Archive for the ‘studies about retractions’ Category
Readers of this blog — and anyone who has been following the Anil Potti saga — know that MD Anderson Cancer Center was the source of initial concerns about the reproducibility of the studies Potti, and his supervisor, Joseph Nevins, were publishing in high profile journals. So the Houston institution has a rep for dealing in issues of data quality. (We can say that with a straight face even though one MD Anderson researcher, Bharat Aggarwal, has threatened to sue us for reporting on an institutional investigation into his work, and several corrections, withdrawals, and Expressions of Concern.)
We think, therefore, that it’s worth paying attention to a new study in PLOS ONE, “A Survey on Data Reproducibility in Cancer Research Provides Insights into Our Limited Ability to Translate Findings from the Laboratory to the Clinic,” by a group of MD Anderson researchers. They found that about half of scientists at the prominent cancer hospital report being unable to reproduce data in at least one previously published study. The number approaches 60% for faculty members: Read the rest of this entry »
“Bird vocalizations” and other best-ever plagiarism excuses: A wrap-up of the 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity
What are the best excuses you’ve seen for plagiarism? James Kroll, at the National Science Foundation’s Office of Inspector General, has collected a bunch over the years (click on the image to enlarge): Read the rest of this entry »
The next several weeks are shaping up as busy ones for Retraction Watch, as we make appearances in three cities: Read the rest of this entry »
The survey, by the Dutch science magazine Eos with the help of Joeri Tijdink, of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and the Pascal Decroos Fund for Investigative Journalism, found that Read the rest of this entry »
The National Institutes of Health earlier this month notified the scientists it funds that, thanks to the sequester, many may soon face cuts in those grants as the agency tries to deal with a reduction in its $30.9 billion budget. In her March 4 letter to grantees, NIH’s Sally Rockey, deputy director for extramural research, wrote:
At this time, the Department of Health and Human Services and NIH are taking every step to mitigate the effects of these cuts, but based on our initial analysis, it is possible that your grants or cooperative agreement awards may be affected. Examples of this impact could include: not issuing continuation awards, or negotiating a reduction in the scope of your awards to meet the constraints imposed by sequestration. Additionally, plans for new grants or cooperative agreements may be re-scoped, delayed, or canceled depending on the nature of the work and the availability of resources. Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier today, we reported on the withdrawal of a paper from Research Policy, an Elsevier journal. The notice didn’t give a reason, just that the “article has been withdrawn at the request of the authors and editor.”
We’ve seen a number of such opaque withdrawals from Elsevier journals, and thought it was worth some exploration. While Elsevier’s policy here on such withdrawals is clear, as it is in other matters, we take some issue with it: Read the rest of this entry »
Given the subject of Retraction Watch, readers often email us with papers they’d like us to look into, whether for alleged image manipulation, potential plagiarism or duplication, or other issues. As we explain in question five of our FAQ, we don’t have the resources to do such investigations, unfortunately; we can’t even keep up with all of the actual retractions.
Other sites, such as Science Fraud and Abnormal Science, have tried to fill that gap, and a number of the papers those sites questioned have been retracted. But Abnormal Science is on a long hiatus, and Science Fraud was of course shuttered by legal threats last month. So with that in mind — and also because we also get emails asking the best way to report alleged misconduct — our new LabTimes column is a stepwise guide for those who have concerns about papers that they’d like to see addressed. Read the rest of this entry »
A new study in Clinical Chemistry paints an alarming picture of how often scientists deposit data that they’re supposed to — but perhaps not surprisingly, papers whose authors did submit such data scored higher on a quality scale than those whose authors didn’t deposit their data.
Ken Witwer, a pathobiologist at Hopkins, was concerned that a lot of studies involving microarray-based microRNA (miRNA) weren’t complying with Minimum Information About a Microarray Experiment (MIAME) standards supposedly required by journals. So he looked at 127 such papers published between July 2011 and April 2012 in journals including PLOS ONE, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Blood, and Clinical Chemistry, assigning each one a quality score and checking whether the authors had followed guidelines.
Regular Retraction Watch readers may have noticed that many of the people whose fraud we write about are men. Certainly, the top retraction earners — Yoshitaka Fujii, Joachim Boldt, Diederik Stapel, and Naoki Mori, to name a few — all have a Y chromosome. But that doesn’t necessarily mean our sample size is representative.
Now along comes a study of U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) reports suggesting that men are in fact overrepresented among scientists who commit fraud. In a study published online today in mBio, Ferric Fang and Arturo Casadevall — whose names will also be familiar to Retraction Watch readers for their previous work — along with Joan Bennett analyzed 228 ORI reports since 1994, and found that 149 — or 65% — were male. (The vast majority of the 228 cases — 94% — involved fraud such as falsification or fabrication, while the others presumably involved misconduct such as plagiarism.)
And it’s not just that there are more men in the life sciences. At every stage of a life science career, the percentage of males found by the ORI to have committed misconduct was higher than the percentage of male life scientists overall: Read the rest of this entry »