A group of researchers have retracted their 2016 case report about a rare dermatologic disorder in the wake of disputes about authorship and institutional approval.
The paper describes a young boy with Job’s Syndrome, in which patients experience painful, itchy and frequently disfiguring skin lesions, along with a constellation of other possible symptoms. The condition is extremely rare, occurring in less than one in 1 million births.
This isn’t the first time a journal has retracted a case study after another group of authors claimed ownership of the case. Earlier this year, we covered a retraction from a neuro-ophthalmology journal after the doctors who treated a patient suffering from a gruesome eye trauma took issue with the fact that radiologists had already published their diagnostic images as a case study.
According to the notice for this latest retraction:
Lewis’ inside joke wasn’t lost on those who knew him, and the benign deception seems to have been common knowledge in the field since the Le Catt paper appeared in 1982 (which also happens to be the year Cats began its run on Broadway). The paper has been cited four times since it was published, according to Clarivate Analytics. But 25 years later, the journal has finally decided to put an end to the gag.
It started as a simple email exchange over authorship. But it angered one researcher so much that it ended a 20-year collaboration.
In January 2017, a chemist based in Mexico had finished writing a paper describing the structure of a molecule. Sylvain Bernès, at the Instituto de Física Luis Rivera Terrazas, asked his co-author—the head of the lab where the molecule had been synthesized 10 years ago—to review the draft and include any co-authors involved in the initial work.
A journal has retracted two 2014 papers after the editors discovered the authors used data from other research groups without permission.
The papers, both published in the same issue of Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics and retracted in May, suffered from similar issues—the authors published data that was not theirs. The authors are all based at different institutions in China; as far as we can tell, the papers do not have any authors in common.
Back in April, Springer retracted a record number 107 papers from Tumor Biology after uncovering evidence they were subject to fake peer reviews. But it appears that the Tumor Biology sweep was only part of the story.
During the Tumor Biology investigation, Springer found evidence that the “peer review process was compromised” in a dozen papers on brain cancer published in another journal. The 12 Molecular Neurobiology retractions have trickled in over the past year or so, published before and after the Tumor Biology sweep.
A journal has retracted a paper after the university notified the editors that the authors presented the gruesome details of a patient who they didn’t directly treat.
But the paper’s corresponding author disputes that claim, arguing that the first author — a radiologist, who has since passed away, provided a crucial diagnosis in this case. We’ve tried to track down the doctors who lodged a complaint about the paper, alleging they were “actually involved in the original patient treatment,” but have so far been unsuccessful.
The paper describes an unfortunate accident during which a man fell from his tractor and stabbed himself in the eye on part of the machine. Initially, doctors could not locate the eye and “believed it to have been completely destroyed,” and discharged the patient after seven days. One week later he was back, complaining of headaches — and doctors found the eye embedded deep inside the skull, intact.
In the fall of 2015, out-of-work stem cell biologist Mavi Camarasa decided she had waited long enough. It had been three years since she and a colleague were, best they could tell, the first to successfully correct the most common cystic fibrosis mutation in stem cells derived from a patient.
But her former lab director, Daniel Bachiller, had blocked her from writing even a short report, she told Retraction Watch:
He said we are not submitting at this time, wait until [the project is] complete. “Wait, wait,” is the only answer I’d had from him ever.
Though she’d left the Spanish regenerative medicine lab in 2013 to take care of an ailing parent and had mostly been scooped by another group in April of that year, Camarasa thought she still might be able to get something out of the project. She hatched a plan to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse — an already accepted manuscript where all he would have to do is attach his name at the last minute.
But this story didn’t turn out exactly how she’d hoped — and illustrates how the pressure to publish can affect researchers at different levels in the lab.
A disability journal has retracted a paper supposedly penned by a man with severe disabilities, citing duplication.
Although the reason for the retraction may sound run-of-the-mill, this situation is far from ordinary.
The author, known as DMan Johnson — or simply “D.J.” — has cerebral palsy, and was communicating using a controversial technique called “facilitated communication” with Anna Stubblefield, the former chairwoman of philosophy at Rutgers University. In October 2015, Stubblefield was convicted of sexually assaulting D.J., who has been diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia and severe mental retardation. The following month, she was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
In February, Lusine Abrahamyan, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, was contacted by ResearchGate. Her name was listed on a 2016 paper in a heart journal, the site told her — was Abrahamyan indeed a co-author?
Um, no, she was not. In fact, before that moment, she didn’t know such a paper existed.
It turns out, Abrahamyan had supervised the thesis of the first author — who, she soon learned, had also published an identical paper in another heart journal. Both have since been retracted.