Journal holds firm on decision not to retract Macchiarini paper, despite outside pressure

Earlier this year, the president of the Karolinska Institute, Ole Petter Ottersen, contacted the journal Respiration, saying KI had conducted an investigation and determined that a 2015 paper co-authored by once-lauded surgeon Paolo Macchiarini had been tainted by misconduct. Please retract the paper, Ottersen said. When the journal said no — opting to publish correspondence from KI and the authors’ response instead — Ottersen posted some of their correspondence online, in an attempt to pressure the journal to do the right thing. It’s not going to work, according to Thomas H. Nold, publication manager at Karger, which publishes Respiration. We spoke to Nold about the journal’s plans for the paper.

Retraction Watch: How do you feel about KI’s decision to publish your correspondence?

Continue reading Journal holds firm on decision not to retract Macchiarini paper, despite outside pressure

Karolinska told a journal to retract a paper by Macchiarini. It refused. The story didn’t end there.

The president of the Karolinska Institutet (KI) is frustrated.

At the beginning of the year, Ole Petter Ottersen informed a journal that one of its papers — co-authored by former superstar Paolo Macchiarini — had been tainted by misconduct. But the journal declined to retract it.

Despite the fact that KI had conducted its own investigation into the integrity of the paper, the journal Respiration argued that it was “not in a position to make a judgement on whether or not to retract this article.” Instead, it proposed publishing KI’s argument for why the paper should be retracted, along with a rebuttal from the authors.

To Ottersen, this is just wrong. Yesterday, he posted some of his correspondence with the journal, which includes his request for retraction, the journal’s response, and his rebuttal. Ottersen’s blog post concludes:

Continue reading Karolinska told a journal to retract a paper by Macchiarini. It refused. The story didn’t end there.

Paper used to support WHO guidelines on preventing infections “has no scientific validity”

A surgery journal retracted a 2014 paper last month after discovering that the study has “no scientific validity.”

Mario Schietroma and his coauthors, based at the University of LAquila in Italy, reported that giving patients high concentrations of oxygen during and after colorectal surgery significantly reduced their risk of infections. Although the authors reported significant p-values, the retraction notice states that, “upon recalculation, no p-values were close to significant.” The University of LAquila told Retraction Watch it is investigating, but did not provide details. Continue reading Paper used to support WHO guidelines on preventing infections “has no scientific validity”

Caught Our Notice: Retraction eight as errors in Wansink paper are “too voluminous” for a correction

Title: Shifts in the Enjoyment of Healthy and Unhealthy Behaviors Affect Short- and Long-Term Postbariatric Weight Loss

What Caught Our Attention: Cornell food marketing researcher Brian Wansink, the one-time media darling who has been dogged by mounting criticism of his findings, has lost another paper to retraction. As we’ve noted in the past, corrections for Wansink’s work tend to be long. This time, “the number of errors is too voluminous to be executed by issuing a correction statement,” according to the retraction notice for a paper about behaviors following weight loss surgery. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Retraction eight as errors in Wansink paper are “too voluminous” for a correction

Caught Our Notice: Big journal, big correction

Title: Tranexamic Acid in Patients Undergoing Coronary-Artery Surgery

What Caught Our Attention: When the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) publishes a correction that is more than a misspelling of a name, we take a look. When NEJM publishes a 500-word correction to the data in a highly cited article, we take notice. This study tested the effects of a drug to prevent blood loss in patients undergoing heart surgery; it’s been the subject of correspondence between the authors and outside experts. The correction involved tweaks — lots of tweaks — to the text and tables, which did not change the outcomes.   Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Big journal, big correction

Should a journal retract a paper the authors didn’t know contained bad data?

A medical journal has retracted a 2016 paper over a series of errors, prompting it to lose faith in the paper overall. The authors have objected to the decision, arguing the errors weren’t their fault and could be revised with a correction — rather than retracting what they consider “an important contribution” to an ongoing debate in medicine.

The paper explored the so-called weekend effect—that patients admitted to the emergency department on the weekend are more likely to die than those admitted on a weekday. Whether the weekend effect is real is not clear. Some studies have supported the phenomenon in certain areas of medicine, but others (including the now-retracted paper) have failed to find an effect.

First author Mohammed A. Mohammed, based at the University of Bradford in the UK, told Retraction Watch that the errors were introduced by one of the hospitals that provided them the data:

Continue reading Should a journal retract a paper the authors didn’t know contained bad data?

Macchiarini, 3 co-authors found guilty of misconduct in 2015 paper

The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has declared that once-lauded surgeon Paolo Macchiarini and three co-authors committed misconduct in a 2015 paper.

The decision by KI’s vice chancellor will be followed by a request to retract the paper, published by the journal Respiration.

In the paper, the researchers described the case of a man with an acute lung disorder, in which he received an experimental treatment involving the use of his own blood-derived cells and the drug erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells. The patient “demonstrated an immediate, albeit temporary, clinical improvement,” according to the authors. However, he ultimately died of multisystem organ failure.

Continue reading Macchiarini, 3 co-authors found guilty of misconduct in 2015 paper

“The most terrible experience of my life:” Authorship dispute leads to lawsuit

A journal has retracted a 2014 paper because of an authorship dispute that became the subject of litigation.

Last year, the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh requested the paper be retracted to resolve the dispute. The Journal of Applied Biomaterials & Functional Materials retracted the paper in October.

According to the retraction notice, the principal investigator of a clinical trial on which some of the study is based was not included as a co-author, and claimed he had not “validated the accuracy of the data.”

The notice does not mention a lawsuit, but a letter from the authors’ research institution does.

Continue reading “The most terrible experience of my life:” Authorship dispute leads to lawsuit

Caught Our Notice: Columbia researcher up to five retractions

Via Wikimedia

Title: Endotoxaemia during left ventricular assist device insertion: relationship between risk factors and outcome

What Caught Our Attention: Robert J. Frumento first caught our notice in 2013, as a coauthor on a paper retracted with a nonspecific reference to author misconduct.  Three years later, Frumento was clearly identified as having fabricated data and a master’s degree, and added three retractions to his name. Now he’s got a fifth retraction, this one citing missing data and a lack of proof that data blinding was performed correctly.   Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Columbia researcher up to five retractions

Ethical concerns arise for head of controversial stem cell clinic

Geeta Shroff. Photo credit: Nutech Mediworld

Journals are raising ethical concerns about the research of a doctor who offers controversial embryonic stem cell treatments.

Two journals have issued expressions of concern for three papers by Geeta Shroff, who was the subject of a 2012 CNN investigative documentary. All cite ethical concerns; one mentions the potential link between the procedure the authors describe and a risk of forming teratomas, a type of tumor. Shroff has objected to all three notices.

Shroff, a doctor offering controversial embryonic stem cell treatments at her New Delhi clinic, Nutech Mediworld, has said that for years she couldn’t find opportunities to present her research to the medical community. Continue reading Ethical concerns arise for head of controversial stem cell clinic