Retraction Watch readers will no doubt have realized by now that we are often frustrated by the opacity of many of the retraction notices we cover. And some critics may wonder if we’re overstating that case.
Well, wonder no more.
In a study published online yesterday in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Liz Wager and Peter Williams looked at retractions from 1988 to 2008. Their findings: Continue reading Why was that paper retracted? Peer-reviewed evidence that Retraction Watch isn’t crazy
In December, we reported on the case of William Hamman:
It’s a mind-boggling story: A United Airlines pilot claims to be a cardiologist and was eagerly sought after for medical conferences at which he taught doctors teamwork. He shared millions in grants, according to the Associated Press. But as the AP reports, William Hamman wasn’t a cardiologist at all, having never even finished medical school.
Hamman had published at least six papers using false credentials, including an MD and a PhD. In December, Jean Gayton Carroll, editor in chief of Quality Management in Health Care, told us that the journal would be “reviewing and evaluating” a paper by Hamman it published last year, “Using in situ simulation to identify and resolve latent environmental threats to patients safety: case study involving operational changes in a labor and delivery ward.” That review, we learned today, has led to a retraction.
According to the notice, which is refreshingly detailed (we added a link): Continue reading Remember William Hamman, the pilot who claimed to be a cardiologist? A retraction appears
A prominent Stanford University chemistry lab has been forced to retract a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). According to the retraction notice:
Due to inconsistencies between some of the assigned structures and the experimental data that appear in the paper, the authors retract this publication. We regret very much this unfortunate occurrence.
The Retraction Watch tipster who alerted us to this retraction explained what the original paper reported: Continue reading Stanford group retracts JACS paper, but revisits and validates findings
If you’ve ever submitted a paper, you know that many journals ask authors to suggest experts who can peer review your work. That’s understandable; after all, as science becomes more and more specialized, it becomes harder to find reviewers knowledgeable in smaller niches.
Human nature being what it is, however, it would seem natural for authors to recommend reviewers who are a bit more likely to recommend acceptance. Such author-suggested reviewers are just one source of the two or three experts who vet a particular paper, and are required to disclose any conflicts of interest that might bias their recommendations.
Still, editors have justifiable concerns that using too many of them may be subtly increasing their acceptance rate. That’s why we’re interested in such issues at Retraction Watch. Increasing a journal’s acceptance rate, of course, could mean increasing the number of papers at the lower end of the quality spectrum, and perhaps up the rate of retractions.
The Journal of Pediatrics recently peered into its own peer review system, Continue reading Should authors be encouraged to pick their own peer reviewers?
We have a bizarre tale to relate involving the journal Surgery News, which recently lost its editor-in-chief over a rather strange editorial he wrote in the February issue of the magazine.
The ill-fated — and, we’ll stipulate, ill-advised — commentary has led to a de facto retraction of the entire publication — meaning that although no retraction notice exists that we’re aware of, neither does the issue exist in the publication’s archives.
But first, some important background. Surgery News is a trade magazine with a complicated structure. The publication, which describes itself as “the official newspaper of the American College of Surgeons [ACS],” is published by Elsevier, which supplies medical news through its International Medical News Group division. The society provides its own news, as well as the lead editor, a surgeon, who until recently was Lazar Greenfield. Greenfield, of the University of Michigan, also happens to be the president-elect of the ACS, twin responsibilities that put him at the pinnacle of influence for his specialty.
Now back to the offending editorial, which we’ll bring you in its entirety since 1) we think given the events that you should read the whole thing, and 2) because the ACS has taken the entire February issue off its website we can’t link to it even if we wanted to (more on that later). Under the heading “Gut Feelings,” Greenfield wrote (we added links): Continue reading Forget chocolate on Valentine’s Day, try semen, says Surgery News editor. Retraction, resignation follow
In what might be considered a model for how retraction notices should look, Psychological Science has retracted a 2008 paper, “Gaining control: Executive training and far transfer of the ability to resolve interference.” According to the notice — which includes two tables: Continue reading Where did I park my car? Psychological Science retracts working memory study
Last week, we started a new series at Retraction Watch, “Retractions we haven’t had a chance to cover.” The first edition had sort of an environmental theme. This one has a duplication and self-plagiarism theme. But it’s not always the authors’ fault, as you’ll learn. Continue reading Retractions we haven’t had a chance to cover, part 2: Duplication and plagiarism edition
Yesterday, we reported on 11 retractions in various Elsevier chemistry journals of papers from a group of Brazilian scientists who are alleged to have fabricated nuclear magnetic resonance images used in their articles.
We’d spoken with the senior author on those papers, Claudio Airoldi, who defended himself and his colleagues and denied that the NMR images had been manipulated.
Today, we heard from Tom Reller, vice president for global corporate relations at Elsevier, who offered a different version of events.
Here’s what Reller had to say, straight from his email: Continue reading Elsevier weighs in on Brazilian fraud case
We’re pleased to announce that we now have a regular column in Lab Times, the bimonthly magazine for European life scientists.
The topic of our first piece is one that we hope resonates with Retraction Watch readers. Drawing on our experience chasing down retraction notices, we call for all such notices — as well as all corrections — to be open access: Continue reading Why all retraction notices should be open access: Our first LabTimes column