After the reviewer of a rejected paper was publicly outed, the BMJ has taken the unusual step of explaining why it chose not to publish the paper.
The paper — eventually published in another journal — raised hackles for suggesting that there is no “weekend effect,” or a higher mortality rate in hospitals on Saturday and Sunday. This caught the attention of UK policy makers, who have proposed changing policies to compensate for any supposed “weekend effect.”
Amidst the heated discussion about the research, one of the reviewers was identified, along with suggestions that he may have been conflicted because he had published a study showing the opposite finding. Yesterday, the BMJ posted a blog explaining that it was the editors — and not one sole reviewer — who decided to reject the paper: Continue reading In precedent break, BMJ explains why it rejected controversial “weekend effect” paper
Eleven scientists are asking a journal to consider retracting an asbestos paper with industry ties for including “seriously misleading information,” “several wrong statements,” and thrice citing a journal that doesn’t appear to exist.
Editors of the journal, Epidemiology Biostatistics and Public Health, however, say they will not retract the article, based on the advice of two external reviewers.
An earlier correction for the paper, “Further Studies of Bolivian Crocidolite – Part IV: Fibre Width, Fibre Drift and their relation to Mesothelioma Induction: Preliminary Findings,” cited previously undisclosed competing interests for four of the paper’s five authors.
Earlier this year, scientists criticized “gross mistakes” in another paper from three of the same authors: Edward Ilgren, Yumi Kamiya, and John Hoskins. EBPH subsequently issued two corrections but did not retract that paper. Read our full coverage here. Continue reading Scientists call for retraction of “seriously misleading” paper with asbestos industry ties
After researchers failed to seek ethics approval for a study on teens with scoliosis, a journal has issued an erratum to the paper.
The journal is not retracting the paper outright, it says, because the study was non-invasive and likely would have received ethics approval.
During the study, teenagers with and without progressive scoliosis underwent a physical examination and participated in an interview along with a parent, with the goal of trying to uncover risk factors for the condition.
Here’s the full erratum from Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders for “Physical activities of Patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS): preliminary longitudinal case–control study historical evaluation of possible risk factors:”
Continue reading Study on teens with scoliosis failed to seek ethics approval, erratum notes
Although some readers evidently have yawned at revelations that Vahdettin Bayazit, of Alparslan University in Turkey (and, we are tempted to assume, at least a few of his co-authors) appears to have plagiarized wantonly in numerous published articles, one follower of Retraction Watch was on to this case even before we were.
In an e-mail, the tipster laid out a picture of intellectual dishonesty audacious for both its scope and ham-handedness. The researcher, who wanted to remain anonymous, used Google to detect instances of plagiarism, just as we had, coming up with “more than 10” papers with passages stolen from the scientific literature and even Wikipedia, including not only lifted text but figures, too. And, just as in our case, the editors our source contacted about the misconduct have essentially ignored it.
We confess that we’re puzzled by the attitude that a little plagiarism is no big deal. As physician Andrew Burd writes in the BMJ today: Continue reading Sultans of swap: List of plagiarized papers grows to include BMJ