As readers of this blog have no doubt sensed by now, the number of retractions per year seems to be on the rise. We feel that intuitively as we uncover more and more of them, but there are also data to suggest this is true.
As if to demonstrate that, we’ve been trying to find time to write this post for more than a week, since the author of the study we’ll discuss sent us his paper. Writing about all the retractions we learned about, however, kept us too busy.
Late last month we wrote about a handful of retractions involving Naoki Mori, a promising Japanese cancer researcher who appears to have built a CV with the help of fabricated evidence.
The fraud earned Mori a 10-year publishing ban from the American Society of Microbiology, which publishes Infection and Immunity. There were two other retractions in Blood, from the American Society of Hematology.
A quick post this Sunday morning to draw your attention to two must-read items for anyone interested in the Anil Potti case or in how one goes about checking data. (A second paper by Potti et al was officially retracted on Friday.)
This is the second retraction of a paper by Potti, who resigned from his post at Duke in November in the midst of an investigation into scientific misconduct. The first retraction was in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The February 2010 retraction of the original Wakefield paper in the Lancet was, of course, a huge deal. If there were a Canon of Scientific Retractions, it would be in it. It happened before we launched Retraction Watch, however, so we haven’t commented much on it.
We plan on writing about major retractions in history, but the frequency of fascinating timely ones hasn’t abated enough yet to let us do that. (One exception: Our Best of Retractions series.) And in any case, there have been a lot of pixels spilled on this one already, so we’re not sure we have much to add. That’s the nice thing about the web: It leaves us free to curate as well as create.
Gu had trained as a postdoctoral research in the laboratory of biologist Elaine Newman, of Concordia University in Montreal who describes herself as a “long time friend” of E. coli. (As they say, with friends like that, who needs enemas?)
an investigation by the University of Florida, which uncovered instances of repetitious, tabulated data from previously published studies.
Today, we are slightly more clear, although what we really got was an earful of other language.
We had the pleasure of speaking this morning with L. Henry Edmunds, Jr., the long-time editor of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, who gave us a better sense of why his retraction notice was so delicately worded. Edmunds, responding to question of why the letter didn’t say more about the matter: