We have an update to our coverage of the retractions involving papers from a group of researchers in Iran that were published in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry (formerly called the Journal of Molecular Structure: THEOCHEM)
We’re continuing to try to find out more about the developing story surrounding Carsten Carlberg. Carlberg, as we have reported, was senior author on two papers retracted last year because one of the authors, a graduate student in Carlberg’s lab at the University of Eastern Finland (formerly Kuopio), fabricated data.
Carlberg holds a dual appointment with the University of Luxembourg, which recently announced the results of a months-long investigation into his behavior.
In November, we reported on two retractions in Cell and the Journal of Molecular Biology involving misconduct in the lab of biochemist Carsten Carlberg, of the University of Eastern Finland, in Kuopio.
Carlberg also holds an appointment in computational biology at the University of Luxembourg, which last year launched an investigation — at his behest, he says — into the case. Well, the officials in Luxembourg finally have spoken, and Carlberg, it seems, may soon be out of his job there, the Tageblatt newspaper reports.
Carlberg, to our knowledge, has never been accused of ethical violations in the case, and the inquiry didn’t change that. Rather, the bad actor appears to be his former post-doc graduate student in Finland, Tatjana Degenhardt. But the University of Luxembourg may seek to dismiss Carlberg after concluding that, as the senior author of the two retracted articles, he bore responsibility for the validity of the results and, by implication, the deception.
Retraction Watch readers may have been following the case of Silvia Bulfone-Paus, whose lab has been forced to retract 12 papers amid allegations of scientific misconduct. As is often true in such cases, the story doesn’t end with those retractions. We’ve just become aware of a fascinating exchange in March and April between Bulfone-Paus’s supporters and her home institution, Germany’s Research Center Borstel.
First, some background: Karin Wiebauer, a former post-doc in Bulfone-Paus’s lab, flagged the potential misconduct, in great detail, for Bulfone-Paus in a November 2009 email. (In fact, she had brought it to her attention years earlier.) But Bulfone-Paus did not tell Borstel officials about the allegations until late February 2010. Borstel’s investigation into Bulfone-Paus’s lab began in July 2010.
Once that began, a person referring to himself as “Marco Berns” began emailing officials, journalists, and others about the situation. Nature called that move a “smear campaign,” and the emails “libellous,” but in retrospect they — and Wiebauer’s analysis — appear to have been spot-on, based on the eventual report of the Borstel committee. That report — which found data manipulation by two of Bulfone-Paus’s post-docs — led the institute’s Scientific Advisory Board to ask for Bulfone-Paus’s resignation. She only tendered that a month later, after more pressure.
Psychology Today has apparently yanked a blog post by London School of Economics evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa that wondered why black women were considered less attractive than other women.
The post, titled “Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women, But Black Men Are Rated Better Looking Than Other Men?” was posted yesterday and available here, but that page now returns a 503 error.
A number of people have archived the post, however, including a communications and media professional who blogs at Chic.Seven. Her pdf is available here.
Add Health was developed in response to a mandate from the U.S. Congress to fund a study of adolescent health, and Waves I and II focus on the forces that may influence adolescents’ health and risk behaviors, including personal traits, families, friendships, romantic relationships, peer groups, schools, neighborhoods, and communities. As participants have aged into adulthood, however, the scientific goals of the study have expanded and evolved. Wave III, conducted when respondents were between 18 and 26 years old, focuses on how adolescent experiences and behaviors are related to decisions, behavior, and health outcomes in the transition to adulthood.
Last month, we brought you news of two retractions in math journals for duplicate publication and apparent guest authorship. Last week, we learned that the lead author of one of those papers, Amir Mahmood, has retracted another paper, this one in Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications.
According to the retraction notice, the paper was an “accidental duplication of an article that has already been published” in Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation.
The papers share two authors: Mahmood, of the department of mathematics at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and the Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences of GC University, both in Lahore, Pakistan; and N.A. Khan, of the University of Karachi’s math department. Khan was also on one of the two papers we wrote about last month, but not the one Mahmood co-authored. Those two papers’ shared author was M. Jamil.
Mahmood told Retraction Watch by email that the papers are not duplicates, and that the journal editors could not explain to him why they were.