Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘elsevier’ Category

“Devastated” researchers worry co-author’s use of fake reviews could hurt their careers

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In late December, Ana Khajehnezhad learned what no scientist wants to hear: One of her papers had been retracted. The reason: Her co-author had faked the reviews.

Khajehnezhad, who works at the Plasma Physics Research Center at Islamic Azad University in Tehran, Iran, told Retraction Watch she was “devastated” to hear the news:

I was so shocked. … I had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever on the actions taken by the corresponding author.

As we reported last month, Elsevier is retracting 26 papers affected by fake reviews; Ahmad Salar Elahi is corresponding author on 24 of them, including Khajehnezhad’s now-retracted paper published in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. Many of Ehali’s co-authors are now facing the consequences of these retractions. Three of them shared their story. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Victoria Stern

January 11th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Accusations of ”false claims” in anti-global warming paper unresolved after three years

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Three years after receiving a complaint about extensive plagiarism and major errors in an anti-global warming paper, Elsevier says it’s still reviewing the allegations.

In 2014, readers complained to the Elsevier journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews about plagiarism and technical flaws in a 2013 paper questioning mainstream climate change science.

When we first began reporting the story last year, a spokesperson for Elsevier told us:

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Written by Victoria Stern

January 9th, 2018 at 8:00 am

After Elsevier knew an author faked reviews, it kept accepting his papers for more than a year

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In March 2017, Christopher Blanford received an email from an editor at the Journal of Crystal Growth. Blanford had been named as a suggested reviewer for a manuscript, and the editor, Arnab Bhattacharya, wanted to verify that the Gmail account the authors provided was legitimate.

It was not.

Blanford—a senior lecturer in biomaterials at the University of Manchester, UK—thought it was an “amusing coincidence” that he was chosen as a fake reviewer, given that he has written about malpractice in academic publishing. He confirmed the Gmail account was not his, and the other two suggested reviewers told Bhattacharya, a professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, the same thing.

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Written by Victoria Stern

January 4th, 2018 at 1:00 pm

Another retraction to appear for Cornell food scientist Brian Wansink

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Brian Wansink

The new year will bring a sixth retraction for food scientist Brian Wansink, whose work has been under fire for all of 2017.

Although the notice has not yet been released, the journal Appetite plans to retract a 2003 paper about the different forces that motivate people to try new foods (referring, in this specific context, to soy).

It’s unclear why “Profiling taste-motivated segments” is being retracted (we asked the journal, but haven’t immediately heard back); some potential issues were flagged in March by Nick Brown, a PhD student who has devoted hundreds of hours to analyzing Wansink’s work (and forwarded us the email from Appetite confirming the upcoming retraction).

For instance, Brown alleged the article contains duplicated material, and similarities to the results from another 2002 paper that also measured soy consumption. After analyzing those two papers and a 2004 paper (also about eating soy), Brown concluded:

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Written by Alison McCook

December 28th, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Caught Our Notice: Researcher who sued PubPeer commenter draws 19th retraction  

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Via Wikimedia

Title: Increased Ras GTPase activity is regulated by miRNAs that can be attenuated by CDF treatment in pancreatic cancer cells

What Caught Our Attention: We’ve been following cancer scientist Fazlul Sarkar for years, as he (unsuccessfully) sought to expose the identity of a PubPeer commenter who he believes cost him a job offer. In November 2016, the ACLU released a copy of a misconduct investigation report compiled by Wayne State University, which concluded Sarkar ran a laboratory “culture” of “fabrication, falsification and/or plagiarism of data,” and recommended the retraction of 42 papers and correction of 10 papers. He’s now lodged his 19th retraction. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison Abritis

December 28th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Elsevier retracting 26 papers accepted because of fake reviews

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Elsevier has retracted 13 papersand says it will retract 13 moreafter discovering they were accepted because of fake reviews.

A spokesperson for Elsevier told us that the journals are in the process of retracting all 26 papers affected by the “peer-review manipulation” and “unexplained authorship irregularities.” Most share one corresponding author, a physical science researcher based in Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

Author wins judgment against Elsevier in lawsuit over retraction

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The author of a 2009 commentary exploring “sexually specific infanticide” in bears has won a judgment against Elsevier for using “untruthful and unverified” language in a 2011 retraction notice.

The last author, Miguel Delibes, who filed the suit in 2014, explained that the judge ruled he should accept the journal’s decision to retract his paper, but “confirmed that my honorability had been damaged” by the false accusation in the original retraction notice. According to a new note on the paper from the publisher, the court required the journal to publish part of its ruling to correct the record. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Victoria Stern

December 20th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Caught Our Notice: Columbia researcher up to five retractions

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Via Wikimedia

Title: Endotoxaemia during left ventricular assist device insertion: relationship between risk factors and outcome

What Caught Our Attention: Robert J. Frumento first caught our notice in 2013, as a coauthor on a paper retracted with a nonspecific reference to author misconduct.  Three years later, Frumento was clearly identified as having fabricated data and a master’s degree, and added three retractions to his name. Now he’s got a fifth retraction, this one citing missing data and a lack of proof that data blinding was performed correctly.   Read the rest of this entry »

“Utterly awful:” David Gorski weighs in on yet another paper linking vaccines and autism

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David Gorski, via Wayne State

Retraction Watch readers may be forgiven for thinking that there has been at least a small uptick in the papers that claim to link autism and vaccines, and yet tend to raise more questions than they answer. Sometimes, they are retracted. See here, here and here, for example. We talk to David Gorski, well known for his fights against pseudoscience, about the most recent example.

Retraction Watch (RW): You describe a recent paper reporting high levels of aluminum in the brains of people with autism as “utterly awful.” What are your main criticisms of the paper? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 13th, 2017 at 8:00 am

Posted in elsevier

Lancet retracts and replaces news story about controversial abortion drug

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The Lancet has retracted a journalist-written piece about a controversial drug used off-label to induce abortions, and replaced it with a corrected version.

In the retraction notice, the journal said it “removed the information that we believe to be inaccurate.”

The article, first published Oct. 28, 2017, highlights Pfizer’s decision to withdraw the drug, misoprostol, from the French market in 2018, and explores the ongoing debate surrounding its uses and safety. Approved to treat ulcers, misoprostol is more often used off-label to induce labor or medical abortions, despite reports of serious side effects, including hemorrhaging and birth defects “sometimes associated with fetal death.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Victoria Stern

November 21st, 2017 at 11:30 am