A spectroscopy journal has issued an expression of concern over a 2014 paper by researchers in Iran on the amount of the sleep hormone melatonin in pistachios after German authorities — prompted by a journalist’s questions — concluded that the analysis was in error.
The article, “Expression of concern to spectrofluorimetric determination of melatonin in kernels of four different pistacia varieties after ultrasound-assisted solid-liquid extraction,” was published in Spectrochimica Acta A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, an Elsevier journal.
Elsevier is looking into how one of its journals published a paper which makes bizarre claims about the knowledge of the ancients and contains an acronym with unmistakable and horrific historical significance.
An endocrinology journal has pulled a 2017 paper by a group from Russia and Romania because, well, maybe it’s just better if you read for yourself.
The article, “Testosterone promotes anxiolytic-like behavior in gonadectomized male rats via blockade of the 5-HT1A receptors,” appeared in General and Comparative Endocrinology, an Elsevier publication.
A paper in Contraception that purported to show serious flaws in an earlier study of abortion laws and maternal health has been retracted, after the authors of the original study found what were apparently significant flaws in the study doing the debunking.
That’s the short version of this story. The longer version involves years of back-and-forth, accusations of conflict of interest and poor research practice, and lawyers for at least two parties. Be warned: We have an unusual amount of information to quote from here that’s worth following.
As the editor of Contraception, Carolyn Westhoff, put it:
A researcher, formerly of Bath Spa University in the UK, who studies how computer games are designed, has retracted a paper and corrected three others after she said she became aware that they all contained plagiarism.
focuses on praxis in design for persuasive technology, multimedia installations, and affective knowledge, including the application of games for social issues such as higher education, homelessness, juvenile offenders, children in care, and healthcare.
Last December, Tianyi Wang and her colleagues published a very interesting paper in Cell Metabolism on the potential link between a gene called JAK/STAT3 and breast cancer. It turns out that breast cancers become resistant to chemotherapy via a pathway that involves JAK/STAT3, and blocking this pathway can re-sensitize the tumor to chemotherapy.
The wheels of scientific publishing turn slowly … but they do (sometimes) turn.
In January, we reported on the case of a paper on global warming marred by several problems, including allegations of plagiarism and “false claims” by the authors — which readers had raised as early as 2014, with no result. (Find a discussion of those allegations here.)