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Posts

March 30, 2015

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3:30 PM | Drug paper gets a fix, notching several corrections
The Journal of Materials Chemistry B has issued a laundry list of corrections for a 2014 chemotherapy paper, which address re-use of “some text”, incorrectly stated doses, and miscalculations of the drug concentration, among other issues. The paper described a new way to deliver gemcitabine via nanoparticles, focusing the drug on the tumors. It turns out the […]The post Drug paper gets a fix, notching several corrections appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Nothing gold can stay: gold nanoparticle paper retracted for figure theft
A paper on gold nanoparticles has been retracted after the publisher learned one of the figures had a “high degree of similarity” to a figure published by other authors a few months prior. According to the notice, it was two authors of the retracted paper themselves who pointed out the overlap. The first author, Pratap Sahoo, […]The post Nothing gold can stay: gold nanoparticle paper retracted for figure theft appeared first on Retraction Watch.

March 28, 2015

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1:32 PM | Weekend reads: Monsanto demands retraction; fast-track peer review for fee scrutinized; fraud in China
This week at Retraction Watch featured 43 papers retracted at once for fake peer reviews. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Monsanto wants a WHO report linking their weed killer to cancer retracted. A pilot project by Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports to offer fast-track peer review for a fee has sparked the resignation of one […]The post Weekend reads: Monsanto demands retraction; fast-track peer review for fee scrutinized; fraud in China appeared first on […]

March 27, 2015

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3:30 PM | “Not faithful” figures kill apoptosis paper
A paper on apoptosis in mice has been retracted by Infection and Immunity after a reader tipped them off that several figures were “not faithful representations of the original data.” When the journal, published by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), contacted the authors at Anhui Medical University in Hefei, China, they claimed they couldn’t provide the […]The post “Not faithful” figures kill apoptosis paper appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Cabbage batch skids: new experiments dry up plant paper
Prominent plant researcher Mark Estelle has retracted a paper on plant hormones after follow-up studies showed the conclusions were incorrect. The hormone in question, auxin, is a major player in plant growth and development. The retracted Current Biology paper reported that a certain auxin receptor, designated AFB4, downregulates the responses of cabbage-cousin Arabidopsis thaliana to the signaling molecule. But […]The post Cabbage batch skids: new experiments dry up plant paper […]

March 26, 2015

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9:00 PM | Data “irregularities” sink paper on water treatment
Desalination and Water Treatment has retracted a paper it published in January by a pair of Turkish researchers for “irregularities in the methodology and data management.” The article, “Molecular simulation of Zn2+, Cu2+, Pb2+,  and NH4+ ion-exchange in Clinoptilolite,” investigated how well different natural forms of the zeolite Clinoptilolite remove heavy metals from wastewater. It […]The post Data “irregularities” sink paper on water treatment […]
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4:05 PM | BioMed Central retracting 43 papers for fake peer review
BioMed Central is retracting 43 papers, following their investigation into 50 papers that raised suspicions of fake peer review, possibly involving third-party companies selling the service. In November 2014 we wrote about fake peer reviews for Nature; at that point there had been about 110 retractions across several journals. The addition of 16 retractions by Elsevier for […]The post BioMed Central retracting 43 papers for fake peer review appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Pain paper scratched for authorship issues
A group of pain researchers in Austria has lost their 2014 paper in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology because one of the authors wasn’t, well, one of the authors. The article, “Intravenous nonopioid analgesic drugs in chronic low back pain patients on chronic opioid treatment: A crossover, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study,” came from a team […]The post Pain paper scratched for authorship issues appeared first on Retraction Watch.

March 25, 2015

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9:00 PM | Unkosher reuse of data forces retraction of minced pork paper
The journal Food Microbiology has pulled a 2012 paper on pork processing which, as we reported earlier, contained salami-sliced data. The article, “Bayesian inference for quantifying Listeria monocytogenes prevalence and concentration in minced pork meat from presence/absence microbiological testing,” came from a group at the Department of Food Science and Technology at the Agricultural University […]The post Unkosher reuse of data forces retraction of minced pork paper […]
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3:30 PM | Bitter herbs: Parsley paper retracted after authors omit colleague
A pair of plant experts at Uludag University, in Turkey, has lost a paper on techniques for drying parsley because they evidently left a key contributor off the manuscript. The article, “Effect of Vacuum, Microwave, and Convective Drying on Selected Parsley Quality,” was published online in June 2011 by the International Journal of Food Properties. […]The post Bitter herbs: Parsley paper retracted after authors omit colleague appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Genetics journal isn’t down with O.P.D. – stealing other people’s data
Genetics and Molecular Research, an online-only journal, has retracted two articles about gastric cancer by a group of Iranian researchers who appear to have put their own names on other people’s data. Both articles were published in 2014. One was titled “Absolute quantification of free tumor cells in the peripheral blood of gastric cancer patients;” […]The post Genetics journal isn’t down with O.P.D. – stealing other people’s data appeared first on Retraction […]

March 24, 2015

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9:00 PM | How should journals handle multiple allegations from the same person?
It’s not uncommon for us to hear from overworked journal editors that they are faced with a deluge of allegations about a particular author’s papers. And while we think it’s the responsibility of said editors to make sure their publications are as transparent as possible, we’re also sympathetic to the demands that investigations can take. […]The post How should journals handle multiple allegations from the same person? appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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3:30 PM | Retraction after education researcher tries to repeat a grade–er, paper
An education journal has yanked a 2014 article by a pair of scholars in Asia after discovering one had already published a “substantially similar” article. The article, “Dynamic nature of washback on individual learners: the role of possible selves” in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, is about how taking a major English test influenced […]The post Retraction after education researcher tries to repeat a grade–er, paper appeared first on […]
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1:30 PM | Authors retract PNAS Epstein-Barr virus paper for “anomalous and duplicated” figures
PNAS has retracted a paper on the cancer-causing Epstein-Barr virus just two months after publication, in a notice that fingers a now-former graduate student for manipulating figures. The paper tries to explain how Epstein-Barr virus blocks the immune system’s attempts to destroy it. According to the notice, the three “nonexperimentalist authors” – identified in the paper as two […]The post Authors retract PNAS Epstein-Barr virus paper for “anomalous and […]

March 23, 2015

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3:30 PM | An end to fake papers? New software to check for SCIgen-created manuscripts
Sorry, fans of papers by Maggie Simpson and I. P. Freely, your days of chortling may be coming to an end. Springer, responding to a case last year in which it and IEEE had to eventually retract more than 120 papers created by SCIgen, is making software that detects such manuscripts freely available. From a […]The post An end to fake papers? New software to check for SCIgen-created manuscripts appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: Promoting homeopathy; comments lead to Cell and JBC corrections
PubPeer failed to convince a Michigan judge last week that they should be able to keep the identity of one of their commenters confidential. Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: “The American Chemical Society is truly embarrassing itself in publishing such a terrible study, which is being referred to by practitioning homeopaths to support their […]The post PubPeer Selections: Promoting homeopathy; comments lead to Cell and JBC corrections appeared first on […]

March 21, 2015

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3:01 PM | Weekend reads: Widespread p-hacking; sexism in science (again); retraction totals
This week at Retraction Watch featured retractions by a high-profile cancer researcher, and a loss in court for PubPeer. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: P-hacking “is widespread throughout science,” says a new study. A press release is headlined “Scientists unknowingly tweak experiments.” Wow: “I request that you withdraw from handling our manuscript and transfer it […]The post Weekend reads: Widespread p-hacking; sexism in science (again); […]

March 20, 2015

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3:30 PM | University finds Dutch economist guilty of misconduct; he responds
The Free University of Amsterdam found Peter Nijkamp, one of the nation’s leading economists who has lost several papers for self-plagiarism, guilty of “questionable research practices,” according to the newly released results of an investigation. Nijkamp has published a strongly worded criticism of the report (at least according to Google Translate, since his writing is […]The post University finds Dutch economist guilty of misconduct; he responds appeared first on […]
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1:30 PM | Judge tells PubPeer to hand over information about anonymous commenter; site weighing “options”
A Michigan judge has ruled against a motion by PubPeer to protect the identity of an anonymous commenter, and asked the post-publication peer review site to give her any information they have about the commenter. According to one of the lawyers present, the site said in court the only identifying information it has is an […]The post Judge tells PubPeer to hand over information about anonymous commenter; site weighing “options” appeared first on Retraction Watch.

March 19, 2015

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4:45 PM | Two more retractions appear for prominent MIT cancer researcher Robert Weinberg
Two identical retraction notices have popped up for MIT professor Robert Weinberg, a highly-cited cancer researcher who had a retraction and a correction in 2013, both in Cancer Cell.  These two new retractions, in Genes and Development, stem directly from another paper by Weinberg and colleagues in Cell that will apparently be retracted, as the “same analytical methodology was used,” […]The post Two more retractions appear for prominent MIT cancer researcher Robert […]
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1:30 PM | Troubled article ranking business schools earns expression of concern
An article that ranked University of Missouri-Kansas City number one in an area of business school training is set to receive an expression of concern. The move follows months of questions over the ranking’s legitimacy, following revelations such as a relationship between the authors and both the school and its top ranked researcher in the […]The post Troubled article ranking business schools earns expression of concern appeared first on Retraction Watch.

March 18, 2015

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3:30 PM | Sticky situation: Paper using honey for healing pulled over data issues
A paper on dressing wounds with honey has been retracted after the journal realized that an outlier patient was throwing off the data analysis. Honey has been used for millennia as an antimicrobial wound dressing. Doctors can even buy sterile preparations of the sweetener. But the evidence that honey is better than other wound dressings is still inconclusive. […]The post Sticky situation: Paper using honey for healing pulled over data issues appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | So you want to be a whistleblower? A lawyer explains the process
We are pleased to present the first in a series of articles by John R. Thomas, Jr., a lawyer at Gentry Locke who represents whistleblowers in a variety of False Claims Act cases. He writes about how whistleblowers can do the right thing and protect themselves in the process. As readers of Retraction Watch are […]The post So you want to be a whistleblower? A lawyer explains the process appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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11:59 AM | Breve storia del pi greco - parte 3
Calvin & Hobbes di Bill WattersonLe tecniche di costruzione geometriche degli antichi greci erano dette "con riga e compasso". In questo modo è possibile costruire una gran quantità di poligoni regolari, per esempio, ma esistono tre problemi che risultano impossibili a meno di non utilizzare tecniche differenti: la trisecazione di un angolo, la duplicazione del cubo, la quadratura del cerchio.In particolare per la quadratura, è semplice vedere come, detto $r$ il raggio del cerchio, il lato […]

March 17, 2015

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3:30 PM | Castle made of sand: Self-plagiarism washes away paper on dune particles
A group of geologists in China have lost their paper on the aerodynamics of sand particles because the article was mashed together from previous publications. The article, “The influence of sand diameter and wind velocity on sand particle lift-off and incident angles in the windblown sand flux,” appeared in the May 2013 issue of Sedimentary […]The post Castle made of sand: Self-plagiarism washes away paper on dune particles appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Cell biologists in South Korea retract two papers
A group of researchers at two universities in South Korea have retracted two cell biology papers featuring retinoic acid. The most recent retraction appears in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Although, in typical JBC fashion, the reason for it is anyone’s guess. Here’s the unhelpful notice for “ASXL1 represses retinoic acid receptor-mediated transcription through associating […]The post Cell biologists in South Korea retract two papers appeared first on Retraction […]

March 16, 2015

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5:55 PM | WordPress parent company wins suit fighting false DMCA copyright claims
In late 2013, we filed suit along with Automattic, the parent company of our blogging platform WordPress, against someone allegedly at a news service in India who falsely claimed that we had violated its copyright. Last week, we were pleased to learn Automattic won a similar case against a group that tried to censor another […]The post WordPress parent company wins suit fighting false DMCA copyright claims appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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3:30 PM | Warning: plagiarism may be hazardous to your safety paper
A paper on making emergency evacuations more efficient at facilities that handle hazardous materials has been retracted for plagiarism. According to the Process Safety and Environmental Protection retraction notice, the 2013 paper, by a group at Tsinghua University in Beijing, plagiarized part of a 2007 article by Greek researchers called “Modeling emergency evacuation for major hazard industrial sites.” (The 2007 article has […]The post Warning: plagiarism may be […]
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1:30 PM | A first retraction for Einstein (no, not that one)
In 1932, Einstein famously retracted his “cosmological constant.” Now, more than 80 years later, a Brazilian healthcare journal bearing his name has retracted its first paper. The authors of the review, about the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in hospitalized patients on ventilators, appear to made the genius move of trying to publish their paper […]The post A first retraction for Einstein (no, not that one) appeared first on Retraction Watch.

March 14, 2015

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1:30 PM | Weekend reads: Dissertations for sale, spurious impact factors, the roots of plagiarism
This week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction of yet another spoof article, and the temporary shutdown of a journal. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Earn $100,000 per year writing other people’s dissertations. What’s not legit about that? Spurious alternative impact factors are everywhere, argue a group of authors that includes Jeffrey Beall. Phil Davis […]The post Weekend reads: Dissertations for sale, spurious impact factors, the roots of plagiarism […]
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