A journal posted an abstract online suggesting a link between vaccines and autism. After a firestorm of criticism, it removed the abstract, saying it was going to be re-reviewed. Now, the journal has decided to formally reject it.
As we reported last month, Frontiers in Public Health removed the abstract after it sparked criticism on social media. After doing so, the journal released a public statement claiming that the paper was “provisionally accepted but not published,” noting that the journal had reverted it to peer review to ensure it was re-reviewed.
Now, Gearóid Ó Faoleán, ethics and integrity manager at Frontiers (the journal’s publisher), told Retraction Watch that after consultation with an external expert, the journal has rejected the paper, adding: Continue reading Journal reverses acceptance of study linking vaccines to autism
A retracted study linking the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) to behavioral problems in mice has been republished by a different journal.
The paper has been significantly revised, an author told us, but it still comes the same conclusions.
In February, the journal Vaccine temporarily removed the study without explanation, and told the authors the editor had asked for further review. Later that month, Vaccine retracted the paper, citing “serious concerns regarding the scientific soundness of the article,” and “seriously flawed” methodology.
In July, another journal — Immunologic Research — republished the paper. The new version of the paper has been significantly changed, co-author Christopher Shaw from the University of British Columbia (UBC) told Retraction Watch:
Continue reading Retracted paper linking HPV vaccine to behavioral issues republished after revisions
A cancer researcher has logged her fifth retraction following an investigation that concluded she had committed scientific misconduct.
We’ve previously reported on four retractions of papers by Stephanie Watkins, a researcher at Loyola Medicine. The previously issued notices — in The Journal of Clinical Investigation and Cancer Research — note that an investigation committee appointed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found Watkins to be solely responsible for the misconduct, with none of the co-authors aware of it.
The editor of OncoImmunology previously informed us that the journal was investigating another one of Watkins’ papers; the journal has now pulled that paper, citing “fabrication and falsification of data” in the original studies referenced in the paper.
Here’s the retraction notice, published online earlier this year: Continue reading Cancer researcher earns 5th retraction after misconduct finding
Sometimes, the best way to expose a problem with the publishing process is to put it to a test — perhaps by performing a Sokal-style hoax, or submitting a paper with obvious flaws.
In 2014, that’s just what a researcher in Kosovo did. Suspicious that a journal wasn’t doing a thorough job of vetting submissions, she decided to send them an article of hers that had already appeared in another journal. Her thinking was that any journal with an honest and thorough peer review process would hesitate to publish the work. But this journal didn’t — at least at first. Though they retracted the paper this summer, it took a few twists and turns to get there.
The researcher wasn’t the only one wary of the journal — it’s on Jeffrey Beall’s list of “potential, possible, or probable” predatory publishers. Appropriately, Beall recounts the story of her sting operation on his blog. Here’s how it all went down:
Continue reading Sting operation forces predatory publisher to pull paper
With retraction notices continuing to pour in, we like to occasionally take the opportunity to cover several at a time to keep up.
We’ve compiled a handful of retractions that were all issued to papers that were published twice by at least one of the same authors — known as duplication. (Sometimes, this can be the publisher’s fault, although that doesn’t appear to be the case in any of the following examples.)
So here are five recently retracted papers that were pulled because of duplication: Continue reading You’ve been dupe’d: Results so nice, they’re published twice
A tribunal in the UK has rejected an appeal by Queen Mary University of London, who sought to reverse a previous order that they release data from a controversial 2011 paper in The Lancet about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
The decision is one in a long series of judgments about the so-called PACE trial, which reported that two treatments — known as cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise therapy — helped alleviate the symptoms of the condition. But ever since The Lancet article and follow-up papers have been published, patients and critics have questioned the conclusions and clamored to see the raw data.
The main criticisms: The findings may prompt some to believe chronic fatigue is a mental, not a physical, disorder, and the PACE program could actually be harmful to patients by encouraging too much exercise. These criticisms were recently bolstered by a re-analysis of the evidence by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which downgraded its original conclusions about the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise therapy.
In March 2014, Continue reading UK tribunal orders release of data from controversial chronic fatigue syndrome study
With so many retraction notices pouring in, from time to time we compile a handful of straight-forward retractions.
Once again, this list focuses on duplications — but unlike other duplications, these authors were not at fault. Rather, these retractions occurred because the publishers mistakenly published the same paper twice — the result of a transfer between publishers, for instance, or accidentally publishing the unedited version of the paper. We’re forced to wonder, as we have before, whether saddling researchers’ CVs with a retraction is really the most fair way to handle these cases.
So without further ado, here’s five cases where the journal mistakenly duplicated a paper, and had to retract one version: Continue reading You’ve been dupe’d: Results so nice, journals published them twice
A medical journal in Romania has issued a lifetime ban for a researcher after retracting four of his papers.
Since April, the Romanian Journal of Internal Medicine (RJIM) retracted nine papers (eight for plagiarism, one for duplication); four of these were co-authored by Manole Cojocaru, a researcher at the Titu Maiorescu University (TMU) in Bucharest, Romania. Subsequently, the journal has banned Cojocaru from submitting manuscripts, and has also informed the ethics committee at his institution.
Here’s the retraction notice, which is the same for six of the papers: Continue reading Romanian journal bans author following 4 retractions
Nine years ago, a well-known pharmacologist hosted a researcher from another university in his lab. On a Saturday night last September, he learned while surfing Google Scholar that they had published a paper together.
Marco Cosentino, who works at the University of Insubria in Italy, know that Seema Rai, a zoologist at Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya in India, had collected data during during her six months in his lab, but had warned her they were too preliminary to publish. She published the data — on melatonin’s role in immunity — anyway, last summer in the Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology, listing Cosentino as the second author.
The day after he discovered the paper, Cosentino sent an email to the editor in chief of the journal, Charles Malemud, explaining why he did not approve of the publication:
Continue reading Unwitting co-author requests retraction of melatonin paper
A PNAS paper that caught the media’s attention for suggesting that adding silk could stabilize vaccines and antibiotics has been pulled after the authors realized there were significant errors in the data analysis.
According to the notice, the authors agreed to retract the 2012 paper; however, the corresponding author told us the authors did not think a retraction was required as, according to him, the conclusions remained valid.
The paper presented a solution to the long-standing problem that sensitive biological compounds such as vaccines and antibiotics begin to lose their effectiveness outside the recommended temperature range, and naturally biodegrade over time. The degradation process cannot be reversed, and may even speed up during transport or storage under less ideal temperatures.
Here’s the retraction notice: Continue reading Authors retract PNAS paper suggesting silk stabilizes vaccines