Conflicts of disinterest: Why does it take a publisher 18 months, and counting, to correct papers?

Taylor & Francis

On February 23, 2018, Stephen Barrett — a physician in the United States perhaps best known for his work at Quackwatch — sent Dove Press this message:

I believe you have published 20 articles in 6 of your journals in which the lead author did not make a full conflict-of-interest disclosure. Please email me directly with the name and email address of an individual to whom I should report.

The lead author in question was Marty Hinz. As Barrett writes in a summary of the case

Continue reading Conflicts of disinterest: Why does it take a publisher 18 months, and counting, to correct papers?

Caught Our Notice: Wait…we wrote WHAT paper?

Via Wikimedia

TitleAssessment of coronary heart diseases in diabetics in al-Madinah al-Munawarah

What Caught Our Notice: We’ve seen researchers dinged for adding authors to papers who didn’t participate in the research, but it’s rare to have a notice say co-author signatures were forged. In a recent retraction, the first two authors said the signatures on the the approval document received by the journal do not belong to them. The notice does not indicate which of the remaining two co-authors might be responsible for the forgery. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Wait…we wrote WHAT paper?

Beg pardon? Researchers pull cancer paper because, well, um, you see …

dovepressWe’ve been writing about retractions for six years, and things tend to fall into easily recognizable categories — plagiarism, fabricated data, rigged peer review, etc.

So it’s always interesting to come across a notice sui generis, such as one that appeared in July in OncoTargets and Therapy, a Dove title, about a new way to detect tumor markers.

According to the retraction notice:

Continue reading Beg pardon? Researchers pull cancer paper because, well, um, you see …

Fake email address — for author, not reviewer — fells another paper

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 10.19.43 AMWe’ve seen many cases of researchers creating fake email addresses to impersonate reviewers that usher their paper to publication.

But in the latest fake email incident, a journal is retracting a paper on liver cancer after the first author created a phony address for the last and corresponding author. Both are researchers at Zhengzhou University in China.

This isn’t the first time that an author has worked around the corresponding author: there’s a case from a few years ago in which the corresponding author didn’t know that the paper was being published at all. Recently, we also wrote about a doctor who was suspended in the UK after submitting papers without her co-authors’ knowledge, including creating a fake email for one of them.

This latest paper had another problem, too: plagiarism. Here’s the retraction note for “The influence of TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharides on hepatocellular carcinoma cells and the feasibility of its application in treating liver cancer,” published in OncoTargets and Therapy:

Continue reading Fake email address — for author, not reviewer — fells another paper

Plagiarism was “not an intentional act,” says first author of retracted TB paper

logoA 2013 review article about tuberculosis is being retracted for “unacknowledged re-use of significant portions of text” from another article, which the first author said wasn’t intentional.

Sayantan Ray, based at Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata in India, told us that “most of the unchanged text” is present in sections written by junior co-authors. Since there doesn’t appear to be any attempt to cover it up, he argued anyone responsible for the plagiarism must not have realized it was wrong:

You can appreciate that this type of obvious similarity can only happen when the concerned person [does] not have any idea about [the] plagiarism issue.

According to the notice, published by Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, most of the re-used text appears to have come from a 2012 paper in the Indian Journal of Medical Research. Here’s more from the notice:

Continue reading Plagiarism was “not an intentional act,” says first author of retracted TB paper