Chemistry researcher who studies oil wells is up to seven retractions

via Wikipedia

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. 

According to the notice

Continue reading Chemistry researcher who studies oil wells is up to seven retractions

Chaos as Chaos retracts paper it apparently never should have published in the first place

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:

Continue reading Chaos as Chaos retracts paper it apparently never should have published in the first place

University of Texas lacks authority to revoke PhDs, judge rules

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.

Orr sued UT, which reversed its decision but then tried to again revoke her degree, at which point she sued again, this time also requesting the university cover her legal expenses. Orr alleges in the suit that she was being used as a “sacrificial lamb” to protect her former advisor, who she said made the errors in the paper. Continue reading University of Texas lacks authority to revoke PhDs, judge rules

Chem journal yanks paper because authors had stolen it as peer reviewers

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.

Well, that’s not really true, is it? The retraction notice lays out the transgression in detail: Continue reading Chem journal yanks paper because authors had stolen it as peer reviewers

Aerospace researchers in Japan up to three retractions

Rachid Amrousse

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.

According to the retraction notice: Continue reading Aerospace researchers in Japan up to three retractions

What really happened when two mathematicians tried to publish a paper on gender differences? The tale of the emails

Quillette

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.

The piece has generated a great deal of conversation, some of it quite heated, and a number of participants in those conversations have suggested that seeing the emails that the author of the Quillette piece says support his account would be useful. That’s what this post is mostly designed to do: Surface those emails. Continue reading What really happened when two mathematicians tried to publish a paper on gender differences? The tale of the emails

UPDATED: Elsevier retracts a paper on solar cells that appears to plagiarize a Nature journal. But the reason is…odd.

The similarities between recent papers in two different journals about energy were striking — so striking that a number of people have taken to Twitter and Facebook to let the world know about them.

[1415 UTC, August 29, 2018: See update at the end of this post.]

One paper, “Systematic investigation of the impact of operation conditions on the degradation behaviour of perovskite solar cells,” was authored by a group of researchers in Lausanne, Switzerland and appeared on January 1, 2018 in Nature Energy. Its abstract reads: Continue reading UPDATED: Elsevier retracts a paper on solar cells that appears to plagiarize a Nature journal. But the reason is…odd.

Two years of stonewalling: What happened when a scientist filed a public records request for NASA code

Nathan Myhrvold

Retraction Watch readers may know Nathan Myhrvold, who holds a PhD in physics, as the former chief technology officer at Microsoft, or as the author of Modernist Cuisine. They may also recall that he questioned a pair of papers in Nature about dinosaurs. In that vein, he has also been raising concerns about papers describing the sizes of asteroids. (Not everyone shares those concerns; the authors of the original papers don’t, and astronomer Phil Plait said Myrhvold was wrong in 2016.) Last month, Myhrvold published a peer-reviewed paper as part of his critique. The final version of that paper went live today, as did a story about the science in The New York Times and a detailed explanation by Myrhvold in Medium. As the discussion over the results continues, here he shares his experience trying to obtain details about the methodology the authors used.

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.

My findings generated quite a stir in the media, including stories in The New York Times, Science, and Scientific American, among other outlets. My hope and expectation was that shining light on these troubling issues would spur the JPL researchers to retract or correct their papers. At the very least, I thought, they would release the various unpublished techniques that they had used in a series of highly cited papers, stretching from 2011 to 2015, thus lifting the veil of secrecy that had prevented me and other astronomers from replicating their results. Continue reading Two years of stonewalling: What happened when a scientist filed a public records request for NASA code

Now-retracted chem paper’s problems “should have been noticed by the referees,” group says

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:

Continue reading Now-retracted chem paper’s problems “should have been noticed by the referees,” group says

Survey says: A researcher wasn’t sure if he needed to correct a paper. So he created a poll.

Craig Jones

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.

The answer: 37 people responded, 23 of whom (62%) said he should correct the paper. In an update, Jones said he was prepping a correction to submit to the journal.

Jones, who is based at the University of Colorado Boulder and blogs under the title the “Grumpy Geophysicist,” told Retraction Watch:

Continue reading Survey says: A researcher wasn’t sure if he needed to correct a paper. So he created a poll.