News outlets such as The Daily Mail and The Sun reported findings from a recent study, which showed that canned foods such as tuna may contain 100 times the daily limit of zinc — raising concerns about how such huge doses of the mineral could be causing digestion problems. The last author of the study told Retraction Watch the paper is going to be retracted, because the authors made a fundamental error calculating the amount of zinc present in canned foods.
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
Ever since critics began raising concerns about high-profile food scientist Brian Wansink’s work, he’s had to issue a series of high-profile retractions — and now has his seventh (including one paper that was retracted twice, after the journal removed a revised version, along with 14 corrections). The latest notice — first reported by BuzzFeed — is for a paper that was originally corrected by the journal Preventive Medicine earlier this month — and the correction notice was longer (1636 words) than the original, highly cited paper (1401 words). Following criticism by James Heathers about the highly cited study back in March 2017, the authors issued a series of changes, including explaining the children studied were preschoolers (3-5 years old), not preteens (8-11), as originally claimed. (They made that mistake once before, in another retracted paper.) But critics remained concerned. Yesterday, the journal retracted the paper. We spoke with editor Eduardo Franco of McGill University — who provided us with an advanced copy of an accompanying editorial, soon to be published — about the editorial processes behind the two notices, including the moment the journal knew the correction wouldn’t suffice.
Retraction Watch: You write that the initial decision to correct the paper came with “considerable intellectual agony.” Can you say why?
What Caught Our Attention: When authors decide they want to make their articles freely available after they’ve already been published, how should publishers indicate the change, if at all? Recently, Ross Mounce (@rmounce) thought it was odd a Springer journal issued a formal correction notice when the authors wanted to make their paper freely available, and we can’t say we disagree. As he posted on Twitter:
A top US official at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who was recently appointed by President Donald Trump, has called for the retraction of a paper that suggests the country exports a significant amount of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
The paper, published July 6 in Marine Policy, estimated that in 2015 approximately one-fifth of Alaska pollock exports to Japan were either illegal, unreported, or unregulated — a value of as much as $75 million.
Oliver wrote to the journal’s editor-in-chief to say that the National Marine Fisheries Service: Continue reading Senior NOAA appointee calls for retraction of paper on illegal fishing
Earlier this week, we reported that high-profile food researcher Brian Wansink — who’s faced months of criticisms about his research — had issued his second retraction. On Thursday, he issued his third.
The retracted paper — a 2012 research letter in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, now JAMA Pediatrics — reported that children were more likely to choose an apple over a cookie if the apple included an Elmo sticker. The same day the paper was retracted, Wansink and his co-authors published a replacement version that includes multiple changes, including to the methodology and the results.
The retraction notice lists the mistakes, which the authors say they made “inadvertently:”
It’s been a rough year for Brian Wansink.
Last year, the prominent food researcher posted a blog praising a student for her productivity in his lab. But when Wansink described his methods, readers became concerned that the lab was using improper research techniques to generate more publications. Earlier this year, researchers posted an analysis of four papers by Wansink about pizza consumption to PeerJ, saying they discovered more than 150 inconsistencies in the data. Now, one of those four papers has been retracted.
On Friday, BMC Nutrition posted a brief notice about the 2015 paper, which examined whether people who pay different amounts for all-you-can-eat Italian buffets feel more or less guilty about how much they ate. The notice says the retraction stems from concerns about the data analysis, and the authors do not agree with the journal’s decision.
The new retraction is the second for Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell.
Here’s the complete retraction notice:
Journals have posted two corrections alongside papers by Brian Wansink, a food researcher whose work has lately come under fire.
One of the corrected papers was among the initial batch that raised eyebrows last year; after Wansink praised the productivity of one of his researchers, critics suggested four papers contained critical flaws. The questions about his work soon extended to other papers, one of which was retracted in April. That month, an internal review by Cornell University announced that Wansink made numerous mistakes, but did not commit misconduct. Wansink has pledged to reanalyze multiple papers.
One paper that was among those initially criticized has received a formal correction notice from the Journal of Product & Brand Management. The notice, which appears behind a paywall, has drawn fire from a regular critic of Wansink’s work, Jordan Anaya, who argues “this correction actually needs a correction, actually several.”
Here’s the notice for “Peak-end pizza: prices delay evaluations of quality:”
A Cornell food researcher who has pledged to re-analyze his papers following heavy criticism of his work has issued a major correction to a 2005 paper.
The correction tweaks two tables, a figure, and the description of the methodology — and notes in two instances the correct findings are unknown, since the original data are unavailable. Andrew Gelman, a statistician at Columbia University and critic of Brian Wansink’s work, has dubbed the notice the “best correction ever.”
The paper, about whether changing the name of food influences its taste, was not among the batch of papers initially flagged by critics last year. Since then, researchers have raised additional questions about Wansink’s work; one of his papers was retracted in April. That same month, an internal review by Cornell University concluded that Wansink made numerous mistakes, but did not commit misconduct.
When we contacted Wansink about the correction, we received this statement from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, which Wansink directs:
A journal has flagged a paper by a researcher who has questioned the safety of genetically modified organisms, after receiving concerns that there were issues with some images.
In the 2006 paper, researchers led by Federico Infascelli, an animal nutrition researcher at the University of Naples, tested the blood of rabbits fed genetically modified soybeans. Starting in November 2015, however, the journal animal fielded concerns that gels appeared manipulated, and a figure legend differed from that in a thesis associated with the research.
This isn’t the first notice issued for Infascelli’s controversial work, which has been under scrutiny in recent years, including by Italian senator and biologist Elena Cattaneo. Last year, he was formally reprimanded by the University of Naples for including manipulated data in three papers.
Although the University of Naples concluded the image manipulations were “not a breach of scientific integrity,” the journal has issued a lengthy expression of concern about the paper: