Retraction Watch readers may know the name Elisabeth Bik, whose painstaking work inspecting tens of thousands of Western blot images has led to dozens of retractions in journals including PLOS ONE. Today in The Scientist, we profile Bik, a microbiologist who calls herself a “super-introvert.”
A psychology journal has retracted a controversial article about mental ability in South African women after a petition calling on the publication to withdraw the paper generated more than 5,000 signatures.
The paper, “Age- and education-related effects on cognitive functioning in Colored South African women,” was published in Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition in March. It quickly drew attention, and outrage, from critics who objected to what they called racist overtones in the work, from the title on down.
Science is retracting a 2017 paper about the deadly Kumamoto earthquake about a month after the university announced that the paper’s first author, Aiming Lin, had committed misconduct, including falsification of data and plagiarism.
Science editor in chief Jeremy Berg told us in late March that the journal had been trying to obtain more information in preparation for writing an expression of concern. Here’s today’s retraction notice:
The journal Cureus is retracting three articles by a mashup of authors from Pakistan and the United States for plagiarism, which the researchers blame on their use of a hired gun to prepare the papers.
The articles were published over a roughly one-month stretch in August and September 2018 and covered an impressively polymathic range of topics, from lupus to heart disease. Although the list of authors varied, a few names remained constant. One, Asad Ali, of Lahore Medical College and Institute of Dentistry, was the first author on all three papers. Another was Malik Qistas Ahmad, whose affiliation is given as the University of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson although he no longer works there.
A spectroscopy journal has issued an expression of concern over a 2014 paper by researchers in Iran on the amount of the sleep hormone melatonin in pistachios after German authorities — prompted by a journalist’s questions — concluded that the analysis was in error.
The article, “Expression of concern to spectrofluorimetric determination of melatonin in kernels of four different pistacia varieties after ultrasound-assisted solid-liquid extraction,” was published in Spectrochimica Acta A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, an Elsevier journal.
We sent an email to PLoS ONE in response to their intention to retract our paper explaining why we disagree with retraction but it seems they did not change their statement and went ahead with retraction. We suggested that discussing the methodological issues is a more rational approach and beneficial than retraction but received no response.