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Posts

October 24, 2014

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3:30 PM | Heart paper will go on, but only in the first of two journals it was published in
A cardiovascular group has retracted a conference proceeding abstract, because it too closely resembled a paper they published prior to the conference. The last author is baffled as to why the journal couldn’t have made that call before they published the abstract. Here’s the notice for “Increased beta-adrenergic inotropy in ventricular myocardium from Trpm4 knockout […]
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1:30 PM | Failure to disclose drug company sponsor among litany of reasons for cancer retraction
This one’s a real mess. In June, a paper in Tumor Biology was retracted for at least four reasons, including bad data and hiding a trial sponsor (Merck). Some people who contributed work weren’t cited; at least one author had no idea his name would be on it. And that’s just what they tell us in the notice. Here’s the […]

October 23, 2014

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2:30 PM | Authors retract PNAS paper questioned on PubPeer after original films can’t be found
PubPeer leads the way again: The authors of a paper about Parkinson’s disease in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) have retracted it, several months after a commenter highlighted the exact issue that led to the article’s demise. The paper, originally published in September 2013, was called into question by a commenter on […]
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12:24 PM | Dr. Oz: Following green coffee bean diet retraction, site scrubbed, “further study is needed”
On Monday, we were first to report that a study of green coffee bean extract for weight loss touted on the Dr. Oz Show had been retracted. That story has been widely picked up by the media, including The Washington Post, which yesterday reported that the show had posted a statement about the development: In […]

October 22, 2014

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3:30 PM | Doing the right thing: Authors retract PNAS paper when new experiments show “conclusion was incorrect”
Researchers in Sweden and Australia have retracted a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) after follow-up experiments disproved their conclusions. Here’s the notice for “Dominant suppression of inflammation by glycan-hydrolyzed IgG,” which is signed by all nine of the paper’s authors: The authors wish to note the following: “Using studies […]
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1:30 PM | “Editors are pleased to receive death threats on the third Thursday of the month:” A new journal launches
There’s a new journal in town. Inference’s first issue includes a lengthy review of a laboratory by a tennis instructor, a set of caricatures, and an exchange of emails from 1996 that is “perhaps, less remarkable for what it says than for the fact that it took place at all.” In short, its editors — […]
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10:29 AM | Martin Gardner
Come ha ricordato Maurizio Codogno è stato il centenario di Martin Gardner. Recupero oggi con la traduzione di un articolo di David Singmaster uscito su "Nature" nel 2010 come ricordo per la figura di riferimento che ha rappresentato per moltissimi lettori, amanti della matematica e matematici professionisti.Dalla metà degli anni '50 fino ai primi anni '80 del XX sexolo, probabilmente la più nota sezione di Scientific American è stata Mathematical games di Martin Gardner. Come […]

October 21, 2014

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3:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: More stem cell questions; “is the hassle of a correction really needed?”
Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: The authors of an ACS Nano paper that earned an In the Pipeline headline of “Electromagnetic Production of Stem Cells? Really?” respond to criticism. “If it’s an innocent mistake that truly does not impact any of the findings of the study, is the hassle of a correction really needed?” […]
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1:30 PM | Article using tin foil, cling wrap to debunk ocean warming retracted after urgent peer review
A conference proceedings paper that attempted to debunk ocean warming due to climate change using tin foil and cling wrap has been retracted by the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) Press. The paper, “A Comparison Of The Efficacy Of Greenhouse Gas Forcing And Solar Forcing,” was published as part of the proceedings of a July 2014 […]
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11:36 AM | Inflazione infinita e fine del tempo
Come saprete i dati di BICEP che sembrava dovessero confermare l'inflazione cosmica e le onde gravitazionali primordiali hanno subito una verifica negativa. Come spiegano molto bene Amedeo e Sandro, l'interpretazione dei risultati è stata completamente ribaltata dalle analisi di Planck.Uno degli aspetti che, con quell'annuncio di metà aprile, non avevo trattato ma che mi sarebbe piaciuto era la questione dell'inflazione infinita. Questa ipotesi teorica venne introdotta da Alan Guth e altri […]

October 20, 2014

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3:30 PM | Authors retract green coffee bean diet paper touted by Dr. Oz
Two authors of a 2012 paper sponsored by a company that made grand claims about green coffee bean abstract’s abilities to help people lose weight have retracted it. The study was cited by The Dr. Oz Show, and last month it cost the company a $3.5 million settlement with the Feds. Here’s the notice for […]
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1:30 PM | Journal of Neuroscience still won’t explain author-initiated retractions
The Journal of Neuroscience hasn’t changed its policy of not explaining retractions if authors don’t want to, as this October 8 notice attests. Here’s the notice for “Coordinated Regulation of Hepatic Energy Stores by Leptin and Hypothalamic Agouti-Related Protein:” At the request of the authors, The Journal of Neuroscience is retracting “Coordinated Regulation of Hepatic Energy Stores by […]
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8:14 AM | Paradosso cosmico
The Time Machine at the End of the World, di Les Edwardsvia ahiddenworld.tumblr.comCome tutti i generi, anche la fantascienza in ultima analisi è interessata a parlare dell'essere umano. In particolare, come ricorda Isaac Asimov, parla dell'essere umano contemporaneo, nascondendo il messaggio dietro una rappresentazione meravigliosa, dietro un sense of wonder dovuto a progressi scientifici inimmaginabili.I due progressi scientifici che muovono la maggior parte della fantascienza (non sono gli […]

October 18, 2014

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1:30 PM | Weekend reads: “Too good to be true” results; the paper as an “artificial landmark”
The week at Retraction Watch kicked off with news of the European Science Foundation threatening to sue a scientist for calling a review process “flawed.” Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Now that’s self-awareness: Nature calls the peer-reviewed paper an “artificial landmark.” Are the findings in an epigenetics paper “too good to be true?“ Please congratulate […]

October 17, 2014

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4:00 PM | “This situation left me ashamed and infuriated with myself:” Scientist retracts two papers
A Portuguese group has retracted two papers in the Journal of Bacteriology after mislabeled computer files led to the wrong images being used. And, we’ve learned in a heartfelt email, the first author was devastated. Here’s the notice for “MtvR Is a Global Small Noncoding Regulatory RNA in Burkholderia cenocepacia”: A number of problems related to images […]
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1:30 PM | At a snail’s pace: Species rediscovered, but paper on its disappearance remains
A few weeks ago, in Weekend Reads, we highlighted the story of a snail species, thought to have gone extinct thanks to global warming, that had been rediscovered. Now, as first reported by The Scientist, the journal in question has addressed the issue. Here’s the story: In 2007, Biology Letters published a paper by Justin […]
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8:30 AM | The deconstruction of paradoxes in epidemiology
If a “revolution” in our field or area of knowledge was ongoing, would we feel it and recognize it? And if so, how? I think a methodological “revolution” is probably going on in the science of epidemiology, but I’m not totally sure. Of course, in science not being sure is part of our normal state. And we mostly like it. The post The deconstruction of paradoxes in epidemiology appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesCelebrating World […]

October 16, 2014

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3:00 PM | Journal expresses concerns over “possible data irregularities” in paper from Army medical center docs
The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has issued an expression of concern about a 2012 article reporting the experience of military burn unit treating a rare ailment called toxic epidermal necrolysis. According to the notice, which is behind a paywall (for shame!), the paper appears to have overstated the number of cases the […]
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1:00 PM | Neuroscientist who threatened to sue Science-Fraud.org, retracted two papers is out at Tufts
Gizem Donmez, a neuroscientist who has retracted two papers from Cell and the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is no longer in her position at Tufts University, Retraction Watch has learned. A Tufts spokesperson confirmed the news for us yesterday: Dr. Donmez is no longer employed by Tufts University. We don’t, as a rule, comment on […]

October 15, 2014

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3:30 PM | Authors retract HER-2 endometrial cancer paper for 2x publication
File this one under strange excuses. A cancer paper was retracted on September 17 for a double publication. According to the notice in which the authors admit to duplicating the “opening to the readers,” which we assume is the introduction, there was no need to cite the article “because it had not yet been printed […]
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1:30 PM | “Several scientific errors” sink physics paper after rewrite opportunity
We don’t love this somewhat incoherent retraction for a paper on coherent states, although luckily the publisher was prompt with telling us a little more about what happened. On October 2, a 2008 physics paper, “Generation of a superposition of coherent states in a resonant cavity and its nonclassicality and decoherence,” was retracted for “several scientific […]

October 14, 2014

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3:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: PubPeer comments lead to Science correction; crystal structure in triplicate
Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: “Hello. I am the first author and thank you for pointing out this issue,” writes an author of a Science paper. “Since your posts, we have carefully investigated what happened. During preparation of multiple drafts and revisions I inadvertently used the same image twice.” The author continues: “I hope […]
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1:30 PM | Ripping off someone else’s thesis sinks paper on chicken temperatures
Proof that people will plagiarize anything they think they can get away with: a Brazilian scientist plagiarized a masters’ student’s thesis on the surface temperature of chickens. We spoke with International Journal of Biometeorology editor-in-chief Scott Sheridan about the case: It was a case of plagiarism – the lead author plagiarized some text in Portuguese in […]

October 13, 2014

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3:33 PM | How meta: Paper on errors retracted for “too many stupid mistakes”
A paper published in Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science has been retracted for statistical and typographical mistakes. Here’s the notice for “Comparing Measurement Error Between Two Different Methods of Measurement of Various Magnitudes”: Due to errors, the statistical analyses of the manuscript titled “Comparing Measurement Error Between Two Different Methods of Measurement of Various Magnitudes” by […]
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1:30 PM | Asthma study yanked for serious ethical violations
A paper in SpringerPlus on treating asthma with antioxidants was retracted on September 25 for something of a trifecta of ethical problems. The retraction notice indicates that the patients never consented, there was no ethical review, and the university supposedly overseeing the study had no knowledge of it: Improved treatment of Asthma by using natural sources of antioxidants Nguyen Van […]

October 12, 2014

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2:58 PM | European Science Foundation demands retraction of criticism in Nature, threatens legal action
The European Science Foundation (ESF) has threatened legal action against a scientist for calling an evaluation process supported by the agency “flawed” in a commentary piece in Nature. Amayo Moro-Martin, an assistant astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and an associate research scientist at The Johns Hopkins University, apparently angered the ESF with […]

October 11, 2014

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1:34 PM | Weekend reads: Senator loses degree for plagiarism; bad colitis poetry; fraud on the big screen
The week at Retraction Watch featured papers by a fake author with a brilliant if profane name, and the unmasking of fraudster Diederik Stapel as a sock puppet. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: John Walsh, the Democratic U.S. senator from Montana, has lost his master’s degree from the Army War College for plagiarism. Those allegations […]
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12:30 PM | Recurring decimals, proof, and ice floes
Why do we teach students how to prove things we all know already, such as 0.9999••• =1? Partly, of course, so they develop thinking skills to use on questions whose truth-status they won’t know in advance. Another part, however, concerns the dialogue nature of proof. The post Recurring decimals, proof, and ice floes appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesRheumatology through the agesThe need to reform whistleblowing lawsThe Second […]

October 10, 2014

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7:05 PM | After 16 retractions, management professor Lichtenthaler resigns post
Ulrich Lichtenthaler, a management professor at the University of Mannheim who has had to retract 16 papers for data irregularities, has resigned his faculty position. According to a terse release from the university (translated from German): Prof. Dr. Lichtenthaler informed the Rector of the University of Mannheim that he wants to leave the University of […]
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3:35 PM | Cell line switch sinks PLoS ONE cancer paper
We’ve written before about how common cell line mix ups are in cancer research; according to a 2012 Wall Street Journal article (paywalled), between a fifth and a third of cancer cell lines tested by suspicious researchers turned out to be misidentified. Obviously, mistakenly studying the wrong kind of cancer is a waste of precious resources, […]
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