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Posts

July 24, 2014

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3:00 PM | “Lack of experience and understanding” forces duplication retractions of liver cancer paper
A group of researchers in China has lost their paper on liver cancer after the first author admitted to duplication, also known, inelegantly, as self-plagiarism. The paper, “Glycyrrhetinic acid-modified chitosan nanoparticles enhanced the effect of 5-fluorouracil in murine liver cancer model via regulatory T-cells,” appeared in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of Drug […]
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12:30 PM | Incorrect analysis leads to Nature’s sixth retraction in 2014
In what seems to be an example of researchers swiftly and transparently correcting the literature, and acknowledging errors, a pair of scientists have retracted a 2013 paper from Nature. Here’s the retraction notice for “Genomic organization of human transcription initiation complexes,” by Bryan Venters and Frank Pugh: We reported the presence of degenerate versions of […]

July 23, 2014

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10:38 PM | U.S. senator appears to have plagiarized his master’s thesis
A Democratic senator from Montana, John Walsh, is the latest high-profile politician to face plagiarism charges. The New York Times reports: …one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army […]
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5:33 PM | Cardiology researcher who admitted to fraud earns four-year funding ban
A researcher who admitted in 2012 to “intentional and systematic manipulation” of data and had two papers retracted has been banned from funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Dennis Rottländer, who will also be returning prize money he was awarded for the research, worked in Uta C. Hoppe’s lab at the University of Cologne. […]
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3:41 PM | Patient mix-up sinks prenatal supplement paper
This one seems like an honest mistake: a paper on dietary supplements during pregnancy has been retracted based on an error in data recording. In the BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth paper, “Folic acid supplementation, dietary folate intake during pregnancy and risk for spontaneous preterm delivery: a prospective observational cohort study,” women for whom the researchers had […]
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1:30 PM | Duplication earns retraction for nanomaterials paper that had already been corrected
After earning an erratum shortly after publication in 2009, a paper in Applied Physics Letters has now been retracted for the “regrettable mistake” of duplicating an earlier paper by the researchers. Here’s the notice for “Broadband and omnidirectional antireflection from conductive indium-tin-oxide nanocolumns prepared by glancing-angle deposition with nitrogen:” The authors wish to retract this paper 1 due to […]

July 22, 2014

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3:30 PM | Yogurt to be kidding me: Five articles plagiarized in one retracted paper
After typing up 96 citations, researchers from the National Institute for Digestive Diseases, I.R.C.C.S. “S. de Bellis,” in Bari, Italy, apparently ran out of steam for the last five, earning themselves a retraction for plagiarism in a literature review of the effects of probiotics on intestinal cancer. Here’s the notice for “Intestinal Microbiota, Probiotics and […]
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11:00 AM | Accounting professor faked data for two studies, destroyed evidence: University report
The Bentley University accounting professor whose retraction we first reported on in November 2012 fabricated the data behind two papers, a university investigation has concluded. James E. Hunton, who resigned in December 2012: engaged in research misconduct by fabricating the data underlying Fraud Brainstorming and Tone at the Top… according to a statement from Bentley […]

July 21, 2014

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7:55 PM | Publishing gadfly demands journal editor’s resignation, then has “fairly incomprehensible” paper rejected
A scientific publishing gadfly who was banned earlier this year from an Elsevier journal for “personal attacks and threats” has had a paper rejected by a Springer journal after he called for the editor’s resignation because of alleged incompetence. As detailed in a comment left at Retraction Watch, Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva submitted a […]
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3:30 PM | Editorial mix-up leads to duplication, retraction of physics paper
A missed withdrawal request has ed to doubled up publication and a later retraction for Brazilian physicists, through no fault of their own. “Atmospheric Plasma Treatment of Carbon Fibers for Enhancement of Their Adhesion Properties” was presented at an Institute of Physics (IOP) conference in 2010. The proceedings weren’t published until May 2014. In the […]
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1:30 PM | Boeing engineer has two papers retracted for duplication
The editor of the Journal of Sound and Vibration has retracted two papers by a Boeing engineer because the author reused his previous work. Here’s the notice for “A component-based model for aircraft landing gear noise prediction,” by Yueping Guo: This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier policy on article withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy). This article […]

July 19, 2014

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2:06 PM | Weekend reads: How to fix “slow,” “unhelpful,” and “generally awful” peer review, where all the PhDs go
Another busy week at Retraction Watch, but there was lots happening elsewhere, too: “Peer review is slow. It’s unhelpful. It’s generally awful. Here’s how to fix it,” from Rebecca Schuman in Slate. “Most science, technology, engineering, and math degree-holders seek jobs unrelated to their academic disciplines,” The Scientist reports. Related: Lenny Teytelman bemoans the terrible […]

July 18, 2014

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4:15 PM | Dimostrazioni senza parole: differenze tra cubi
\[(n+1)^3 - n^3 \equiv 1 \mod 6\] Claudi Alsina,, Roger Nelsen,, & Hasan Unal (2014). Proof Without Words: The Difference of Consecutive Integer Cubes Is Congruent to 1 Modulo 6 The College Mathematics Journal, 45 (2), 135-135 DOI: 10.4169/college.math.j.45.2.135 (facebook)... Claudi Alsina,, Roger Nelsen,, & Hasan Unal. (2014) Proof Without Words: The Difference of Consecutive Integer Cubes Is Congruent to 1 Modulo 6. The College Mathematics Journal, 45(2), 135-135. […]

Claudi Alsina,, Roger Nelsen, & Hasan Unal (2014). Proof Without Words: The Difference of Consecutive Integer Cubes Is Congruent to 1 Modulo 6, The College Mathematics Journal, 45 (2) 135-135. DOI:

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3:00 PM | Authors of three retracted PLOS ONE one papers to retract four more, with one researcher resigning
The hits keep coming for a research group at the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) in Chandigarh, India. Last week, we reported that PLoS ONE was retracting three papers by the research group because “there are no data available underlying this study and thus…the published results are fabricated.” Now, according to The Hindu, four more papers are being retracted: […]
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12:30 PM | The camel doesn’t have two humps: Programming “aptitude test” canned for overzealous conclusion
From Larry Summers to James Watson, certain scientists have a long and questionable tradition of using “data” to make claims about intelligence and aptitude. So it’s no surprise that, when well-known computer scientist Richard Bornat claimed his PhD student had created a test to separate people who would succeed at programming versus those who didn’t, people happily […]

July 17, 2014

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4:14 PM | Rice researcher in ethics scrape threatens journal with lawsuit over coming retraction
Guangwen Tang, a rice researcher at Tufts University, landed in hot water in 2012 after her team was accused of feeding Chinese children genetically modified Golden rice without having obtained informed consent from the parents. Now, she’s suing both Tufts and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which reportedly is retracting a paper, “ß-carotene in Golden Rice is as good […]
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3:30 PM | Authors issue their own expression of concern about elephant femur paper
The authors of a 2012 paper in the journal Interface have had the journal issue an expression of concern about it after issues with “some of the data and methods” came to light. Here’s the expression of concern for “What makes an accurate and reliable subject-specific finite element model? A case study of an elephant […]
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1:30 PM | PLOS ONE retracts breast cancer genetics paper after claim of misappropriated data
PLOS ONE has retracted a 2012 article by a group of breast cancer researchers after another scientist — a leading U.S. oncologist — objected that the data came from his lab. The paper, “GREB1 Functions as a Growth Promoter and Is Modulated by IL6/STAT3 in Breast Cancer,” came from a team composed of researchers at […]

July 16, 2014

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9:50 PM | Second Nature paper by researcher found to have violated academic integrity retracted
A second Nature paper co-authored by Pankaj Dhonukshe, formerly of Utrecht University and VIB Ghent, has been retracted. Here’s the notice for “Generation of cell polarity in plants links endocytosis, auxin distribution and cell fate decisions:” Our Letter reported that PIN transporters for the plant hormone auxin are initially delivered to the plasma membrane in […]
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4:30 PM | Poetry, politics, plagiarism, and erotics add up to a retraction
Here’s a new category for us: Poetry. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, a comparative studies journal, has retracted a paper on gender roles in Middle Eastern poetry due to plagiarism. Nizar Kabbani was a famed Syrian poet who wrote frankly about feminism, love, and sex. He’s well worth a read, […]
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1:30 PM | PLoS ONE issues expression of concern when company won’t share bacterial strain
The editors of PLoS ONE have issued an expression of concern for a 2014 article on a form of nitrogen-fixing bacteria called Bacillus pumilus. The reason: The company that provided the strain of microbe used in the research won’t let other researchers look at the organism. The article is titled “Bacillus pumilus Reveals a Remarkably […]

July 15, 2014

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4:00 PM | Recursive plagiarism? Researchers may have published a duplicate of a study retracted for plagiarism
Sometimes plagiarism, like an onion, has layers. That appears to be the case in a paper brought to our attention by sharp-eyed reader Vladimir Baulin, whose work was copied in a 2006 paper that Journal of Biological Physics retracted for plagiarism. But you can’t keep a good thief down: the plagiarizing authors just popped up in a new […]
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2:13 PM | “Error in data compilation” leaves bitter taste for paper on sweeter-tasting pills
A publication on a new, tastier dissolving tablet has been retracted for data errors. Here’s the brief notice for “Meloxicam Taste-Masked Oral Disintegrating Tablet with Dissolution Enhanced by Ion Exchange Resins and Cyclodextrin“: Meloxicam Taste-Masked Oral Disintegrating Tablet with Dissolution Enhanced by Ion Exchange Resins and Cyclodextrin was retracted at the request of the authors because of […]

July 14, 2014

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8:04 PM | Taiwan’s education minister resigns in wake of SAGE peer review scandal
Taiwan’s education minister, Chiang Wei-ling, whose name appeared on several of 60 retracted articles by Peter Chen — apparently the architect of a peer review and citation syndicate we were first to report on last week — has resigned over the publishing scandal. According to the University World News: Chiang said in a statement that […]
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3:30 PM | Dipping into history: An 87-year-old retraction in a statistics journal
We came across a rather long-toothed retraction in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, which represents a case of doing the right thing (similar to that involving the apparent first-ever English language retraction from 1756, about which we wrote in 2012). The 1927 notice came in the form of a letter by C. H. […]
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1:30 PM | Misconduct prompts retraction of prostatectomy paper
A group of urologists in China has lost their 2012 paper in the Journal of Surgical Research because one of the authors was evidently rather naughty. The article, “Is the impact of the extent of lymphadenectomy in radical prostatectomy related to the disease risk? A single center prospective study,” purported to show that: Controversy exists […]

July 12, 2014

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1:30 PM | Weekend reads: Peer review unreliable? Merck retracts legal threats over criticism
Another busy week at Retraction Watch, with a lot of media attention to a story about 60 retractions at a single journal for peer review fraud, and our op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: “[P] eer review, it appears, is less reliable than it sounds,” says The Guardian. Merck threatened to sue […]
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12:18 PM | I numeri primi e la ricerca delle fondamenta
Nel momento in cui affermiamo che un dato numero è primo, ovvero nel momento in cui affermiamo matematicamente che $n$ è un numero primostiamo, in effetti, affermando che $n$ è un numero naturale divisibile solo per se stesso e per l'unità. Questa definizione può però essere ulteriormente ridotta come segue(1): $n$ è un numero naturale e, presi comunque due numeri naturali $h$ e $k$, se $n$ è $h \cdot k$, allora $h$ o $k$ è 1.E' chiaro, in questo caso, che il senso di riduzione per una […]

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Kurt Gödel (1931). Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme I, Monatshefte für Mathematik und Physik, 38-38 (1) 173-198. DOI:

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Paul J. Cohen (1964). The independence of the continuum hypothesis, II, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 51 (1) 105-110. DOI:

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7:30 AM | Rebooting Philosophy
By Luciano Floridi Philosophy is a bit like a computer with a memory leak. It starts well, dealing with significant and serious issues that matter to anyone. Yet, in time, its very success slows it down. Philosophy begins to care more about philosophers’ questions than philosophical ones, consuming increasing amount of intellectual attention.The post Rebooting Philosophy appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesOK Go: Is the Writing on the […]

July 11, 2014

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2:00 PM | Three PLOS ONE papers retracted for totally made-up data
This one comes to us from Twitter, where Willem van Schaik went to express his frustration that a PLOS ONE paper he’d edited had been retracted for fake data. Two other papers from the same group at the Institute of Microbial Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Chandigarh, India, were retracted simultaneously. We sent him van […]
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