Games researcher retracts one paper, corrects three others, for plagiarism

via San Jose Library

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.

The common author of the four papers, Dana Ruggiero,

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.

The retraction notice for “Project-based learning in a virtual internship programme: A study of the interrelated roles between intern, mentor and client,” a paper which first appeared in Computers & Education in July 2017, reads: Continue reading Games researcher retracts one paper, corrects three others, for plagiarism

Group in China earns nearly a dozen retractions for image duplication, forged authorship, and more

A group of materials scientists in China has earned 11 retractions and three corrections — so far — for image manipulation, duplication, deceptive authorship and other misconduct.

The papers, from a group at the prestigious Tsinghua University, appeared in a variety of materials journals and date back to 2014. The most recent publications arrived in 2016.

[Please see an update on this post.]

The notices read pretty much the same way. Here, for example, is the retraction statement for “Effects of high-energy electro-pulsing treatment on microstructure, mechanical properties and corrosion behavior of Ti–6Al–4V alloy,” which was published in 2015 in Materials Science and Engineering C, an Elsevier title: Continue reading Group in China earns nearly a dozen retractions for image duplication, forged authorship, and more

How a typo in a catalog number led to the correction of a scientific paper — and what we can learn from that

Anita Bandrowski

Papers are corrected for lots of different reasons. In this guest post, Anita Bandrowski, who leads an initiative designed to help researchers identify their reagents correctly, describes one unusual reason for a correction — and explains what researchers can learn from the episode.

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.

But six months later, they corrected the paper — because of typos in the catalog numbers they’d used. Continue reading How a typo in a catalog number led to the correction of a scientific paper — and what we can learn from that

Four years after readers raise concerns, journal finally retracts climate paper

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.)

Now, the journal, Elsevier’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (ironic on multiple levels, when you think about it), is retracting the paper.

According to the long-time-in-coming retraction notice: Continue reading Four years after readers raise concerns, journal finally retracts climate paper

UPDATED: Elsevier retracts a paper on solar cells that appears to plagiarize a Nature journal. But the reason is…odd.

The similarities between recent papers in two different journals about energy were striking — so striking that a number of people have taken to Twitter and Facebook to let the world know about them.

[1415 UTC, August 29, 2018: See update at the end of this post.]

One paper, “Systematic investigation of the impact of operation conditions on the degradation behaviour of perovskite solar cells,” was authored by a group of researchers in Lausanne, Switzerland and appeared on January 1, 2018 in Nature Energy. Its abstract reads: Continue reading UPDATED: Elsevier retracts a paper on solar cells that appears to plagiarize a Nature journal. But the reason is…odd.

How much cancer stems from diabetes, obesity? Lancet journal swaps high-profile paper

Six months ago, the media was ablaze with the findings of a new paper, showing that nearly six percent of cancer cases are caused, at least in part, by obesity and diabetes. But this week, the journal retracted that paper — and replaced it with a revised version.

The new paper doesn’t change the main findings much — the share of all cancers attributable to diabetes and obesity changed from 5.6% to 5.7%, which wouldn’t change any headlines about the original paper. But soon after the paper was published, a group of researchers noticed the authors’ mistake — which was significant enough to prompt the journal to retract the paper entirely, and swap it with a new one.

According to first author Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard at Imperial College London:

Continue reading How much cancer stems from diabetes, obesity? Lancet journal swaps high-profile paper

Caught Our Notice: A team from Harvard, Cornell, Cambridge, HHMI, and UCSF can’t reproduce a paper’s findings

What Caught Our Attention: Any time there’s an issue with a paper co-authored by researchers from such high-profile institutions as Harvard, Cornell, and the University of Cambridge, we take notice. In this case, the group — which included Laurie Glimcher, then-dean at Cornell, now president of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute — chose to retract a 2013 paper from a Cell journal after learning they couldn’t reproduce some of the experiments. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: A team from Harvard, Cornell, Cambridge, HHMI, and UCSF can’t reproduce a paper’s findings

Chemists duke it out over who was first to discover a 30-year-old technique

Decades ago, unbeknownst to each other, two chemists were independently working on a screening approach to identify new potential drugs. Both published papers about the technique around the same time. So now, when scientists write papers that cite the technique, who should get credit for discovering it?

Decades later, that question still hasn’t been answered — and the researchers continue to argue, this time over one’s decision not to cite the other’s work.  

More than 30 years ago, Árpád Furkanow retired from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapestdeveloped an approach he says has had “outstanding importance” in drug development. The technique, called split-mix synthesis, made it possible to synthesize and screen millions of peptides at once, instead of one by one. Furka patented the method in 1982, presented an abstract in 1988, and published a paper in 1991. Continue reading Chemists duke it out over who was first to discover a 30-year-old technique

Author under fire has eight papers retracted, including seven from one journal

A researcher whose work on the use of nanomaterials has been heavily scrutinized on PubPeer — with one critic alleging a paper contained “obviously fabricated” images — has lost eight papers. [Editor’s note: See update below.]

The eight articles — seven from Biosensors and Bioelectronics and one from Analytica Chimica Acta, both published by Elsevier — all cite issues related to duplications, and conclude with some version of the following:

Continue reading Author under fire has eight papers retracted, including seven from one journal

Flawed climate science paper “exposed potential weaknesses” in the peer review process

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How did a deeply flawed paper, which contradicts mainstream science on climate change, pass peer review?

That is what three editorial board members tried to figure out after the journal, Global and Planetary Change, faced heavy criticism for publishing the controversial paper last year. The board members published their findings earlier this month in a commentary.

Martin Grosjean, the corresponding author on the editorial, told Retraction Watch that the editors and publisher, Elsevier, share the same interest: Continue reading Flawed climate science paper “exposed potential weaknesses” in the peer review process