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Posts

May 23, 2015

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1:48 PM | Weekend reads: Gay canvassing study redux; editors fired; how the world’s biggest faker was caught
This week at Retraction Watch was dominated by the Science same-sex marriage study, after we broke the news Wednesday morning that one of its authors had requested its retraction. (And crashed our servers in the process.) So the first section of this Weekend Reads will focus on pieces following up on that story: The New […] The post Weekend reads: Gay canvassing study redux; editors fired; how the world’s biggest faker was caught appeared first on Retraction Watch.

May 22, 2015

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3:30 PM | Chip slip: Irreproducibility erases computer memory paper
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have retracted a paper in Nanoscale about an experimental computer chip after they were unable to recreate their published results. “We retract this article to avoid misleading readers and intend to undertake further tests to confirm our previous results,” they write in the notice. The scientists are working […] The post Chip slip: Irreproducibility erases computer memory paper appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | “The first author assumes all responsibility:” Malaria vaccine article retracted for image manipulation
Authors of a 2012 article in Infection and Immunity investigating a malaria vaccine strategy are retracting it because it “contains several images that do not accurately reflect the experimental data.” The paper, “Fine Specificity of Plasmodium vivax Duffy Binding Protein Binding Engagement of the Duffy Antigen on Human Erythrocytes,” has been cited 9 times, according to Thomson […] The post “The first author assumes all responsibility:” Malaria vaccine article […]

May 21, 2015

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3:30 PM | What should an ideal retraction notice look like?
Have you seen our “unhelpful retraction notices” category, a motley collection of vague, misleading, and even information-free entries? We’d like to make it obsolete, and we need our readers’ help. Here’s what we mean: Next month, Ivan will be traveling to Rio to take part in the World Conference on Research Integrity. One of his […]
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1:30 PM | JAMA vitamin-hip fracture study earns Expression of Concern for integrity issues
JAMA has issued an Expression of Concern about a 2005 study of whether two different types of vitamin B could prevent broken hips in people who’d suffered strokes. The original study concluded: In this Japanese population with a high baseline fracture risk, combined treatment with folate and vitamin B12 is safe and effective in reducing the […]

May 20, 2015

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3:30 PM | The “worst moment of my scientific career:” Two bird migration articles brought down by analytical error
Evolutionary and conservation biologists in Spain are retracting two articles – one from the Journal of Avian Biology and the other from Ardeola – because they discovered a fatal flaw in their analysis. The Journal of Avian Biology article, “Are European birds leaving traditional wintering grounds in the Mediterranean?” aimed to determine whether the abundance of […] The post The “worst moment of my scientific career:” Two bird migration articles brought down by […]
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11:09 AM | Author retracts study of changing minds on same-sex marriage after colleague admits data were faked
In what can only be described as a remarkable and swift series of events, one of the authors of a much-ballyhooed Science paper claiming that short conversations could change people’s minds on same-sex marriage is retracting it following revelations that the data were faked by his co-author. Donald Green, of Columbia, and Michael LaCour, a […] The post Author retracts study of changing minds on same-sex marriage after colleague admits data were faked appeared first on Retraction […]

May 19, 2015

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2:52 PM | “Super-surgeon” Macchiarini guilty of misconduct, external review finds
Paolo Macchiarini, the celebrated surgeon whose work has come under scrutiny in Italy and at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, committed misconduct in six papers, according to an external reviewer. Macchiarini is best known for creating tracheas from cadavers and patients’ own stem cells. The findings of the external review, first reported yesterday by SvD Nyheter, […] The post “Super-surgeon” Macchiarini guilty of misconduct, external review finds appeared first on […]
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1:30 PM | Highly cited paper on women and heart disease retracted for failure to replicate
A highly cited study examining the risks of heart disease in post-menopausal women with symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been retracted by its authors because they could not replicate the results. Here’s the retraction notice for the paper, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism: The article “Post-menopausal Women With […] The post Highly cited paper on women and heart disease retracted for failure to replicate appeared first on […]

May 18, 2015

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3:30 PM | ORI-sanctioned former UT-Southwestern cancer researchers up to 10 retractions
There’s been a 10th retraction from two former postdocs at a UT-Southwestern cancer research center who were sanctioned by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) last September, in part due to observations and comments from Retraction Watch readers. It’s a 2008 Cancer Letters paper, “Methylation of apoptosis related genes in the pathogenesis and prognosis of […] The post ORI-sanctioned former UT-Southwestern cancer researchers up to 10 retractions appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Improper citation, PubPeer comment snowballs into double retraction in phys chem journal
ChemPhysChem is retracting a pair of articles by a group of researchers in China and their colleagues who pieced together the work from two previously published articles. The papers appeared in 2012 and 2015, and were flagged by a reader whose own work had been improperly cited, according to the editor of the journal. The 2012 […] The post Improper citation, PubPeer comment snowballs into double retraction in phys chem journal appeared first on Retraction Watch.

May 16, 2015

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2:50 PM | Weekend reads: Turning journal spam into a paper; embracing science’s flaws; ending bias
This week at Retraction Watch featured the retraction of a Cell paper by Harvard researchers and the retraction of a JCI study by NIH scientists. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: A researcher received more than 1,000 spam emails from journals in just over a year, so he and two colleagues decided to study them. “Science is […] The post Weekend reads: Turning journal spam into a paper; embracing science’s flaws; ending bias appeared first on Retraction Watch.

May 15, 2015

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3:30 PM | Duplication snuffs out pollen abstract
A Canadian research team has retracted a meeting abstract “published in error” from a supplement by Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, as it had previously been published in another journal. The December 2014 abstract, “A post-hoc qualitative analysis of real time heads-up pollen counting versus traditional microscopy counting in the environmental exposure unit (EEU),” describes […] The post Duplication snuffs out pollen abstract appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | Retraction-plagued management researcher hit with expression of concern
The editor-in-chief of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes has issued an Expression of Concern about a 2011 paper that explores the link between ethical leadership and employee performance. The paper, “Linking ethical leadership to employee performance: The roles of leader–member exchange, self-efficacy, and organizational identification,” is one of seven that were flagged in a […] The post Retraction-plagued management researcher hit with expression of […]

May 14, 2015

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7:15 PM | Harvard biofilm paper in Cell breaks down after challenged findings can’t be repeated
Researchers at Harvard have retracted a Cell paper on biofilm disassembly after they repeated the experiment—following contradictory results from another team—and the new results “can no longer support” the original conclusions. The 2012 paper, “A Self-Produced Trigger for Biofilm Disassembly that Targets Exopolysaccharide,” describes a factor called norspermidine, produced by the bacteria Bacillus subtilis, that appeared to break […] The post Harvard biofilm paper in Cell […]
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3:30 PM | “[W]e can learn from these bad actors:” Trail of retractions follows former Vanderbilt researcher’s fraud
Authors have retracted three papers from the Journal of Physiology because they contained “falsified or fabricated data.” The papers, which address calcium signaling in heart muscle cells, are among the six pegged for retraction after an Office of Research Integrity (ORI) investigation into one of the authors, Igor Dzhura, formerly of Vanderbilt University. The ORI […] The post “[W]e can learn from these bad actors:” Trail of retractions follows former Vanderbilt […]
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1:30 PM | Clinical trial of Achilles tendon therapy retracted for not actually being a clinical trial
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery has retracted a 2012 paper because of ethical violations, initially flagged by the journal in 2013. The study, which examined the use of autologous cell therapy in treating Achilles tendinosis, claimed in its abstract to have “conducted a randomized, double-blind study on forty Achilles tendons in thirty-two patients.” […] The post Clinical trial of Achilles tendon therapy retracted for not actually being a clinical trial appeared first on […]

May 13, 2015

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3:30 PM | Déjà vu: JBC epigenetics paper is retracted, then largely re-published with fewer authors
A group of authors have withdrawn a 2011 Journal of Biological Chemistry paper, but then appear to have re-published almost the same paper a month later, only this time with just five of the original nine authors. The paper, “HDAC3-dependent reversible lysine acetylation of cardiac myosin heavy chain isoforms modulates their enzymatic and motor activity,” […] The post Déjà vu: JBC epigenetics paper is retracted, then largely re-published with fewer authors appeared first on […]
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1:30 PM | Third retraction for GWU biologist as university seeks to dismiss his $8 million lawsuit
Cancer biologist Rakesh Kumar has chalked up another retraction, this time for “identical,” “duplicated,” and “replicated” figures and images. It comes on the heels of a flurry of motions in Kumar’s $8 million lawsuit against his employer, George Washington University, for breach of contract and emotional distress because it removed him as department chair last year and […] The post Third retraction for GWU biologist as university seeks to dismiss his $8 million […]

May 12, 2015

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3:30 PM | Dude, whose gene is that? Genetics paper retracted for lack of permission
Plant Biotechnology Reports is retracting a 2009 paper by a group of researchers in South Korea because the authors submitted the article “without the permission” of the owner of a gene used in the study. The paper abstract is no longer online, though the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) recommends that retraction notices be linked to the […] The post Dude, whose gene is that? Genetics paper retracted for lack of permission appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | PNAS paper on dengue virus pulled due to contamination
The authors of a paper on dengue virus vaccine design published last year in PNAS are retracting it after discovering that their experimental dengue virus was contaminated. Although they are confident that the strategy is sound, the authors write in their commendably detailed retraction notice that the “inadvertent error” rendered the results “uninterpretable.” Here’s the […] The post PNAS paper on dengue virus pulled due to contamination appeared first on Retraction Watch.

May 11, 2015

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3:30 PM | Double-dipping equals double retraction for fracking paper
Transport in Porous Media and the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering have retracted two articles on shale gas by Chinese researchers for duplication and other “mistakes.” The articles came from a group at the State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation at Southwest Petroleum University, in Chengdu. The articles share […] The post Double-dipping equals double retraction for fracking paper appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | NIH cancer paper retracted for faked data
Following an investigation into research misconduct, the Journal of Clinical Investigation has retracted a cancer genetics paper from a laboratory at the National Institutes of Health due to “data falsification and fabrication” of four figures and a table in the paper. The paper, “FOXO3 programs tumor-associated DCs to become tolerogenic in human and murine prostate […] The post NIH cancer paper retracted for faked data appeared first on Retraction Watch.

May 09, 2015

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1:30 PM | Weekend reads: Should retirement-age scientists make way?; no pay-for-fast-track peer review
The week at Retraction Watch featured lots of news about exercise. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Should scientists of retirement age stay at the bench, or make way for the next generation? Megan Scudellari — whose byline we’re happy to have here at Retraction Watch — looks into the issue. What did we learn from […] The post Weekend reads: Should retirement-age scientists make way?; no pay-for-fast-track peer review appeared first on Retraction Watch.

May 08, 2015

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6:34 PM | Undisclosed industry funding prompts correction of fracking paper
Environmental Science & Technology has issued a correction for a March 2015 paper on methane contamination from gas wells after learning that the authors failed to disclose funding from Chesapeake Energy Corp., a major U.S. energy producer. The paper, “Methane Concentrations in Water Wells Unrelated to Proximity to Existing Oil and Gas Wells in Northeastern […] The post Undisclosed industry funding prompts correction of fracking paper appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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3:30 PM | Lead poisoning article disappears for “legal” — but mysterious — reasons
A 2014 article in Occupational Medicine has been pulled with no retraction notice. Instead, the text was replaced with eight ominous words: This article has been removed for legal reasons The title of the paper appears to have been scrubbed from the journal’s table of contents, but in PubMed it is indexed with the title […] The post Lead poisoning article disappears for “legal” — but mysterious — reasons appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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1:30 PM | CrossFit gym owner sues Ohio State, says fraudulent data led to $273 million in NIH grants
In an lawsuit unsealed yesterday, the owner of a CrossFit gym is suing Ohio State University (OSU) under the False Claims Act, claiming that researchers faked data in a university-based study involving his gym — and that OSU used the study to win $273 million in Federal grants. The suit, originally filed in February in […] The post CrossFit gym owner sues Ohio State, says fraudulent data led to $273 million in NIH grants appeared first on Retraction Watch.
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10:56 AM | I rompicapi di Alice: I problemi della teoria dei numeri
ispirato da @Popinga1 @DarioBressanini @maddmaths et al! La teoria dei numeri è piuttosto problematica. Forse è il caso di chiedere un colloquio con i genitori.Uno degli ultimi problemi matematici virali, il compleanno di Ceryl, è, in effetti, un problema di logica, ma, come spero i lettori sappiano, è solo uno dei molti che sono giunti all'attenzione del pubblico. La storia della matematica ricreativa è infatti piena di molti di questi problemi e in apertura vorrei segnalarvi quello dei […]

May 07, 2015

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3:30 PM | Highly cited cancer researcher pulls review for “similar text and illustrations”
The author of a 2006 review article published in Abdominal Imaging has retracted it because it hews too closely to previously published articles. The review described the latest imaging techniques used in cancer, focusing on genitourinary conditions. Here’s the full text of the retraction notice for “New Horizons in Genitourinary Oncologic Imaging”: This review article […] The post Highly cited cancer researcher pulls review for “similar text and illustrations” […]
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1:30 PM | Drunk rats paper wasted by “significant statistical errors”, among other issues
Authors from Xinxiang Medical University in Weihui, China, are retracting a 2014 paper in Molecular Biology Reports because… well, because lots of things. The researchers exposed nine rats to acute levels of alcohol then compared them to unexposed mice, noting differences in gene expression and molecular pathways. But no one is toasting these findings anymore. […] The post Drunk rats paper wasted by “significant statistical errors”, among other issues appeared first on […]
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