A gastroenterology journal has issued an extensive expression of concern about a 2013 paper by Yoshihiro Sato, a Japanese endocrinologist who has posthumously been climbing the Retraction Watch leaderboard. (He’s now ranked number three, ahead of Diederik Stapel.)
To call the statement an “expression of concern” is like calling Charles M. Schulz a talented cartoonist, or Escoffier a pretty good cook. Indeed, the journal expresses so much concern, about, well, so much, that we’re not sure what in the paper would be left unscathed.
Sato, formerly of Hirosaki University, currently has 77 retractions for a range of misconduct-related issues including likely data fabrication and duplication.
A surgeon in Turkey has won a court case in which he argued that he deserved to be named in a list of authors from his institution who’d published a paper. But even that doesn’t appear to have satisfied the aggrieved medic, as you’ll see.
The article, “Late onset traumatic diaphragmatic herniation leading to intestinal obstruction and pancreatitis: two separate cases,” was written by a group from the Department of General Surgery at Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital. The list of authors comprised Tolga Dinc, Selami Ilgaz Kayilioglu and Faruk Coskun … but not Baris Yildiz, a colleague in the department.
A chemistry researcher in India is up to seven retractions and one correction for problematic images and other issues.
The researcher, Mahendra Yadav, was the first author on an article titled “Corrosion inhibition of tubing steel during acidization of oil and gas wells,” which appeared in 2013 in the Journal of Petroleum Engineering (JPE). Yadav, who also has a correction for similar concerns, and who has a fairly extensive entry in PubPeer, is listed as being affiliated with the Department of Applied Chemistry at the Indian School of Mines, in Dhanbad.
A lab at the University of Malaya has lost two papers and will have to correct five more — just from one publisher — over poor lab practices.
One of the retracted papers paper tested the effects of a plant on liver damage; its notice says the paper contains overlap with another paper from the same lab that tested a different plant for the same effect — but to save time and cut costs, the authors tested both plants in animals at the same time, and collected their tissues using one kit and protocol.
According to Hodgkinson, the UM investigation concluded the problems were due to errors, not deliberate misconduct. Hindawi plans to correct five more papers from Abdulla’s lab, after consulting with Hindawi’s board members following UM’s investigation:
The journal Scientifica has retracted a 2016 paper on gut disease in turkeys for a rafter of sins including plagiarism and authors plucked out of thin air.
The article, “Role of wheat based diet on the pathology of necrotic enteritis in turkeys,” was purportedly written by a team from Pakistan and France. But it turns out the first author, one Sajid Umar, appears to have misrepresented his affiliations and added names to the list of authors that didn’t belong there. He also plagiarized, although the journal took pains to avoid saying as much.
What Caught Our Attention: Potassium-rich diets are thought to be “heart-healthy,” and after examining the average dietary habits of Ghanaian adults, researchers determined the average potassium (K) intake to be well below global standards. However, the authors’ calculations of potassium intake per capita were too low by factor of 10, resulting in the incorrect conclusion that the average potassium intake was only 856 mg per day, an amount substantially lower than the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of 3510 mg/day. The new calculations show an average K intake of 8,560 mg/day, well over the WHO guideline.
We asked the corresponding author, David Oscar Yawson, about the source of the error, and he responded:
When Retraction Watch began in 2010, our co-founders Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus quickly realized they couldn’t keep up with the hundreds of retractions that appeared each year. And the problem has only gotten worse — although we’ve added staff, the number of retractions issued each year has increased dramatically. According to our growing database, more than 1300 retractions were issued last year (and that doesn’t include expressions of concern and errata). So to get new notices in front of readers more quickly, we’ve started a new feature called “Caught our Notice,” where we highlight a recent notice that stood out from the others. If you have any information about what happened, feel free to contact us at email@example.com.