The American Journal of Public Health has retracted a controversial 2018 paper on the effects of economic austerity in Spain because it contained “inaccurate and misleading” results linking those policies to a massive spike in premature deaths.
The journal also has published a second piece, by a different group of authors, refuting the central claim of the now-retracted paper. Whereas the first article asserted that austerity in Spain during the mid-2000s led to more than 500,000 excess deaths, the new research says deaths in the country slowed during the country’s economic crisis.
The flawed article, “Austerity policies and mortality in Spain after the financial crisis of 2008,” was written by a group of researchers at the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on the Canary Islands. The authors claimed that their analysis of the years 2011 to 2015 showed that:
We’re pleased that the first such collaboration is with Zotero, “a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research” that “is open source and developed by an independent, nonprofit organization that has no financial interest in your private information.” Here’s a posting from lead Zotero developer Dan Stillman:
Eight months after publishing a paper claiming that homeopathy can treat pain in rats, a Springer Nature journal is retracting the work.
The move follows swift criticism of the paper in Scientific Reports, which was written by researchers from India and the United Arab Emirates about the use of Toxicodendron pubescens, “popularly known as Rhus Tox (RT),” which “is recommended in alternative medicines as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic remedy.” The species is also commonly known as poison oak.
A group of researchers in the United States and China have retracted their 2018 paper on hand hygiene, admitting that they can’t account for “data anomalies” in their work.
The article in question, “The decoy effect as a nudge: Boosting hand hygiene with a worse option,” appeared in Psychological Science last May. Led by Meng Li, of the Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver, the researchers reported results from experiments designed to increase the use of hand sanitizer in the workplace through the use of a “decoy” bottle:
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:
Sometimes what science really needs is more bullshit.
Just ask a group of environmental scientists in China, who lost their 2019 article on soil contamination because what they thought was manure was in fact something else.
The article, titled “Immobilization of heavy metals in e-waste contaminated soils by combined application of biochar and phosphate fertilizer,” appeared in February in Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, and was written a team from the South China Institute of Environmental Science and Sun Yat-sen University, both in Guangzhou.