Retraction Watch

Another retraction hits high-profile food researcher under fire

It’s been a rough year for Brian Wansink. Last year, the prominent food researcher posted a blog praising a student for her productivity in his lab. But when Wansink described his methods, readers became concerned that the lab was using improper research techniques to generate more publications. Earlier this year, researchers posted an analysis of […]

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Article defending colonialism draws rebuke, journal defends choice to publish

Facing a volley of criticism for publishing an essay that called for a return to colonialism, a journal editor has defended his decision to print the article. “The Case for Colonialism,” published Sept. 8 in Third World Quarterly (TWQ), was written by Bruce Gilley, a professor of political science at Portland State University. For an […]

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Post-publication peer review in action: Science flags paper just days after publication

Science has issued an expression of concern for a widely covered materials science paper published on Friday, citing issues with the supplementary data. The paper — which caught the attention of multiple news outlets — added properties to cotton fibers in vitro, potentially enabling researchers to manufacture fabric that can fluoresce or carry magnetic properties. The […]

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Stem cell scientist appealing dismissal loses another paper

A once-prominent stem cell biologist, who recently lost both her job and a sizable grant, has lost her fifth paper. Recently, Molecular and Cellular Biology retracted a 2003 paper by Susana Gonzalez. Last February, the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Spain dismissed her from her position over allegations of misconduct. The reason: suspicions […]

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Weekend reads: Fired for fake peer review; world’s most prolific fraudster; peer reviewers behaving badly?

The week at Retraction Watch featured a post on just how much an authorship costs if you want to buy one, anger over charges to use a common research tool, and the revocation of a PhD from a once-rising star scientist. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: The author of one of the 107 studies pulled by Tumor Biology for […]

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Project to “fact check” genetic studies leads to three more retractions. And it’s just getting started.

A project to identify studies doomed by problematic reagents has triggered three more retractions, bringing the total to five. Jennifer Byrne, a scientist at the University of Sydney, who developed the the idea of double-checking the nucleic acid sequences of research materials — thereby ensuring studies were testing the gene in question — told Retraction […]

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Chem journal cautions readers about data in three papers

A chemistry journal has issued expressions of concern for three papers after a reader notified the editors of “unexplained discrepancies” in the data. According to the notices, after the editors of Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry confirmed the problems, they contacted the corresponding author on the three papers, Pradeep Kumar—who works at the Council of Scientific and Industrial […]

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Chemistry journal issues correction longer than original paper

A 2011 chemistry paper required corrections so extensive that the author published the changes as a second, longer paper. Both papers, published in the Chinese Journal of Chemistry, described the synthesis of a protein with potential therapeutic applications in cancer. But when the paper’s corresponding author Yikang Wu tried to continue the work, he discovered […]

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Two more retractions for former US prof who altered dozens of images

Two journals have retracted papers by a biologist who was recently found guilty of misconduct by his former employer, the University of Colorado Denver, bringing the total to five. The investigation report by UC Denver, which we obtained earlier this year via a public records request, had recommended one of the two newest retractions, which […]

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Authorship for sale: Some journals willing to add authors to papers they didn’t write

Got $300? Then you can be added as an author to a paper — even if you had no role in the research. That’s right — some journals are willing to add authors to papers they didn’t write, often for a fee. This realization comes from one of the many sting experiments we’ve witnessed over […]

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Pay to play: Scientists are bristling over the cost of a common research tool

A commonly used questionnaire designed to predict how well patients will stick to their drug regimen is stirring up some controversy in the publishing world. Over the last decade, the creator of the copyrighted questionnaire — public health specialist Donald Morisky of the University of California, Los Angeles — has aggressively pursued any researcher who uses […]

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Copenhagen revokes degree of controversial neuroscientist Milena Penkowa

The University of Copenhagen has stripped Milena Penkowa of her doctoral degree, after determining she had covered up problems with her research. According to a release issued today by the university, Penkowa falsified documents to allay suspicions that she had not performed some animal experiments as she’d reported. This development is the latest in a […]

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Bone researcher is up to 17 retractions

A bone researcher has lost three more papers for scientific misconduct. The new retractions bring Yoshihiro Sato’s total to 17 and put him on our Leaderboard. According to the retraction notices, Sato asked the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry to retract three of his papers “due to scientific misconduct.” In the letter, Sato—who is corresponding […]

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Fertility docs said their study didn’t need ethics review. An investigation said they were wrong.

A journal is retracting a paper on the relative merits of one fertility procedure compared to another because the study never received ethical review or approval. In the paper, “Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection versus conventional intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a randomized controlled trial,” originally published Aug. 27, 2015 in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, the authors […]

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Rowdy Roddy Pilferer: Wrestling journal takes down plagiarized paper

A journal devoted to wrestling science — we’re not sure if it’s the only one — has given the old reverse frankensteiner to a 2016 article whose authors stole much of their text from a conference presentation one of them had reviewed for the meeting. The article, “The Role of Goal Setting, Collectivism, and Task Orientation […]

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Authors withdraw study, citing “accidentally duplicated” images

Researchers in Australia have withdrawn a 2006 paper in The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), citing image duplication. In the withdrawal notice, published July 14, 2017, the authors claim that the “errors do not impact the underlying scientific findings of the article.” Although the notice does not mention an investigation, a comment on PubPeer on March […]

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The Olympics of research into scientific publishing is happening now. Follow along here.

CHICAGO — As many Retraction Watch readers may know, the Peer Review Congress happens every four years — much like the Olympics. For three days here on the shores of Lake Michigan, researchers will present findings on subjects from bias to data sharing to misconduct. Our Ivan Oransky is there, and will be tweeting, so […]

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Weekend reads: Suicide after misconduct; taxonomic vandalism; a disastrous Nature editorial

The week at Retraction Watch featured a battle over psychologists and torture, a case of misconduct at Harvard, allegations of bribery, and a lawsuit against the New York Times. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: A researcher committed scientific misconduct, under great pressure and while taking inappropriate medications, was found guilty, and agreed to a ban […]

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Carlo Croce, Ohio State researcher facing misconduct allegations, suing New York Times for defamation

Carlo Croce, a cancer researcher at The Ohio State University who has faced numerous allegations of research misconduct, has filed a lawsuit against the New York Times, claiming the newspaper defamed him in a March 8 story. Croce filed the civil suit May 10, in the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, […]

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Author who previously claimed plagiarism was a mistake earns new erratum

A biotechnology journal has corrected a 2006 paper after discovering duplication and plagiarism. This offense is the second we know of for the corresponding author, Uttam Chand Banerjee, in the same journal, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. Last year, Banerjee—who works at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Mohali, Punjab, India—had a 14-year-old review […]

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