September 02, 2014

3:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: Boosting memory in Science, extending lifespan in Nature, quantum anesthesia in PNAS
As Retraction Watch readers probably know, we’re big fans of PubPeer, the post-publication peer review site that allows comments on papers. Discussions there have led to a number of corrections and retractions, and even more importantly, authors are starting to respond to clarify results, acknowledge errors, or otherwise advance knowledge. After all, as we often […]
1:30 PM | Diabetes researcher Cory Toth now up to nine retractions
Cory Toth is up to nine retractions. The University of Calgary researcher who told us earlier this year that he “will not be publishing in the world of science in the future” has retracted two papers from Neuroscience. Here’s the notice for “Local erythropoietin signaling enhances regeneration in peripheral axons:” This article has been retracted: […]

September 01, 2014

12:56 PM | Danish committee rejects much of Klarlund Pedersen’s appeal of misconduct findings
The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD, Danish acronym UVVU) has partially reversed a December 2013 finding of misconduct against a scientist in Denmark, but has upheld most of its ruling. Bente Klarlund Pedersen, whose case was tied up with that of Milena Penkowa, another scientist in Denmark found guilty of misconduct, committed misconduct in […]
12:00 AM | Re-sampling and Contemporary Inference: A tribute to Kesar Singh
Statistical Methodology, Volume 20, pages 1-126 (Sep-14) Edited by Soumendra Lahiri, Min-ge Xie
12:00 AM | Special Issue on Combining Probability and Logic to Solve Philosophical Problems
Journal of Applied Logic, Volume 12, Issue 3, pages 233-376 (Sep-14) Edited by Niki Pfeifer
12:00 AM | Turing Centenary Conference: How the World Computes
Annals of Pure and Applied Logic, Volume 165, Issue 9, pages 1353-1532 (Sep-14) Edited by S. Barry Cooper, Anuj Dawar, Martin Hyland, Benedikt Lowe
12:00 AM | Special Issue on Matrix Functions
Linear Algebra and its Applications, Volume 456, pages 1-220 (Sep-14) Edited by Oliver G. Ernst, Chun-Hua Guo, Jorg Liesen, Leiba Rodman

August 30, 2014

1:45 PM | Weekend reads: DIY peer review, wildly exaggerated breakthroughs, and how to commit fraud without being caught
Another busy week at Retraction Watch. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: “…as I am the first author of this manuscript…it would probably be better if someone else performed the review.” Keon West on “the strangest e-mail I’ve had to send in a while.” Of course, he could have just done his own peer review. “…most […]

August 29, 2014

3:29 PM | Australian university to repay $275K grant because of “misleading and incorrect” information
Courtesy of The Australian, we have an update on a story we first covered in late 2012. As we reported then: A contested retraction in Stem Cells and Development has left the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) graduate student who fought for it in limbo, uncertain if he will earn his PhD. And many of […]
1:30 PM | Second retraction appears for former University of Florida ob-gyn subject to ORI probe
Nasser Chegini, an ob-gyn formerly on the faculty at the University of Florida who has been the subject of an Office of Research Integrity (ORI) inquiry for several years, has a second retraction. Chegini is suspected of having used bogus data in some of his work — research backed in part by some $4 million […]

August 28, 2014

3:30 PM | Déjà vu: Double pub in the same issue earns a retraction
Always do a careful reading of your galleys, editors. We imagine readers of Biomedical Chromatography’s special issue, “Reminiscences of Chang Kee Lim,” did some flipping back and forth when they found the same paper published twice. Here’s the resulting notice for “Determination of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal in serum by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection after pre-column derivatization using […]
1:30 PM | Cancer researcher has correction upgraded to retraction
Rakesh Kumar, a researcher with six recent corrections and one retraction, has had one of those corrections upgraded to a retraction. Here’s the unhelpful notice, from Molecular Endocrinology: The August 2007 Molecular Endocrinology article by by Gururaj et al, “Estrogen Induces Expression of BCAS3, A Novel Estrogen Receptor-alpha Coactivator, through Proline-, Glutamic Acid-, and Leucine-Rich […]

August 27, 2014

6:53 PM | Journal takes down autism-vaccine paper pending investigation
An article purporting to find that black children are at substantially increased risk for autism after early exposure to the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine has been shelved, amid claims that a CDC whistleblower has accused health officials of suppressing information about the link. Not surprisingly, the prospect that the CDC has been sitting on evidence of an […]
3:30 PM | This retraction has teeth: Journal changes publication policy after discovering misconduct
The Indian Society of Periodontology has changed their editorial policy as the result of an author who had “neither taken adequate permission from nor given due acknowledgement to all authors concerned.” Now, any authors will be required to sign a contract acknowledging accountability for the content of the submitted paper, as well as be able […]
1:30 PM | Language of a liar named Stapel: Can word choice be used to identify scientific fraud?
A pair of Cornell researchers have analyzed the works of fraudster Diederik Stapel and found linguistic tics that stand out in his fabricated articles. David Markowitz and Jeffrey Hancock looked at 49 of the Dutch social psychologist’s papers — 24 of which included falsified data. (Stapel has lost 54 papers so far.) According to the […]
7:30 AM | Special events and the dynamical statistics of Twitter
A large variety of complex systems in ecology, climate science, biomedicine, and engineering have been observed to exhibit so-called tipping points, where the dynamical state of the system abruptly changes. Typical examples are the rapid transition in lakes from clear to turbid conditions or the sudden extinction of species after a slightly change of environmental conditions. Data and models suggest that detectable warning signs may precede some, though clearly not all, of these drastic events. […]

August 26, 2014

3:30 PM | “Our jaws hit the floor!!” Researchers say authors doctored images for rebuttal letter
Try to follow along on this one. We think it’s worth it. The authors of a letter replying to a comment in a urology journal have retracted their response because it contained inappropriate figures. At least, that’s the official story. The original paper, “Effect of a Risk-stratified Grade of Nerve-sparing Technique on Early Return of […]
1:30 PM | Incomplete reference helps editor find duplicate paper — and retract article
Pro-tip: If you’re going to try to publish your work twice, don’t give editors a reason to go searching the internet for your previous work. Here’s case in point, a retraction notice from the Botswana Journal of Agriculture & Applied Sciences: Below is the letter written to the author(s) of the article “Mabe, R. Capacity […]

August 25, 2014

6:21 PM | “I am not a monster and I am not unreasonable:” Student attacks professor with axe after grant is cut
A physics graduate student at the University of Coimbra in Portugal attacked a professor with an axe earlier this month after losing a grant. The student, Colin Paul Gloster, attacked physics lecturer Maria Filomena Santos, who according to the Irish Mirror will “require reconstructive surgery as the axe cut very close to the tendons.” Speaking of […]
3:30 PM | Wasted breath: Cribbing earns retraction of anesthesia paper
The authors of a paper on anesthetic waste gases in the operating room have pulled the article for plagiarism. The paper, titled “Further Pieces of Evidence to the Pulmonary Origin of Sevoflurane Escaping to the Operating Room During General Anaesthesia,” appeared in Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics and came from a group at various institutions in […]
1:30 PM | New method sinks newish paper…or does it?
The timing on a recent retraction of a paper from Biotechnology and Bioengineering makes it a bit difficult to figure out what happened, but here’s a try. An article first published online May 16th by a group of researchers at Brown University was retracted on June 1st, apparently because a new and better method for […]

August 23, 2014

1:30 PM | Weekend reads: Peer review abuse, a journal that will print anything for $1,200, PubPeer faces legal threats
Another busy week at Retraction Watch. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: “This is an outrageous abuse of the peer review process,” says Peter Brown of the publication of a paper in PNAS claiming that the “hobbit man” was actually a modern human with Down’s syndrome. A respected cardiology journal has changed owners, and now “they’ll […]

August 22, 2014

3:10 PM | Journal that “suffered” from plagiarism purges itself
When Pharmacy Practice found out it had been victimized by plagiarists, it apparently took the news personally — and to heart. In an elaborate statement with more than a dozen references — but not one to the plagiarizing work — the journal lashed out against the behavior of word thieves, and described the discovery as […]
1:30 PM | Diabetes researchers retract, correct and republish study on mortality rates
A diabetes paper that received quite a bit of media attention when it was published in June 2013 was retracted and reissued to fix data errors shortly after publication. The paper, which showed a steep decline in mortality rates for diabetics in Ontario, Canada, and the UK between 1996 and 2009, was republished in December 2013, […]

August 21, 2014

8:00 PM | Second study of widely touted cancer and HIV “cure” retracted
Last month, we brought you the story of the retraction of a paper by Nobutu Yamamoto and colleagues about “a protein being used — unapproved by health agencies — to treat diseases including cancer and autism.” A second paper by the group, about using the protein to treat HIV, has been retracted. Here’s the notice […]
1:30 PM | Sampling the wrong part of the aorta sinks aneurysm paper
A paper on an experimental treatment for abdominal aneurysms has been retracted after it was discovered samples had been taken from the wrong part of the aorta. Here is the PLOS ONE notice for “Inhibition of Rho-Kinase by Fasudil Suppresses Formation and Progression of Experimental Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms:” The authors retract this publication due to […]

August 20, 2014

3:30 PM | Crystal confusion leads to retractions for optics researchers
A mistaken molecular structure has led to a retraction and a withdrawal for group in India studying optical crystals. Here’s the notice for “Crystal growth and spectroscopic characterization of Aloevera amino acid added lithium sulfate monohydrate: A non-linear optical crystal” in Spectrochimica Acta Part A: This article has been retracted at the request of authors. According […]
1:30 PM | Elephant femur paper subject to expression of concern retracted following investigation
Last month, we reported on a 2012 paper in Interface whose authors had the journal issue an expression of concern about it because of “some of the data and methods.” At the time, The Royal Veterinary College at the University of London was conducting an investigation into the research. Today, that expression of concern was […]

August 19, 2014

4:12 PM | Linguistics retraction fails to speak clearly
The Canadian Center of Science and Education has put out a truly useless retraction for a paper published in June 2010 in their journal English Language Teaching. Here’s the notice for “A Solution to Plato’s Problem: Faculty of Language as A Complex Non-Linear System”: The editorial board announced this article has been retracted on August 18, […]
12:30 PM | Hmm: Authors retract paper rather than allow discussion of politics of organ donation in China
Organ donation in China, particularly the practice of using organs from executed prisoners, which the government pledged to stop by the middle of this year, has been a controversial subject. For a group of authors in that country and the U.S, a letter criticizing their work that introduced “the political situation of organ donation in […]
1,550 Results