A journal has retracted a paper examining the traits of drought-resistant tomatoes after an investigation at the first author’s institution in Italy found a number of problems.
For starters, the first author — Maria Riccardi of the National Research Council of Italy-Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean (CNR-ISAFOM) in Ercolano, Naples, Italy — apparently submitted the paper without consulting the study’s four other listed co-authors. What’s more, according to the retraction notice in Scientia Horticulturae, the paper’s description of the experiment “does not reflect the real conditions under which the data was collected,” rendering the findings invalid.
Riccardo d’Andria, CNR-ISAFOM’s former director who conducted an investigation into the case, said Continue reading Tomato study didn’t get co-author okays, includes unreliable data
Earlier this year, a nutrition journal retracted an article about the potential dangers of eating food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), noting the paper contained a duplicated image.
At the time, news outlets in Italy were reporting accusations that the last author, Federico Infascelli, an animal nutrition researcher at the University of Naples, had falsified some of his research.
Food and Nutrition Sciences has now updated its initial notice, saying the paper was pulled for data fabrication. In addition, Infascelli is no longer listed on its editorial board – he is included on an archived link to the editorial board from March 2016, but not on the current list of members.
Here is the updated version of the retraction notice for “Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Activity in Kids Born from Goats Fed Genetically Modified Soybean:” Continue reading Retraction notice for GMO paper updated to include fraud
A journal is retracting a paper by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture about a vaccine to protect fish from a deadly bacterial infection, after an investigation found evidence of data manipulation.
The retraction notice — which appears in the journal Vaccine — cites an investigation by the USDA. It also notes that the authors — who are no longer with the USDA — have not agreed to the retraction.
Here’s the retraction notice, issued on August 20: Continue reading USDA finds “evidence of manipulation” in vaccine study
As we’ve said before, with hundreds of retractions per year, there are simply too many for us to cover individually.
So from time to time we’ll compile a list of retractions that appeared relatively straightforward, just for record-keeping purposes.
Often, these seemingly straightforward retractions involve duplications, in which authors — accidentally or on purpose — republish their own work elsewhere.
Sometimes journals and authors blame this event on “poor communication,” our first example notes:
Continue reading You’ve been dupe’d: Nice data — let’s see them again
The author of a paper whose retraction notice says it was pulled at the behest of a company now says that wasn’t the case.
It’s a bit difficult to get this story straight: Although the retraction notice says a company complained the 2006 paper was “giving business inputs to their competitors,” the corresponding author told us no one asked him to retract the paper. Instead, he said, he was concerned about the inclusion of plant materials that belong to a previous employer, and did a “poor job” of explaining the reason for retraction. But since the results of the paper remain valid, Santosh Rajput — now a plant breeder at Dryland Genetics LLC in Ames, Iowa — told us he regrets asking to retract it:
Continue reading Did an author retract a paper at company’s behest? Retraction notice says yes, author now says no
So far, we’ve counted more than 300 papers that have been retracted after editors suspected the peer-review process had been compromised — and we’re adding three more to the list.
Editors of the Journal of Food Processing and Preservation became suspicious of the three papers after discovering similarities in reports from supposedly different reviewers. When they were unable to verify the identities of the reviewers, they pulled the papers.
An editor told us that he thinks the reviewer identities were fabricated entirely (as opposed to stolen):
Continue reading Three more papers felled by suspected fake reviews
A 2015 study about dietary emulsifiers has been corrected by Nature after another researcher pointed out a few ambiguities.
When it first appeared, the study — which showed emulsifiers cause inflammation in the guts of mice — received a fair amount of media attention, including from Nature’s own news department. But since publication, a researcher noted some imprecision around the ages of mice used in the sample, affecting the paper’s calculations of weight gain over time. Andrew Gewirtz, co-author of the study from Georgia State University, told us the change did not affect the conclusions of the paper.
Here’s the corrigendum for “Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome”: Continue reading Nature fixes highly cited paper suggesting food additives hurt the gut
PLOS ONE has retracted a paper after editors learned that some of the images had been manipulated using Photoshop.
First author of the paper, Chuan Li, confirmed that he was responsible, and told Retraction Watch he apologizes for his “low-level mistake.”
Zhongfu Ni, last author of the paper from the China Agricultural University in Beijing, told us that all the co-authors agree with the retraction.
Here’s the retraction notice: Continue reading PLOS ONE pulls maize paper with Photoshopped images
A journal about dairy science has retracted a paper after learning that it was published without the consent of all its authors.
An independent inquiry found no evidence of research misconduct, but nevertheless recommended that the institution — Curtin University in Perth, Australia — request to retract the paper.
Here’s the retraction notice, published in Dairy Science and Technology: Continue reading Dairy journal retracts paper lacking co-authors’ consent
A researcher who published findings questioning the safety of genetically modified organisms has lost a second paper following concerns of image manipulation.
Last week, the journal animal retracted a 2010 paper by Federico Infascelli, an animal nutrition researcher at the University of Naples, which claimed to find modified genes in the milk and blood of goats who were fed genetically modified soybeans. The retraction stems from an investigation that concluded the authors likely manipulated images, according to the note. Earlier this year, another journal retracted one of Infascelli’s papers that contained a duplicated figure.
In February, Italian paper La Repubblica (which we read with Google Translate) reported that the university found problems in three of his articles and issued a warning.
Here’s the retraction note for “Fate of transgenic DNA and evaluation of metabolic effects in goats fed genetically modified soybean and in their offsprings:”
Continue reading Another paper by GM researcher pulled over manipulation concerns