new psychiatric condition known as “Publiphilia Impactfactorius” — or, simply, PI, described in a PeerJ preprint. We talked to first author Joeri Tijdink at VU Medical Center (VUmc) in Amsterdam about this tongue-in-cheek take-down of the scientific condition, and whether there is any cure for the affliction.
Retraction Watch: You describe several new personality traits and clusters. Tell us more about this.
One journal has retracted a paper containing images that recently raised suspicions of obvious duplications, and another journal is planning to do the same.
Scientists first leveled accusations against the newly retracted paper in Scientific Reports, along with two others by the same researchers, earlier this month on Twitter. One other journal — PeerJ — has announced that it plans to retract one of the questioned papers, as well. The third paper, in Frontiers in Pharmacology, bears an expression of concern.
It was unusually quick action on the part of the journals, as well as the authors’ host institution, the University of Malaya, which announced last week the authors had manipulated figures in all three papers, along with one other.