October 21, 2014

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?” […]
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proceedings paper that attempted to debunk ocean warming due to climate change using tin foil and cling wrap has been retracted by the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) Press.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 […]
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

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 […]
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 […]
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

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

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 […]
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 […]
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

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 […]
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

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 […]
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

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 […]
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

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 […]
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

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

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 […]
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

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 […]
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, […]
1:30 PM | Yet another study of widely touted cancer “cure” retracted
A third study of GcMAF, a protein being used to treat a variety of conditions from AIDS to autism to cancer, all without the blessing of health agencies, has been retracted. Here’s the notice in Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy for “Immunotherapy of metastatic colorectal cancer with vitamin D-binding protein-derived macrophage-activating factor, GcMAF:” This article has been retracted […]

October 09, 2014

3:00 PM | Should papers be retracted if one of the authors is a total asshole?
When science writer Vito Tartamella noticed a physics paper co-authored by Stronzo Bestiale (which means “total asshole” in Italian) he did what anyone who’s written a book on surnames would do: He looked it up in the phonebook. What he found was a lot more complicated than a funny name. It turns out Stronzo Bestiale doesn’t […]
1:30 PM | U. Illinois chancellor earns mega-correction for duplicate publication
Phyllis Wise, the chancellor of the University of Illinois and an obstetrics researcher, has called for a massive correction of a 2006 paper in Neuroscience for work she appears to have tried to pass off as having been previously unpublished — but which wasn’t. The article, “Estrogen therapy: Does it help or hurt the adult […]

October 08, 2014

4:30 PM | Is it better to retract a paper, or publish a letter calling the conclusions “unphysical?”
Sometimes publishers and authors decide it’s easier to retract a paper than leave it up for discussion by other scientists. That seems to be the case here: The authors of a paper in Langmuir retracted it in September for a math mistake, but not before the journal refused to publish a comment criticizing the publication. […]
2:19 PM | Diederik Stapel loses teaching post, admits he was sockpuppeting on Retraction Watch
Diederik Stapel’s reinvention as a teacher at a college in the Netherlands has proven to be short-lived. According to the NRC Handelsblad, Stapel resigned from the job at Fontys in solidarity with Anton Dautzenberg, whose contract at Fontys was terminated and with whom Stapel had co-authored a play. A performance of that play was cancelled […]

October 07, 2014

3:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: PubPeer comments prompt investigation; Memory of water returns?
Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: “Based on your posts and comments I decided that these questions need to be fully clarified and requested an independent investigation according to the rules of our university, which will review all primary raw data,” writes one of the authors of a paper featured last week in PubPeer Selections. […]
1:30 PM | Blatant plagiarism sinks paper (and earns a sabbatical!) for mathematician
You know it’s a good one when it makes it onto the Wikipedia page for “scientific misconduct.” On April 21, the International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics retracted two 2008 papers by scientist Alexander Spivak of Holon Institute of Technology in Israel. In September, the journal updated the notice to explain why: The papers both […]
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