A chemistry researcher in India is up to seven retractions and one correction for problematic images and other issues.
The researcher, Mahendra Yadav, was the first author on an article titled “Corrosion inhibition of tubing steel during acidization of oil and gas wells,” which appeared in 2013 in the Journal of Petroleum Engineering (JPE). Yadav, who also has a correction for similar concerns, and who has a fairly extensive entry in PubPeer, is listed as being affiliated with the Department of Applied Chemistry at the Indian School of Mines, in Dhanbad.
Apologies in advance for the headache that might come your way after reading this post, but the journal Chaos has a mindbending retraction.
The editors have pulled an article they published in January 2019 over concerns about contaminated peer review and other problems. The paper, “Neglecting nonlocality leads to unrealistic numerical scheme for fractional differential equation: Fake and manipulated results,” was a broadside against an article that had appeared in a different journal.
According to the author, Muhammad Altaf Khan, of the City University of Science and Information Technology in Peshawar, Pakistan:
The University of Texas (UT) at Austin does not have the authority to revoke degrees, a Texas judge ruled yesterday in a case involving a chemist whom the university alleges committed misconduct.
UT revoked Suvi Orr’s PhD in 2014, two years after the retraction of a paper that made up part of her thesis because, according to the retraction notice, some of the study was not reproducible. The university told Orr — who earned her PhD in 2008 and is now a researcher at Pfizer — that “scientific misconduct occurred in the production of your dissertation,” according to a letter to Orr from Judith Langlois, senior vice provost and dean of graduate studies.
The UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry has retracted a 2017 paper in one of its journals after learning that the authors stole the article from other researchers during peer review.
The offending article, “Typical and interstratified arrangements in Zn/Al layered double hydroxides: an experimental and theoretical approach,” appeared in CrystalEngComm, and was written by Priyadarshi Roy Chowdhury and Krishna G. Bhattacharyya, of Gauhati University in Jalukbari.
A pair of researchers in Japan has lost their third paper in a UK journal, which cites problematic images and an institutional investigation for the move.
The 2016 article, “Novel Rh-substituted hexaaluminate catalysts for N2O decomposition,” was written by Rachid Amrousse and Akimasa Tsutsumi, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, in Sagamihara. It appeared in Catalysis Society & Technology, a publication of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and has been cited seven times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.
Retraction Watch readers may be familiar with the story of a paper about gender differences by two mathematicians. Last month, in Weekend Reads, we highlighted an account of that story, which appeared in Quillette.
The piece, by one of the paper’s authors — titled “Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole” — touches on issues familiar to those who follow the culture wars, which isn’t all that surprising given the controversial topic, one once discussed by then-Harvard president Larry Summers.
Two years ago, I uploaded a preprint to arXiv.org describing what I considered serious problems, including apparently irreproducible results, that I had uncovered when analyzing a set of research articles published by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) NEOWISE project. NEOWISE is the largest scientific analysis of asteroids ever conducted; the researchers on the project have so far published estimated sizes of more than 164,000 objects in the solar system, estimates they have claimed were all derived by applying a standard approach to raw observations from the WISE space telescope.
Last year, chemist Marcus Tius at the University of Hawaii saw a paper describing the synthesis of some organic compounds, and was “struck by the implausibility” of the reported structures. So he joined up with some colleagues to try to replicate the data.
While Tius and his team were trying to repeat the experiment, however, in December 2017 the journal — Organic Letters — retracted the paper. The journal, published by the American Chemical Society, noted that the authors had not been able to produce crystal structures that confirm they had synthesized those compounds in particular. So Tius and his colleagues knew they couldn’t replicate the findings — but carried on their experiment anyway:
When geophysicist Craig Jones realized a figure in one of his published papers contained an error, he was on the fence about what to do. It was a clear mistake, but he’d seen much larger mistakes go uncorrected by other authors. Unsure if it warranted a correction, Jones polled readers of his blog to see what they thought.