The authors of an much-ballyhooed 2017 paper about the spread of fake news on social media have retracted their article after finding that they’d botched their analysis.
The paper, “Limited individual attention and online virality of low-quality information,” presented an argument for why bogus facts seem to gain so much traction on sites such as Facebook. According to the researchers — — from Shanghai Institute of Technology, Indiana University and Yahoo — the key was in the sheer volume of bad information, which swamps the brain’s ability to discern the real from the merely plausible or even the downright ridiculous, competing with limited attention spans and time.
Do investigations into research misconduct allegations need better standards? The Association for the Promotion of Research Integrity (APRIN) in Japan, a group of volunteers who “commit themselves to the promotion of research of high integrity” and provide “e-learning material for research ethics education,” thinks so. Today, we present a guest post by Iekuni Ichikawa, who chaired an APRIN committee that recently came up with a new checklist for such investigations, about the effort.
The procedures currently employed by various institutions in Japan are highly variable; hence there is a risk that complainants or respondents might be treated unfairly and that the public might not be informed of the facts of the matters. We organized the Research Misconduct Investigation Standardization Committee of APRIN in July 2017 to propose standardized procedures for handling investigations of alleged research misconduct. Here, we present the “Checklist for Investigating Allegations of Research Misconduct,” the fruits of our discussions. Continue reading How to investigate allegations of research misconduct: A checklist
A researcher who studied natural products for cancer at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), had six papers retracted last month, bringing him to a total of 12.
Four of the recently retracted papers by Santosh Katiyar had appeared in PLOS ONE, and two had been published in Cancer Research. They have together been cited more than 250 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, and are on subjects including compounds found in grape seeds and green tea.
Last March, we reported on the retraction of a 2017 paper in Stem Cell Reports by Kohei Yamamizu and colleagues for widespread fabrication of figures. Turns out the problems were at least five years older than that.
Yamamizu had received a pink slip from his institution, the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), which had put the blame for the misconduct squarely on his shoulders. (The director of the institute, Nobel winner Shinya Yamanaka, also took some of the blame in a public statement in which he said he bore “a strong responsibility for not having prevented research misconduct at our institute.”)
Yamamizu has a new retraction, but this time’s a bit different. Here’s the notice for the paper, “Protein Kinase A Determines Timing of Early Differentiation through Epigenetic Regulation with G9,” which appeared in Cell Stem Cell in June 2012 (Yamanaka was not a co-author on either study). Although the statement acknowledges the internal investigation, it doesn’t mention misconduct or name Yamamizu: Continue reading Japanese stem cell fraud leads to a new retraction
A Washington University researcher has admitted to committing research misconduct in research involving eight U.S. government grants, according to a Federal watchdog, and resigned his position, according to the university.
How seriously are journals taking duplicated work that they publish? That was the question Mario Malički and colleagues set out to answer six years ago. And last month, they published their findings inBiochemia Medica.
A researcher in Malaysia is up to 18 retractions, for faked peer review and a host of other sins.
We first wrote about Shahaboddin Shamshirband, of the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, in early 2017, because Elsevier had pulled, or planned to pull, nine of his papers. Jeffrey Beall, known for his list of possible predatory publishers, had raised questions about duplication by Shamshirband in 2016 on his now-defunct blog, ScholarlyOA.
The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) has retracted a 2003 paper that resulted from the PhD thesis of Maryanne Demasi, an Australian journalist whose reporting on statins and the risks of cancer from cell phones has been a lightning rod.
The move, for what the journal says was attempts to reuse images to represent different experiments, follows an investigation by the University of Adelaide into allegations of image manipulation in Demasi’s thesis. In the investigation, Demasi