Post-publication peer review isn’t just for scientists. Newspaper reporters can help correct the scientific record, too.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has corrected a journal article on Legionnaire’s disease after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed what seems to be efforts by the researchers to misrepresent their data.
In a series of articles last December, the newspaper raised questions about the CDC’s actions in the aftermath of outbreaks in 2011 and 2012 of Legionnaire’s that sickened 22 veterans, killing six. The Post-Gazette obtained emails from CDC scientists that appeared to reveal their disdain for the sterilization method the hospital had been using to suppress the growth of Legionella bacteria. That method, a copper-silver system, is widely considered to be effective. But according to the newspaper, the CDC investigators were so critical of the copper-silver disinfectant technology that the VA ultimately switched to a system based on chlorine. Continue reading Newspaper series prompts CDC to correct paper on Legionnaire’s disease
Different journals follow different editorial policies — but we’ve never seen any charge money to authors who want to appeal an editorial decision. Until now.
Recently, a criminal justice researcher sent us links to multiple journals that charge appeal fees.For instance, the Journal of Accounting Researchsays authors must pay $500 for each submission — and another $500 if they want the journal to reconsider its decision to reject the paper.
An engineering researcher has written about models tackling a range of complex issues — security problems in Iraq, poverty in Europe, and emergency responses to humanitarian crises. But there may be some limits to his expertise: Between 2016 and 2017, five journals have retracted five of his papers, citing plagiarism.
Some of the notices describe the plagiarism as “extensive,” “significant,” and “substantial.” One journal editor, who retracted one of Kubilay Kaptan’s papers last year, told us the paper “was simply a direct copy from an existing one.”
The editor noted that Kaptan — who lists his affiliation as the Civil Engineering Department at Beykent University in Istanbul — claimed to be “the victim of a personal smear campaign, which involved submitting plagiarised manuscripts in his name.” We reached out to Kaptan several times by phone and email to verify this claim, but did not hear back.
Recently, we’ve reported on multiple retractions of papers co-authored by Rapoport after three different first authors were found to have committed misconduct. Now, the fallout from one of those cases had led to four more retractions, bringing Rapoport’s total to 12.
The latest batch of retractions stem from the actions of Jagadeesh Rao.
A biologist has corrected three papers that are nearly a decade old, after concerns were raised on PubPeer.
A commenter first posted a comment about an image in one of the papers in 2013; after more comments on other papers appeared in November 2015, author Zoya Avramova at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln received emails alerting her to the threads. She has responded, including to the 2013 comment, noting “the said images should have been assembled more carefully.”
After repeating some of the experiments to verify the results, she has now issued corrections on three papers, about the genetics of model organism Arabidopsis. The papers share a first author, Abdelaty Saleh, who was a postdoc in Avramova’s lab at the time of the work.
A journal is retracting a paper about a heart surgery technique after discovering the researchers did not have ethics approval to perform a the procedure on 130 patients. What’s more, the local cardiac surgical society had asked the first author to stop using the method in 2004, six years before the study was complete.
A Swedish ethical review board has censured two biologists and their employer, Uppsala University, for events related to “extensive image manipulations” in five papers published between 2010 and 2014. The case has led to criticism from an outside expert — who brought the allegations to Uppsala — over the current system in Sweden for handling such investigations.
Four of the papers have been retracted, and the authors have requested a correction in the fifth.
A paper about the molecular details of lung cancer is being retracted for repeating datasets and “careless errors” in a pair of figures.
According to the note, the editor of Carcinogenesis wouldn’t have known about the problems if he hadn’t been tipped off that the paper by first author, XiaoJuan Sun — a researcher at Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital in China — shared “significant similarities” with another one of Sun’s papers that was retracted years ago. After the journal investigated the paper, it discovered that the authors had reported the same data as in the retracted paper “without significant additions or amendments,” along with some errors and inconsistencies.