We wrote what? The problem of forged authorship. Plus, a guest appearance on MedPage Today

At a time when you can set up a Google alert to find out when your name appears anywhere on the Web — not that we’d know, of course — it puzzles us that some researchers are trying to get away with using others’ names on papers without their knowledge.

But they’re not just trying. Our recent experience suggests they’re actually getting away with it and seeing those papers in print. We’ve found at least six cases of that in the past few months. Of course, some eventually get caught.

We’d like to see journals taking a more vaccine-like approach to this problem. That’s the subject of our new column in Lab Times, where we’re now regular contributors. Excerpt: Continue reading We wrote what? The problem of forged authorship. Plus, a guest appearance on MedPage Today

In a retraction’s wake: Postdoc Shane Mayack, dismissed from Amy Wagers’ stem cell lab, speaks out

 

Last October, Retraction Watch readers will recall, up-and-coming stem cell researcher Amy Wagers retracted a study in Nature describing how her team rejuvenated blood-forming stem cells in older mice. Shane Mayack, a postdoc in Wagers’ lab who had been dismissed after an inquiry into what happened, did not sign that retraction. Since then, Mayack has not spoken to the press, except for a brief comment to Nature through her attorney.

Here, we present, unedited, Mayack’s side of the story. While accepting responsibility, she also has a number of suggestions for how universities and journals can handle these situations better. Shane can be reached at smayck[at]yahoo.com.

Since it was well covered by this blog, the readers of Retraction Watch are no doubt aware that in October 2010, a paper that I co-authored was retracted from Nature and a notice of concern was posted regarding a second paper published in Blood.

So, what went wrong? Continue reading In a retraction’s wake: Postdoc Shane Mayack, dismissed from Amy Wagers’ stem cell lab, speaks out

“Biologist realizes he’s been studying Cadbury egg”: Mislabeled bottle leads to Phys Rev B retraction

The quote in the title of this post is a potential Onion headline that didn’t make it into print. It was part of an episode of This American Life that aired last week, and it seemed apropos, even though the subject here is superconductors rather than biology.

After all, we’ve written about a retraction that resulted from ordering the wrong mice. Today, we bring you the tale of a retraction caused by a mislabeled bottle. According to a retraction notice that appeared online last month in Physical Review B: Continue reading “Biologist realizes he’s been studying Cadbury egg”: Mislabeled bottle leads to Phys Rev B retraction

Authors of Journal of Immunology paper retract it after realizing they had ordered the wrong mice

The authors of a 2006 Journal of Immunology study have retracted it after it dawned on them that they used the wrong mice.

The study, “Endogenous IL-1R1 Signaling Is Critical for Cognate CD41 T Cell Help for Induction of In Vivo Type 1 and Type 2 Antipolysaccharide and Antiprotein Ig Isotype Responses to Intact Streptococcus pneumoniae, but Not to a Soluble Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine,” has been cited 11 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading Authors of Journal of Immunology paper retract it after realizing they had ordered the wrong mice

Beyond retractions: A technique gets an obituary

Sometimes, apparently, a retraction isn’t enough to put research findings to bed forever. Consider this obituary recently posted online at the Journal of Pediatrics, for a method of detecting gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in children:

We commonly recognize the contributions of distinguished members of the pediatric community and, with regret, their passing. It is appropriate, therefore, that we acknowledge the timely death of an old friend, the pH probe. Crushed to death under the weight of evidence against it, it was found abandoned in a trash can with a note that read, ‘‘Good riddance to a bad test.’’

To be fair, the pH probe has always been the standard bearer for mediocrity.

The obituary goes on: Continue reading Beyond retractions: A technique gets an obituary