Did you know there is a black market for scientific papers? Unfortunately, there is a growing trend of authors purchasing a spot on the author list of papers-for-sale – and the better the journal, the higher the price. This worrisome trend has been on the minds of Peggy Mason at the University of Chicago and Maria Sol Bernardez Sarria of Yale University, formerly associated with the Ethics Committee of the Society for Neuroscience, which publishes the Journal of Neuroscience (Mason as Chair from 2013 to 2015, and Bernardez Sarria as assistant). In this capacity, they regularly scanned several websites and journals for ethics-related information, and developed an approach that might give away sold authorship. Continue reading 7 signs a scientific paper’s authorship was bought
The retractions come as part of a backstory of pulled papers authored by psychologist Edward Awh and his former graduate student David Anderson when he was based at the University of Oregon in Eugene. The pair retracted four papers last year after Anderson admitted to misconduct during an investigation by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (and spoke to us about it last July). This led Awh — now based at the University of Chicago in Illinois — to take a second look at the other publications he’d co-authored with Anderson; earlier this year, Awh retracted two others, and informed us more would be coming, including the two most recent publications.
First, let’s take a look at the retraction note for the Journal of Neuroscience paper, about remembered items and task performance: Continue reading Two more retractions bring total to 9 for neuroscience duo
A well-known scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies longevity has retracted a paper for “numerous examples of unindicated splicing of gel lanes,” as well as other problems.
Guarente told us in March — when we reported that he’d published a mega-correction on another paper — that he had planned to address issues with the paper, “SIRT1 Protects against α-Synuclein Aggregation by Activating Molecular Chaperones,” published in the The Journal of Neuroscience. Now, a retraction note has appeared “at the request of the authors.” It explains:
Authors have retracted two papers about visual perception and working memory from the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, after the first author admitted to falsifying or fabricating data in four other papers.
The authors have requested another two retractions, as well, which will bring the total for Edward Awh and his former graduate student David Anderson to nine retractions. (Earlier in 2015, they lost a paper due to an error in the analytic code, which Awh told us was unrelated to the misconduct.)
The retraction notice attached to both articles cites a 2015 settlement agreement between the Office of Research Integrity and first author Anderson (the “respondent”), who admitted to misconduct while working as a graduate student in the lab of Awh at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Since then, “additional problems” were discovered in the newly retracted articles, such as removed data points.
Awh, who has since moved to the University of Chicago, sent us a lengthy statement, explaining the concerns about each article: Continue reading More retractions bring total to 7 for neuroscience pair, 2 more pending
The Office of Research Integrity report found that Maria C.P. Geraedts manipulated bar graphs in the papers to “produce the desired result.” Both have been retracted. Geraedts left academia in 2014, and is now a science writer.
We reported on one retraction in July, “Gustatory stimuli representing different perceptual qualities elicit distinct patterns of neuropeptide secretion from taste buds,” published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
The other, “Transformation of postingestive glucose responses after deletion of sweet taste receptor subunits or gastric bypass surgery,” published in 2012 in the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism, was retracted in September. Here’s the note, which cites the university’s investigation: Continue reading Taste researcher falsified data in two papers: ORI
The Journal of Neuroscience is retracting a 2012 paper on how estrogen produced in the brain shapes the auditory system on the basis of “a report from Northwestern University that describes substantial data misrepresentation” in the paper.
The paper, “Mechanistic Basis and Functional Roles of Long-Term Plasticity in Auditory Neurons Induced by a Brain-Generated Estrogen,” is, according to PubMed, the last one published by its last (and corresponding) author Raphael Pinaud, and first author Liisa Tremere, who were both at Northwestern University at the time. Before his position at Northwestern, Pinaud held positions at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Rochester.
Pinaud and Tremere jointly published a handful of papers on the role of estrogen in the auditory system of the brain starting in 2009, some of which are co-authored by two of the other researchers on the current paper, which has been cited 8 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Here’s the retraction notice:
The Journal of Neuroscience has yanked an Alzheimer’s paper and banned three University of Pennsylvania authors from publishing there temporarily, following conflicting investigations by the university and the publisher, the Society for Neuroscience, into the data.
The 2011 paper looked into the cellular makeup of the characteristic plaques that develop in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s been cited 64 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
While the notice states that Penn’s investigation “supports the journal’s findings of data misrepresentation,” last author Virginia Lee said she asked the journal to simply issue a correction of the faulty data, since the findings are “extremely important” for the field and have been affirmed by a later paper. According to author John Trojanowski (who is married to and publishes regularly with Lee), he and Lee have been barred from publishing in Journal for Neuroscience for several years.
Senior Co-author Edward Lee is out for a year [see update at the bottom of this post].
Lee provided us with a letter Vice Dean of Research Glen Gaulton sent to the journal (click here to read), in which he says an investigation found “no evidence of research misconduct” and the “errors…do not detract from or otherwise alter the conclusions of the manuscript.”
A team of neuroscientists at University of Oregon and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have retracted a paper from The Journal of Neuroscience after realizing their analytic code contained an error.
The authors state in the notice that their conclusion remains accurate after correcting the mistake in the program Matlab. However, the paper — which examined the role of neuronal oscillations in working memory — still contained “some findings that we no longer believe to be robust.”
It’s a very useful notice: Continue reading Matlab mixup sinks Journal of Neuroscience paper