Stanford calling for retractions of work by deceased star cancer researcher

The Journal of Clinical Investigation has retracted two papers from the lab of one of Stanford University’s most prominent cancer researchers over concerns about the integrity of the data. 

The articles, published in 2012 and 2014, described work on ways of priming the immune system to enhance the activity of drugs to fight cancer. 

The first author on the two articles was Holbrook “Brook” Kohrt, a superstar young faculty member who died in 2016 of complications of hemophilia. Kohrt was the subject of this 2013 profile in the New York Times, which also wrote an obituary of him. 

Continue reading Stanford calling for retractions of work by deceased star cancer researcher

Georgia State researcher has two papers retracted, eight flagged. He’s not happy about it.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry has retracted two papers by a Georgia State University researcher, as well as flagged eight more with expressions of concern, a move the scientist called “unfair and unjustified.”

Ming-Hui Zou, the common author on all ten papers — as well as on two more that have been corrected by the same journal — is, according to Georgia State,

an internationally recognized researcher in molecular and translational medicine and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Molecular Medicine and associate vice president for research at Georgia State University…

Zou was at the University of Oklahoma when the papers in question were published. He moved to Georgia State in 2015.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Reactive nitrogen species is required for the activation of the AMP-activated protein kinase by statin in vivo,” published in 2008 Zou as the last author: 

Continue reading Georgia State researcher has two papers retracted, eight flagged. He’s not happy about it.

Weekend reads: Questions swirl over kidney transplant papers from China; author apologizes for paper of whether women performed medical procedures as well as men; reports detail widespread fraud in UK lab

Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.

Retraction Watch came back online on Wednesday of this week, after a 10-day outage for technical issues that may have involved a DDOS attack. That meant there was no Weekend Reads for two weeks, so to catch up, we posted one yesterday, and are posting another today. Here’s what’s been happening elsewhere:

Continue reading Weekend reads: Questions swirl over kidney transplant papers from China; author apologizes for paper of whether women performed medical procedures as well as men; reports detail widespread fraud in UK lab

Weekend reads: Plagiarism and death threats; peer review by robot; a university apologizes for a job ad

Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.

Retraction Watch came back online on Wednesday of this week, after a 10-day outage for technical issues that may have involved a DDOS attack. That meant there was no Weekend Reads for two weeks, so to catch up, we’ll post one today, and one tomorrow. Here’s what’s been happening elsewhere:

Continue reading Weekend reads: Plagiarism and death threats; peer review by robot; a university apologizes for a job ad

Journal editors “flabbergasted” by responses to author’s ruse

Tilapia cabrae

The Pakistan Journal of Zoology got hoodwinked by a tall fishing tale. And they’re letting everyone know.

[Looking for Forensics Friday? They’ll resume as soon as we get through a backlog of posts we didn’t publish during our 10-day outage.]

The journal has retracted six papers that share a co-author who the editors say “exploited the peer-review process in the Journal of Zoology by generating fake reviewers[sic] email addresses.”

Some version of the fake peer review ruse has, as Retraction Watch readers may recall, been responsible for at least 700 retractions since 2012.

Here’s the notice, which isn’t playing catch-and-release:

Continue reading Journal editors “flabbergasted” by responses to author’s ruse

The first rule of Fight Club is … you do not republish Fight Club

Another Brad Pitt boxing

A pair of therapists has lost a paper in Sage Open because they’d previously published the article in another journal (more on that in a bit). 

The article, “Bridging the gap between theory and practice with film: How to use Fight Club to teach existential counseling theory and techniques,” appeared in 2013. The authors were Katarzyna Peoples, a counselor at Walden University, and Stephanie Helsel, a therapist whose LinkedIn page lists her as an adjunct professor at Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania. The two appear to have connected at Duquesne University, where each received her doctoral degrees. 

Here’s the gist of the article

Continue reading The first rule of Fight Club is … you do not republish Fight Club

Forensics Friday: Can you spot the issues with this image?

Ever wanted to hone your skills as a scientific sleuth? Now’s your chance.

Thanks to the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), which is committed to educating authors on best practices in publishingfigure preparation, and reproducibility, we’re presenting the seventh in a series, Forensics Friday.

Take a look at the image below, and then take our poll. After that, click on the link below to find out the right answer.

Continue reading Forensics Friday: Can you spot the issues with this image?

“With great pity,” author retracts paper for “severe problems” including references that “are not allowed to be cited” and “severe law issues”

Fair warning: We’re really not sure what’s going on here.

The authors of “Effect of total flavonoids on expression of collagen, TGF-β1, and Smad 7 in hypertrophic scars,” a 2018 paper in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, have retracted it for, well, lots of reasons.

None of them is exactly clear.

Here’s the notice:

Continue reading “With great pity,” author retracts paper for “severe problems” including references that “are not allowed to be cited” and “severe law issues”

Statisticians clamor for retraction of paper by Harvard researchers they say uses a “nonsense statistic”

via ImageCreator

“Uh, hypothetical situation: you see a paper published that is based on a premise which is clearly flawed, proven by existing literature.” So began an exasperated Twitter thread by Andrew Althouse, a statistician at University of Pittsburgh, in which he debated whether a study using what he calls a “nonsense statistic” should be addressed by letters to the editor or swiftly retracted.

The thread was the latest development in an ongoing disagreement over research in surgery. In one corner, a group of Harvard researchers claim they’re improving how surgeons interpret underpowered or negative studies. In the other corner, statisticians suggest the authors are making things worse by repeatedly misusing a statistical technique called post-hoc power. The authors are giving weak surgical studies an unwarranted pass, according to critics.

Continue reading Statisticians clamor for retraction of paper by Harvard researchers they say uses a “nonsense statistic”

Catholic medical journal pulls paper on conversion therapy over statistical problems

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The journal for a religious medical group is retracting a paper that supported the discredited practice of conversion therapy for homosexuals over concerns about the statistical analyses — or lack thereof — in the research.

The paper, “Effects of therapy on religious men who have unwanted same-sex attraction,” was published last year in The Linacre Quarterly, the official journal of the Catholic Medical Association. (According to its website: “LQR explores issues at the interface of medicine and religion, focusing on bioethics and also exploring medical topics which have an ethical dimension.)

So, what were those effects? Pretty darn good, according to the article. Per the abstract:

Continue reading Catholic medical journal pulls paper on conversion therapy over statistical problems