Following her request last month, a public health journal has retracted a paper co-authored by prominent nutrition researcher Marion Nestle, after revelations of multiple factual errors and her co-author’s ties to one of the subjects of the article.
The article, an opinion piece, critiqued the supposed relationship between the biggest beverage distributor in Guatemala and the leading Guatemala-based public health organization, to distribute a fortified supplement (Manì+) for undernourished children. The relationship, the piece argued, raised concerns about the conflicts of interest that can occur when a food company pairs with a public health organization. But soon after publication, Nestle learned that she and her co-author Joaquin Barnoya had misrepresented that relationship, and failed to disclose that the public health organization was paying a portion of Barnoya’s salary.
Here’s the full retraction notice, published earlier this month by the Journal of Public Health Policy: Continue reading Retraction published for nutrition researcher Marion Nestle
Prominent nutrition expert Marion Nestle is pulling an opinion piece she recently co-authored in the Journal of Public Health Policy following revelations that the piece contained multiple factual errors and failed to reveal her co-author’s ties to one of the subjects of the article.
The article, “The food industry and conflicts of interest in nutrition research: A Latin American perspective,” was published October 29 and raised concerns about the conflicts of interest that can occur when a food company pairs with a public health organization. Specifically, the article critiqued the supposed relationship between the biggest beverage distributor in Guatemala and the leading Guatemala-based public health organization, aligned to distribute a fortified supplement for undernourished children.
However, after the paper appeared, Nestle learned they had misrepresented the relationship between the key parties, and failed to disclose that her co-author, Joaquin Barnoya, received “a substantial portion of his salary” from INCAP. Retracting the opinion was the best solution, Nestle wrote on her blog today: Continue reading Prominent nutrition researcher Marion Nestle retracting recent article
A biology journal has pulled the introduction to a symposium that was published online before the symposium papers had been finalized. After reviewers rejected multiple papers, the author of the introduction — and organizer of the symposium — refused to revise his portion accordingly, so the journal retracted it.
Suzanne Miller, an assistant editor at Integrative and Comparative Biology, told us that the journal ended up rejecting two out of the seven papers in the symposium. When editors asked the symposium organizer, Valentine Lance, to rewrite the introduction — which contained a brief background on each speaker — he told us that he refused to do the rewrite, and said that he “simply quit.”
Miller told us the journal is now changing its practice as a result of this incident: Continue reading Symposium intro pulled after author refuses to revise following changes to lineup
Community blog PLOS Biologue has pulled a post by journalists Charles Seife and Paul Thacker that argued in favor of public scrutiny of scientists’ behavior (including emails), following heavy criticism, including from a group and scientist mentioned in the post.
Their reasoning: The post was “not consistent with at least the spirit and intent of our community guidelines.”
The original post, published August 13, is no longer available online, but you can read it here. In the piece, Seife and Thacker lament what they call a recent backlash against transparency in science: Continue reading Following criticism, PLOS removes blog defending scrutiny of science
In our line of work, we see it all — mega-corrections that don’t quite rise to the level of retraction, letters to the editor that point out seemingly fatal flaws in papers that remain untouched, and studies retracted for what seem like minor reasons. It can make you wonder what makes a paper worthy of a retraction. A recent case in an obesity journal may not provide a definitive answer, but it gives us a lot to chew on.
Here’s the story: In September 2013, Rosely Sichieri and a colleague from the State University of Rio de Janeiro submitted an article to Obesity Facts, “Unbalanced Baseline in School-Based Interventions to Prevent Obesity: Adjustment Can Lead to Bias?” The article examined statistical issues in randomized controlled trials of school-based weight loss programs. Peer reviewers said the paper needed major revisions before it could be accepted; the authors revised the paper enough in a second draft, submitted in November 2013, that the original reviewers accepted it. The paper was published in June 2014.
Then, in September 2014, a group of authors including David Allison of the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and colleagues from Clemson, Thomas Jefferson, and the University of Minnesota, wrote a critical letter that was published in the journal in April. The letter, according to a just-published editorial: Continue reading When should a paper be retracted? A tale from the obesity literature
Try to follow along on this one. We think it’s worth it.
The authors of a letter replying to a comment in a urology journal have retracted their response because it contained inappropriate figures. At least, that’s the official story.
The original paper, “Effect of a Risk-stratified Grade of Nerve-sparing Technique on Early Return of Continence After Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy,” came from a group at Weill Medical College of Cornell University led by Ashutosh Tewari. Published in July 2012 in European Urology, it purported to find that: Continue reading “Our jaws hit the floor!!” Researchers say authors doctored images for rebuttal letter
Organ donation in China, particularly the practice of using organs from executed prisoners, which the government pledged to stop by the middle of this year, has been a controversial subject. For a group of authors in that country and the U.S, a letter criticizing their work that introduced “the political situation of organ donation in China” was cause to retract their own paper.
Here’s the notice in question from Transplantation, for a study published three months ago: Continue reading Hmm: Authors retract paper rather than allow discussion of politics of organ donation in China