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Posts

January 29, 2015

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4:30 PM | The mysterious case of the missing — and urgent — retraction
On January 12, we got hold of a retraction at AGRIVITA Journal of Agricultural Science a small journal published by the University of Brawijaya in Indonesia. We went about our usual process, emailing authors and editors looking for more details. The retraction mentioned a double publication. It gave enough details that we’re fairly sure the earlier publication was […]The post The mysterious case of the missing — and urgent — retraction appeared first on Retraction […]
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2:30 PM | Fraud retraction appears for deceased Maryland dental researcher
A former dental researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, has lost a 2009 paper in the journal Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontology for fabricating his data on an NIH-funded study. The researcher, Mark A. Scheper, is not identified in the retraction notice as the person implicated in the university […]The post Fraud retraction appears for deceased Maryland dental researcher appeared first on Retraction Watch.

January 28, 2015

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7:54 PM | Bad image prompts correction of Harvard-Brigham stem cell paper by Anversa
A group of Harvard stem cell researchers who already have one retraction and an expression of concern now have a correction. This one’s in Circulation Research, and it involves an image that previously had been flagged as suspicious in our comments. The group is led by Piero Anversa, who as we reported last year is […]The post Bad image prompts correction of Harvard-Brigham stem cell paper by Anversa appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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4:30 PM | “The main improvements reported are invalid”: Quantum communication paper retracted
A paper on quantum communication has been retracted for failing to address several important problems, making the conclusions invalid. Quantum communication involves sending a series of photons in specific quantum states over fiberoptic cables. It’s a little like the 1s and 0s of traditional computing, but much more secure. If the photons are intercepted on […]The post “The main improvements reported are invalid”: Quantum communication paper retracted appeared first on […]
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2:30 PM | Serial plagiarist loses 13 papers
Accusations of plagiarism spanning at least 14 years have finally caught up with Richard Lawrence Etienne Barnett, who has had 13 papers retracted from a journal he had guest edited. The dean of the for-profit University of Atlanta has been accused of copying his own and others’ work a number of times, as we wrote in November. Here’s […]The post Serial plagiarist loses 13 papers appeared first on Retraction Watch.

January 27, 2015

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8:44 PM | Georgia State student paper retracts article for faked quotes, fires writer
Georgia State University student newspaper The Signal pulled an article and dropped a writer after discovering he lied about talking to a school spokesperson and made up quotes. The paper tells Retraction Watch that the undergraduate, Rico Johnson, has been removed from the staff of the paper. Here’s the notice for “Georgia State planning renovation for new […]The post Georgia State student paper retracts article for faked quotes, fires writer appeared first on Retraction […]
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4:30 PM | Second retraction appears for former accounting professor James Hunton
It took five months, but in December a second retraction popped up for disgraced accounting professor James H. Hunton. Hunton resigned his teaching post at Bentley University in December of 2012. An extensive investigation by Bentley showed that not only was the data in two papers falsified. Hunton also lied about non-existent confidentiality agreements and tried […]The post Second retraction appears for former accounting professor James Hunton appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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2:30 PM | Dead men tell no tales – nor respond to journal’s formatting queries
In November 2014, Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures withdrew an online-first publication on the grounds that, over the previous two years, the corresponding author has not responded to questions regarding formatting. There is, apparently, a good reason for that, although the notice for “Analysis of Effective Properties of Three-phase Electro-magneto-elastic Solids” suggests the editors of the journal […]The post Dead men tell no tales – nor respond to […]

January 26, 2015

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8:40 PM | Exclusive: Former NIH lab head who faked data now working as government patent examiner
The former director  of the X-ray crystallography lab at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, who was found by the Office of Research Integrity to have faked findings in three papers, is once again earning a government salary, this time as a patent examiner, Retraction […]The post Exclusive: Former NIH lab head who faked data now working as government patent examiner appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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4:30 PM | New favorite plagiarism euphemism: “Inadvertently copied text”
Plagiarism earned genomics researchers an erratum, not a retraction, in BioMed Central journal BioData Mining. We keep a list of best euphemisms for plagiarism, and this one is right up there. Here’s the notice for “An iteration normalization and test method for differential expression analysis of RNA-seq data”: Following publication of our paper in BioData Mining[1], it […]The post New favorite plagiarism euphemism: “Inadvertently copied text” appeared […]
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2:30 PM | Far from earth-shatteringly new: Plagiarism topples Chinese quake paper
A group of scientists at the Chinese Earthquake Administration in Beijing have lost their 2014 paper in Nature Scientific Reports for lifting chunks of text from a previously published article. The abstract of the paper, “Early magnitude estimation for the MW7.9 Wenchuan earthquake using progressively expanded P-wave time window,” states: More and more earthquake early […]The post Far from earth-shatteringly new: Plagiarism topples Chinese quake paper appeared first on […]

January 24, 2015

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2:30 PM | Weekend reads: Potti trial to begin; fraudster post-doc fired; how to avoid predatory journals
This week at Retraction Watch featured a hotly debated guest post from Leonid Schneider and two ORI findings. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: The civil trial against Duke University, Anil Potti, Joseph Nevins, and others begins Monday. The Cancer Letter describes Duke’s legal strategy as “We Did No Harm,” and C.K. Gunsalus asks, “Should detecting […]The post Weekend reads: Potti trial to begin; fraudster post-doc fired; how to avoid predatory journals […]

January 23, 2015

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4:00 PM | “Immorally” affecting the literature: Authors blame sloppy work from an outside lab for retraction
A group of Chinese researchers has retracted a paper, saying that an outside lab switched their immunofluorescent stains with another research group’s. The group has decided to repeat the experiments on their own next time. Here’s the notice in Molecular Medicine Reports for “Protective role of Klotho on cardiomyocytes upon hypoxia/reoxygenation via downregulation of Akt and […]The post “Immorally” affecting the literature: Authors blame sloppy work from an […]
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1:01 PM | Former Pitt cancer researcher admits to faking findings
A former researcher at the University of Pittsburgh inflated the number of mice used in his experiments, and faked data in a number of images in a paper reporting the results, according to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI). Dong Xiao admitting to having intentionally fabricated data contained in a paper entitled ‘Guggulsterone inhibits prostate cancer growth […]The post Former Pitt cancer researcher admits to faking findings appeared first on Retraction Watch.

January 22, 2015

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4:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: Good behavior earns praise; questions about HIV vaccine research
PubPeer continues to make its mark on the scientific literature. Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: “There is indeed a duplication and we apologize for this error. The coauthors and I feel terrible that this mistake has happened. This is an awful and unjustifiable mistake.” An author’s quick and transparent response, including posting original images […]The post PubPeer Selections: Good behavior earns praise; questions about HIV vaccine research […]
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2:30 PM | Cut and paste and a PC crash: figure manipulations sink two papers
Two papers by an overlapping group of researchers in Italy have been retracted for manipulated figures. In late 2013, perennial tipster Clare Francis sent their concerns about several papers, including the two that have been retracted, by authors who frequently publish together. One of the papers, in the Journal of Neurochemistry, is from a team led by Ferdinando Nicoletti; four other […]The post Cut and paste and a PC crash: figure manipulations sink two papers appeared first on […]
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8:30 AM | Celebrating Women in STEM
It is becoming widely accepted that women have, historically, been underrepresented and often completely written out of work in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Explanations for the gender gap in STEM fields range from genetically-determined interests, structural and territorial segregation, discrimination, and historic stereotypes. With free Oxford University Press content, we tell the stories and share the research of both famous and forgotten women. The post […]

January 21, 2015

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4:30 PM | Authors get away with throwing quotation marks around plagiarized passages. Again.
Back in November 2013, we wrote about a correction in PNAS about a May 2012 paper by a group from Toronto and Mount Sinai in New York who, as we said at the time had been rather too liberal in their use of text from a previously published paper by another researcher — what we […]The post Authors get away with throwing quotation marks around plagiarized passages. Again. appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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2:30 PM | Stem cell researcher Jacob Hanna responds to criticism
Over the past few months, there has been a great deal of criticism of the work of stem cell researcher Jacob Hanna, especially on PubPeer. Now, Hanna has responded in the comments of the PubPeer entries for a number of papers. He has also posted a number of PDFs, including his PhD thesis, and correspondence with scientists […]The post Stem cell researcher Jacob Hanna responds to criticism appeared first on Retraction Watch.

January 20, 2015

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4:30 PM | Retracted paper on herbicide-ovarian cancer connection republished
A retracted 2008 paper originally flagged by Clare Francis has been republished in Environmental Health Perspectives with updated figures and new data. According to the editor’s note appended to the newly published paper, there was no evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of the authors. The new paper went through peer review as an entirely new submission, and comes […]The post Retracted paper on herbicide-ovarian cancer connection republished appeared first on […]
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2:30 PM | Prominent geneticist nets retraction, two corrections, and a lot of questions
A team led by David Latchman, a geneticist and administrator at University College London, has notched a mysterious retraction in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and has had 25 more papers questioned on PubPeer. The JBC notice for “Antiapoptotic activity of the free caspase recruitment domain of procaspase-9: A novel endogenous rescue pathway in cell death” is as useless as they come, a […]The post Prominent geneticist nets retraction, two corrections, and a lot […]

January 19, 2015

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4:30 PM | What if universities had to agree to refund grants whenever there was a retraction?
We’re pleased to share this guest post from Leonid Schneider, a cell biologist, science journalist and a prolific cartoonist whose work graces our Twitter profile and Facebook page. In it, Schneider argues for a new way to ensure accountability for publicly funded research. It has become clear that scientific dishonesty is rarely sanctioned.  In the worst case scenario, manipulated or […]The post What if universities had to agree to refund grants whenever there was a retraction? […]
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2:30 PM | Franken-paper from U.S. federal contractor heads to the grave
Hindawi journal PPAR Research has pulled a cancer immunology paper after discovering it contained almost no new information. Instead, it was a Frankenstein-style stitch job, containing sentences ripped from 33 different papers. 18 of those ended up in the citations; for 15 more, the authors didn’t even do them that courtesy. You can see a meticulously color-coded call […]The post Franken-paper from U.S. federal contractor heads to the grave appeared first on Retraction Watch.

January 18, 2015

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2:30 PM | Oklahoma postdoc admits to faking data in grant application, submitted paper
A postdoc at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation faked data in a submitted paper and in a grant application, according to a new report from the Office of Research Integrity. Bin Kang admitted to the misconduct, in which he knowingly falsified and/or fabricated Western blot gel images by duplication, reuse and relabeling, and/or alteration through […]The post Oklahoma postdoc admits to faking data in grant application, submitted paper appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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8:30 AM | Why causality now?
Head hits cause brain damage, but not always. Should we ban sport to protect athletes? Exposure to electromagnetic fields is strongly associated with cancer development. Should we ban mobile phones and encourage old-fashioned wired communication? The sciences are getting more and more specialized and it is difficult to judge whether, say, we should trust homeopathy, fund a mission to Mars, or install solar panels on our roofs. The post Why causality now? appeared first on […]

January 17, 2015

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2:30 PM | Weekend reads: Vaccine research fraudster to plead guilty; nonsense authors publish another paper
This week at Retraction Watch witnessed the fall of a “golden boy” and a “NASA Patriot Boy.” Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Dong-Pyou Han, the former Iowa State University vaccine researcher who confessed to faking his results, has signed a plea bargain with Federal prosecutors. Oh good, I.P. Freely, Hugh Jazz, and Amanda Huginkiss have […]The post Weekend reads: Vaccine research fraudster to plead guilty; nonsense authors publish another paper appeared […]

January 16, 2015

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4:00 PM | Heaven still waiting: Publisher pulls book after boy recants on visit to heaven
Tyndale House says it will be recalling copies of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven after the boy in question, Alex Malarkey (yes, that’s really his name), said he didn’t make the trip after all. Malarkey made the claim after having been injured in a car accident when he was 6. The book became […]The post Heaven still waiting: Publisher pulls book after boy recants on visit to heaven appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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2:30 PM | Fat cell paper earns unusually detailed retraction
A pair of cell biologists have taken responsibility for extensive figure errors that scuttled their paper in the Journal of Cell Biology. While there were five authors, first and last authors Eva Szabo and Michal Opas took responsibility in the notice. A number of figures “contain incorrect data and/or presentation errors,” and the original data isn’t available […]The post Fat cell paper earns unusually detailed retraction appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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7:39 AM | Anteprima recensione: Annhilator e il buco nero di Fraser Irving
Questa volta estraggo, ma non come screenshot, una parte della recensione di "Annihilator", ultimo fumetto di Grant Morrison che sta arrivando in Italia a ridosso dell'edizione originaleI conigli sono degli animali estremamente prolifici, quasi leggendari nel loro tasso di riproduzione, tanto che Leonardo Fibonacci proprio grazie a questi simpatici roditori scoprì la serie che oggi porta il suo nome: 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 e così via, e dove ogni numero è la somma dei due precedenti.È però […]

January 15, 2015

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4:30 PM | Geothermal paper undermined by borrowing data without citing
An international group of engineers lost a paper in November after the journal realized the majority of the data came from a government assessment of Australia’s energy resources without a citation. The paper, published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, focused on geothermal energy, while the government report was far broader in scope. However, the lack of independent […]The post Geothermal paper undermined by borrowing data without citing appeared first on Retraction […]
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