C. P. Snow famously bemoaned the gulf between science and the humanities. The following retraction might be the sort of thing that would have given the physicist-cum-author fits for its estrangement from the English language.
According to an article in the Weinheimer Nachrichten, that incident occurred when Boldt was at the University Hospital Giessen. Officials there told us there was an investigation into the matter but declined to comment further.
Premature withdrawal can lead to frustration and hurt feelings — especially when it comes to publications (please, this is a family-friendly site).
Two cases in point: We recently learned that the International Journal of Surgery, an Elsevier title, had withdrawn two papers from the CONSORT group — an acronym for Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials — an international team of scientists who have been working on ways to improve the reporting of studies.
One of the journals in which Hamman published, the American Journal of Medical Quality, will “amend the paper to correct” Hamman’s credentials — or lack thereof, a journal staffer told us today. The journal hasn’t dealt with this sort of thing before, so is checking with the publisher before making the change. They “plan to get it done as quickly as they can do it.”
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’s career seems to be collapsing, now that he resigned from his post as a researcher and educator at Royal Oak, Michigan’s William Beaumont Hospital once the hospital found out he had misled them. (Just last year, Beaumont touted a $150,000 grant Hamman nabbed with a colleague, Marc Abramson at Improbable Research notes.) United has also grounded him.
The storyline is reminiscent of 2002’s Catch Me If You Can, in which Frank Abagnale Jr. (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) forges millions of dollars’ worth of checks around the world, in the process impersonating a Pan Am pilot and a doctor. In Hamman’s case, there are apparently no questions over whether his pilot credentials are legit, according to the AP.
There’s a retraction in the issue of Neurology published this week. In a nutshell, a group of researchers had reported earlier this year that they had identified a genetic mutation potentially responsible for a rare neurological disorder called the filamin myopathy. But when another group tried to replicate those results, they found that the original tests were probably contaminated by a “pseudogene.”
In a letter from the second group:
Kono et al reported the effects of a novel c.8107del mutation in the filamin C gene (FLNC). We reviewed their results and concluded that the reported mutation was mistaken identity.
We have an update on the case of Olav and Axel Gressner, a father-son (or, in this case, son-father) pair of German liver researchers caught up in a fraud investigation. The inquiry focused on Olav, who left the University of Aachen under a cloud of suspicion. A 2008 research letter on which he was a co-author (his father was senior author) was retracted earlier this year by the Journal of Hepatology.
If a paper appears online but then is withdrawn — a kinder, gentler version of retracted — before it is “officially” published, did anyone hear it fall?
Oops, mixed metaphors again. And scare quotes! The latter, however, are because publishers seem to have varying opinions of whether or not something that is freely available online is published. And that has ramifications for whether you can retract a paper like that.
Thrombosis and Haemostasis has issued an “expression of concern” over a 2004 paper by Tunisian researchers:
Concerns have been raised by readers about the accuracy and validity of the data reported in the September 2004 article by Abdelkefi et al., entitled “Prevention of central venous line-related thrombosis by continuous infusion of low-dose unfractionated heparin, in patients with haemato-oncological disease. A randomized controlled trial” (Abdelkefi A et al.Thromb Haemost 2004; 92: 654–661).
In the trial, 108 patients with blood cancers reportedly received infusions of either saline or heparin, a blood thinner. Those given the active drug were far less likely to develop clots related to their catheters, according to the researchers, and no more likely to experience severe bleeding. In the report, the researchers write:
This is the first prospective, randomized study, which shows that low-dose of unfractionated heparin is safeand effective to prevent catheter-related thrombosis in patients with haemato-oncological disease.