Tilburg University in the Netherlands has suspended the prominent social psychologist Diederik Stapel over concerns that he fabricated data in his published studies. According to a translation of a press release from the school, Stapel, professor of cognitive social psychology and dean of Tilburg’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, “has committed a serious breach of scientific integrity by using fictitious data in his publications.”
The release says the rector of Tilburg has set up a committee to investigate Stapel’s manuscripts and report back by October. Heading the panel is W.J.M. Levelt, former* president of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and professor emeritus at the Radboud University in Nijmegen.
What the release does not specify, however, is which of Stapel’s many publications — a Medline search comes up with at least 45 bearing his name — are implicated. Continue reading Dutch university investigating psych researcher Stapel for data fraud
Anil Potti, the former cancer researcher whose work has become the subject of intense scrutiny that has already led to the retraction of five papers, didn’t tell the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) about two very relevant corporate relationships he had when he published papers there, Retraction Watch has learned.
JAMA has published two papers by Potti and colleagues: 2008’s “Gene Expression Signatures, Clinicopathological Features, and Individualized Therapy in Breast Cancer,” and 2010’s “Age- and Sex-Specific Genomic Profiles in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.”
The Cancer Letter, which has been way out front in the Potti case, first reported Potti’s relationships with Eli Lilly and CancerGuide Diagnostics (formerly Oncogenomics, Inc.). As The Chronicle, Duke’s student newspaper, reported last September, the two companies cut their ties with Potti in July 2010 after allegations of misconduct and lying about a Rhodes Scholarship came to light.
But that was after the two papers were published, and Potti had relationships with both since 2006. As The Chronicle notes, he was a director at CancerGuide Diagnostics (formerly Oncogenomics, Inc.), and Continue reading Anil Potti failed to disclose corporate ties in yet-to-be-retracted JAMA papers
Sometime last year, the University of Zurich’s Erik Postma was reading a paper in Science titled “Additive Genetic Breeding Values Correlate with the Load of Partially Deleterious Mutations” when he realized something.
The authors, led by Joseph Tomkins of the University of Western Australia, had made a mistake.
Postma set to writing a “Technical Comment,” the way that Science usually deals with criticism of a paper’s methods. He sent his first draft to the Tomkins group: Continue reading Science genetics paper retracted after “unfortunate mistake”
This week’s episode of NPR’s “On The Media” features a conversation about retractions between Ivan and co-host Brooke Gladstone. You can listen online, or find a station that carries the program.
The show also includes an interview about retractions with Jonah Lehrer.
Earlier: Retraction Watch on NPR’s Science Friday. Listen here (with transcript).
A Montreal Heart Institute researcher who retracted two papers less than a month ago has been fired from his post.
Zhiguo Wang, who had been funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Canadian Diabetes Association, studied the genes linked to heart rhythm abnormalities, among other subjects. Wang also has an appointment at the University of Montreal.
As first reported in Retraction Watch, Wang withdrew two papers for the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) in the journal’s August 12 issue. The story was quickly picked up by Postmedia and the CBC. At the time, Wang told us: Continue reading Montreal Heart Institute researcher dismissed following two retractions for image manipulation
The editor of a journal that published a highly contentious article challenging claims of global warming has stepped down over the paper.
In a remarkable letter to his readership, Wolfgang Wagner, who until today was editor of Remote Sensing, an open-access journal that we’ve written about before, said he felt forced to resign because the review process at his journal — which, by implication, he shepherds — failed the scientific community (link added): Continue reading Editor of Remote Sensing resigns over controversial climate paper; co-author stands by it
Yesterday, we reported on a retraction in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology involving plagiarism and author issues. Well, it turns out we only had half the story.
Thanks to a comment on Derek Lowe’s In the Pipeline blog, which picked up our item yesterday, we’ve learned of a remarkable pair of letters in the journal about the paper. (We missed the letters because we didn’t originally see the “This article has been cited by other articles” section of the notice page, and the people involved, who might have made reference to it, haven’t returned our requests for comment.) At the core of the matter is whether — as the authors of one letter strenuously argue — the publication owes its readers the same kind of apology it served up to the scientist whose work was plagiarized in the offending article. The answer they received is an equally vehement no.
We think the exchange is noteworthy enough that we’re posting it below. Before we do, though, we’ll state that journals and editors frequently apologize to their readership in retractions, so that’s not really what’s at stake here. Rather, what the debate drives at is, in a sense, whether journal reviewers have a sort of fiduciary responsibility to the scientific community.
We also need to correct the record. In our original post, we surmised that we knew who the plagiarizing author was (although we did not name that person). Turns out, as letters below indicate, our hunch was off base.
Now to the letters: Continue reading Should journals apologize to victims of plagiarism? More on Journal of Clinical Microbiology case
Have you heard the story about the young, Orthodox Jewish fellow who decides to stop keeping kosher, so he goes to the local coffee shop and orders a cheeseburger with ham and bacon and a glass of milk?
Some retraction notices put us in mind of that tale (true, by the way). Consider the following one from the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, in regard to a 2010 paper by Spanish scientists titled “Nationwide Sentinel Surveillance of Bloodstream Candida Infections in 40 Tertiary Care Hospitals in Spain”: Continue reading Authorship questions: Retracted infection paper from Spain broke all (well, most) of the rules
A completely unhelpful retraction notice appears in the September issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution for “Investigating the Role of Natural Selection on Coding Sequence Evolution in Salmonids Through NGS Data Mining,” a paper first published in March.
Here’s the entire notice for the paper — which has been removed completely from the journal’s site, we should mention: Continue reading Author of retracted Molecular Biology and Evolution paper explains opaque notice that’ll still cost you $32