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Posts

August 29, 2015

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1:30 PM | Weekend reads: Ghost authors proliferate; science goes to the movies; pricey grant fraud
The week at Retraction Watch featured the results of a massive replication study, yet another retraction for Diederik Stapel, and a messy situation at PLOS. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Who ya gonna cite, to paraphrase Ray Parker, Jr.? A survey found that a third of papers in biology, physics, and the social sciences had […] The post Weekend reads: Ghost authors proliferate; science goes to the movies; pricey grant fraud appeared first on Retraction Watch.

August 28, 2015

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6:30 PM | Court grants Toronto researchers review of misconduct findings
A Canadian court has granted a review of two researchers’ application to quash the findings of a university investigation that found signs of falsified data, according to the researchers’ lawyer. Yesterday, the court ruled that the application by Sylvia Asa and her husband, Shereen Ezzat, to quash the University Health Network investigation’s findings be reviewed by a […] The post Court grants Toronto researchers review of misconduct findings appeared first on […]
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3:00 PM | “Our manuscript unintentionally failed to meet academic and publication standards”
Authors of a 2014 review paper about the use of “as needed” medications people with mental health diagnoses are retracting it, but we’re scratching our heads as to why. The retraction appears in “The experiences of mental health professionals’ and patients’ use of pro re nata (PRN) medication in acute adult mental health care settings: a […] The post “Our manuscript unintentionally failed to meet academic and publication standards” appeared […]
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12:45 PM | Trachea surgeon Macchiarini acted “without due care,” but is not guilty of misconduct: Karolinska
Following an investigation, Karolinska Institutet has found that surgeon and visiting professor Paolo Macchiarini acted in some cases “without due care,” but that his behavior “does not qualify as scientific misconduct.” Karolinska’s Vice Chancellor has also recommended that Macchiarini submit an unspecified number of corrections “to clarify and rectify the failings that the inquiry has […] The post Trachea surgeon Macchiarini acted “without due […]

August 27, 2015

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6:00 PM | Yes, many psychology findings may be “too good to be true” – now what?
Today, Science published the first results from a massive reproducibility project, in which more than 250 psychology researchers tried to replicate the results of 100 papers published in three psychology journals. Despite working with the original authors and using original materials, only 36% of the studies produced statistically significant results, and more than 80% of […] The post Yes, many psychology findings may be “too good to be true” – now what? appeared first on Retraction […]
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3:30 PM | Three retractions for Oregon neuroscience student investigated by ORI
Journals have retracted three out of the four papers flagged by the Office of Research Integrity during its investigation of a University of Oregon neuroscience student, David Anderson. Last month, when we first reported on the case, Anderson told us that he “made an error in judgment,” and took “full responsibility.” Two of the retraction notes say that Anderson […] The post Three retractions for Oregon neuroscience student investigated by ORI appeared first […]
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1:30 PM | Researchers suspended in Japan for funding violations
Hokkaido University has suspended two of its professors after an investigation found “improper receipt of research funding.” One member of the team was awarded more than 15 million yen (roughly $120,000 USD) in research grants from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), according to the official statement (translated by One Hour Translation). The researchers […] The post Researchers suspended in Japan for funding violations appeared first on Retraction Watch.

August 26, 2015

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6:47 PM | A mess: PLOS mistakenly publishes rejected ADHD-herbicide paper, retracts it
PLOS One has retracted a paper that links the most commonly used herbicide to ADHD, after it was “published in error.” According to the note, the paper was “editorially rejected following peer review and consultation with the Editorial Board,” but ended up going through the production process anyway. When we contacted the authors, they filled us in […] The post A mess: PLOS mistakenly publishes rejected ADHD-herbicide paper, retracts it appeared first on […]
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3:30 PM | First author refuses to sign PNAS retraction after “key findings” are not reproduced
Two out of the three authors of a PNAS paper on mutations underlying lung diseases are pulling it after failing to reproduce key findings. The paper, published in 2012, investigated how mutations in lung surfactant genes induce molecular changes that lead to lung pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer might work. But follow-up work revealed problems. In […] The post First author refuses to sign PNAS retraction after “key findings” are not reproduced appeared first on Retraction […]
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1:30 PM | Diederik Stapel ups count to 55 retractions
Dutch social psychologist and well-known fraudster Diederik Stapel is up to 55 retractions. He remains secure in his spot at #4 on our leaderboard. The “fraudulent” Social Cognition article found, according to its abstract, that the more positively you perceive yourself, the less you need to compare yourself to other people. Conversely, negative thoughts were linked to […] The post Diederik Stapel ups count to 55 retractions appeared first on Retraction Watch.

August 25, 2015

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7:00 PM | Journal that published bogus chocolate study delisted from open access directory
The journal that recently published a bogus study showing the health benefits of chocolate has been kicked out of a membership organization for open access journals. According to the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the International Archives of Medicine was removed from the list of member journals August 20, due to “suspected editorial misconduct by […] The post Journal that published bogus chocolate study delisted from open access directory appeared first on Retraction […]
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5:16 PM | Former UCSF grad student fudged data in two papers
A former graduate student at the University of California, San Francisco “knowingly falsified and/or fabricated” data in two published papers, according to the Office of Research Integrity. According to a case summary published this morning, Peter Littlefield was working on his PhD, studying the ways that cells respond to external signals, when he published the two problematic papers. He […] The post Former UCSF grad student fudged data in two papers appeared first on […]
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1:30 PM | Sea squirt draft paper published by mistake
A paper on the evolution and development of urochordata — also known as sea squirts — was published in an under-developed form: Due to the publishers’ “error,” a “preliminary draft” of the article was published online in Developmental Dynamics last year. The draft has been retracted; we can no longer find it on the site at all. The final copy of […] The post Sea squirt draft paper published by mistake appeared first on Retraction Watch.

August 24, 2015

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3:30 PM | Following criticism, PLOS removes blog defending scrutiny of science
Community blog PLOS Biologue has pulled a post by journalists Charles Seife and Paul Thacker that argued in favor of public scrutiny of scientists’ behavior (including emails), following heavy criticism, including from a group and scientist mentioned in the post. Their reasoning: The post was “not consistent with at least the spirit and intent of our community guidelines.” The […] The post Following criticism, PLOS removes blog defending scrutiny of science appeared […]
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1:30 PM | Paper on narcissistic CEOs earns big correction
It may not be much of a surprise that narcissistic CEOs of pharmaceutical companies will make bold choices, such as adopting radically new technology. That idea remains true, despite a lengthy correction to a paper that supports it. The paper, “CEO Narcissism, Audience Engagement, and Organizational Adoption of Technological Discontinuities,” in Administrative Science Quarterly, found support for […] The post Paper on narcissistic CEOs earns big correction appeared first on […]

August 22, 2015

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1:30 PM | Weekend reads: “Unfeasibly prolific authors;” why your manuscript will be rejected; is science broken?
The week at Retraction Watch featured revelations of yet more fake peer reviews, bringing the retraction total to 250. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Can researchers publish too often? Liz Wager — a member of the board of directors of The Center For Scientific Integrity, our parent non-profit — and colleagues take a fascinating look […] The post Weekend reads: “Unfeasibly prolific authors;” why your manuscript will be rejected; is science broken? […]

August 21, 2015

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6:06 PM | Former Wake Forest grad student fudged data for drug study
A former graduate student at Wake Forest School of Medicine “presented falsified and/or fabricated data” in a government-funded drug study, according to findings released by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity earlier today. The report was released in the wake of an investigation conducted by the university and the ORI. Investigators found that although Brandi Blaylock […] The post Former Wake Forest grad student fudged data for drug study appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Investigation digs up data falsification in two papers on roundworm stress
An investigation at the University of Florida has led to the retraction of a pair of papers on the stress responses of Caenorhabditis elegans in Molecular and Cellular Biology. One paper has been retracted, and one “partially” retracted, as the main conclusion was “not compromised.” According to the retraction notes, the investigation found the data were “falsified” by […] The post Investigation digs up data falsification in two papers on roundworm […]

August 20, 2015

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6:30 PM | “Goodbye…”?: Editor pulls farewell editorial after deeming it “inappropriate”
We’ve unearthed a retraction of an editorial titled “Goodbye…”, pulled from Cognition, Technology & Work by its retiring editor after he decided it was “inappropriate.” The original text is not online. The note in its place reads, in full: This article has been retracted due to unintended publication. The author of the editorial is psychologist Erik Hollnagel, based at […] The post “Goodbye…”?: Editor pulls farewell editorial […]
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3:30 PM | Thirteen-year-old mathematics paper retracted for plagiarism
A 2002 paper that investigates a kind of equation used to describe physical systems has been “has been detected to be a case of plagiarism.” Here’s the abstract of the Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics (Zeitschrift für angewandte Mathematik und Physik) article, “Some blow-up results for a generalized Ginzburg-Landau equation,” We investigate the blow-up of the solution to […] The post Thirteen-year-old mathematics paper retracted for plagiarism […]
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1:30 PM | A correction to a correction for stem cell researcher Jacob Hanna
A correction to a correction is the latest problem for highly cited researcher Jacob Hanna. The stem cell scientist — whose high-profile work has received scrutiny over the past year — has amended an earlier correction notice after a reader spotted an inadvertent “mistake.” We reported on the original correction, to the 2009 Cell Stem Cell paper “Metastable Pluripotent States in NOD-Mouse-Derived ESCs,” in July. The […] The post A correction […]

August 19, 2015

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6:30 PM | EMBO investigation yields two more retractions and three corrections for Voinnet
An investigation into the work of Olivier Voinnet by The EMBO Journal has led to another two retractions and three more corrections for the high-profile plant scientist, now suspended from the CNRS for two years. According to the authors, Voinnet was responsible for some of the errors; all papers have been questioned on PubPeer. The EMBO J, […] The post EMBO investigation yields two more retractions and three corrections for Voinnet appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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4:02 PM | Judge dismisses defamation suit against diabetes journal
Mario Saad can’t catch a break — yesterday, a Massachusetts judge dismissed his defamation suit against the American Diabetes Association, publisher of Diabetes, which published an expression of concern regarding four of his papers in March. The researcher has tried — and failed — to use the courts to remove the EoC. In Saad’s latest attempt to employ […] The post Judge dismisses defamation suit against diabetes journal appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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12:58 PM | 17 retractions from SAGE journals bring total fake peer review count to 250
On Monday, we reported on 64 new retractions from Springer journals resulting from fake peer reviews. Yesterday, SAGE — which retracted 60 papers for the same reason just over a year ago — added 17 additional retractions to their list. The articles were published in five different journals, and one retraction involved authorship fraud in […] The post 17 retractions from SAGE journals bring total fake peer review count to 250 appeared first on Retraction Watch.

August 18, 2015

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3:30 PM | Analysis of pilots with prostate cancer retracted for “inappropriate data”
In case any pilots out there are worrying about their risk of prostate cancer based on a recent meta-analysis that found they are at least twice as likely to develop the disease, they should relax — the paper has been retracted. The reason: “including inappropriate data from two studies that should be ineligible.” “The risk of prostate […] The post Analysis of pilots with prostate cancer retracted for “inappropriate data” appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | “Exactly the same clinical study” published six times
A group of researchers conducted a clinical trial on hundreds of hypertensive patients. Then, they published the results…six times. The “nearly identical” papers came to our attention via a retraction in Inflammation. Editor in chief Bruce Cronstein explained how he learned of the mass duplication: The editors were contacted en masse by somebody doing a Cochrane Review […] The post “Exactly the same clinical study” published six times appeared first on […]
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9:30 AM | Will we ever need maths after school?
What is the purpose of mathematics? Or, as many a pupil would ask the teacher on a daily basis: “When are we going to need this?” There is a considerably ruder version of a question posed by Billy Connolly on the internet, but let’s not go there. The post Will we ever need maths after school? appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesDoes ‘divine hiddenness’ belong to theists or to atheists?The undiscovered elementsWho was […]
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12:30 AM | 64 more papers retracted for fake reviews, this time from Springer journals
This is officially becoming a trend: Springer is pulling another 64 articles from 10 journals after finding evidence of faked peer reviews, bringing the total number of retractions from the phenomenon north of 230. Given that there have been about 1,500 papers retracted overall since 2012, when we first reported on the phenomenon, faked reviews have been […] The post 64 more papers retracted for fake reviews, this time from Springer journals appeared first on Retraction Watch.

August 17, 2015

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3:30 PM | Running shoe paper pulled for failing to disclose author’s industry ties
Not so fast — a paper that showed wearing Vibram FiveFingers (resembling foot gloves) “may help reduce running-related injuries” has been removed after the editors realized the first author is on Vibram’s advisory board. Managing editor Noelle A. Boughanmi told us there’s no retraction here — the journal is just fixing the paper to address the relationship […] The post Running shoe paper pulled for failing to disclose author’s industry ties […]
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1:30 PM | Trouble with data proves toxic for a pair of toxicology papers
A pair of papers about the risks of titanium dioxide nanoparticles that share many of the same authors has been retracted from a toxicology journal following an investigation at Soochow University in China. Particle and Fibre Toxicology is retracting the papers for problems with the statistical methods and missing data, as well as for sharing figures. […] The post Trouble with data proves toxic for a pair of toxicology papers appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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