Weekend reads: #MeToo in a political science journal; 15 articles that challenged dogma in 2018; an entire editorial board resigns

Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.

The week at Retraction Watch featured a sixth retraction for a researcher cleared of misconduct; a retraction for “something that we have never seen before in any study;” and two retractions that took more than four years. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Continue reading Weekend reads: #MeToo in a political science journal; 15 articles that challenged dogma in 2018; an entire editorial board resigns

“This is something that we have never seen before in any study:” Group loses two more papers

Alexandria University, via Wikimedia

A group of rheumatology researchers in Egypt that lost a paper in 2016 for a variety of problems has lost two more.

The authors common to the two papers, Anna Abou-Raya and Suzan Abou-Raya, are based at the University of Alexandria, which did not find evidence of scientific misconduct, according to one of the retraction notices. The journal that published the two papers, The Journal of Rheumatology, however, found several other issues that led them to retract the papers.

Among them was that for one of the studies to have proceeded as described, all 125 subjects would have had to been enrolled and randomized on a single day: Continue reading “This is something that we have never seen before in any study:” Group loses two more papers

Journal flags papers about radiation exposure following Fukushima disaster

Ryugo Hayano

A physicist and a radiation health expert have had two papers about people’s exposure to radiation following the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster subject to expressions of concern.

The authors of the two papers are Makoto Miyazaki, a of the department of radiation health management at Fukushima Medical University, and Ryugo Hayano, a professor of physics emeritus at the University of Tokyo. As the Asahi Shimbun put it last week, referring to one of the two papers: Continue reading Journal flags papers about radiation exposure following Fukushima disaster

“We regret our delay:” PLOS ONE retracts two papers

PLOS ONE has retracted two papers for image problems, which we’ve learned were brought to the journal’s attention more than four years ago.

The first article came from a group of cancer researchers in China, and it turns out to have a bit more wrong than a few dodgy figures. The second also involved cancer research.

Asked about the delay, PLOS ONE told Retraction Watch: Continue reading “We regret our delay:” PLOS ONE retracts two papers

After more than a year of back and forth, an accounting journal retracts a paper on tax avoidance

A pair of business researchers in Pittsburgh has lost a controversial 2017 paper on how institutional stock holdings affect tax strategies amid concerns about the validity of the data.

The article, “Governance and taxes: evidence from regression discontinuity,” which appeared in The Accounting Review, was written by Andrew Bird and Stephen Karolyi, of Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.

According to the abstract: Continue reading After more than a year of back and forth, an accounting journal retracts a paper on tax avoidance

An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers.

Levon Khachigian

The story of Levon Khachigian’s research is a long and winding tale.

One place to start would be in October 2009, when a paper co-authored by Khachigian — whose work at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has been funded by millions of dollars in funding from the Australian government, and has led to clinical trials, although more on that later — was retracted from Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The “corresponding author published the paper without the full consent or acknowledgement of all the researchers and would like to apologize for this error,” according to that notice. Continue reading An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers.

Weekend reads: Fishy research on fishes; was “Sokal Squared” misconduct?; the misuse of metrics

Before we present this week’s Weekend Reads, a question: Do you enjoy our weekly roundup? If so, we could really use your help. Would you consider a tax-deductible donation to support Weekend Reads, and our daily work? Thanks in advance.

The week at Retraction Watch featured a criminology professor who has had four papers retracted for plagiarism; a paper on fake news retracted for an error; and plagiarism in abstracts submitted to…a research integrity conference. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

Continue reading Weekend reads: Fishy research on fishes; was “Sokal Squared” misconduct?; the misuse of metrics

Group issues model retraction over antibody error

The authors of a 2013 paper on antibody production in patients with rheumatoid arthritis have retracted the work in what looks to us like a case study in how to handle operator error.

The paper, “Monoclonal IgG antibodies generated from joint-derived B cells of RA patients have a strong bias toward citrullinated autoantigen recognition,” was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine by a group from the Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden and elsewhere, and has been cited 128 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science. The last author, Vivianne Malmström, is a specialist in cellular immunology at the KI.

Here’s an excerpt from the lengthy notice: Continue reading Group issues model retraction over antibody error

OSU cancer researcher who has faced misconduct allegations sues to regain lost department chairmanship

Carlo Croce

Carlo Croce, the embattled cancer researcher at The Ohio State University (OSU), is suing the institution to reclaim the department chair he lost late last year for reasons that he says are unclear.

In a filing with the Franklin County civil court, Croce and his attorneys, from the Columbus firm of James E. Arnold and Associates, argue that the university failed to follow its own rules for demoting faculty members last year when it stripped Croce of his position of chair of the Department of Cancer Genetics and Biology. Croce had held the post for more than three consecutive four-year terms, starting in October 2004.

The nut of Croce’s claim centers on the alleged failure of K. Craig Kent, the university’s Dean of the College of Medicine, to consult with the college’s faculty members before demoting him in early November 2018 — a move Croce opposed. Continue reading OSU cancer researcher who has faced misconduct allegations sues to regain lost department chairmanship

Even potential participants of a research integrity conference commit plagiarism, organizers learn

One would hope that researchers submitting abstracts for a meeting on research integrity would be less likely to commit research misconduct. But if the experience of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity is any indication, that may not be the case. Here, the co-organizers of the conference — Lex Bouter, Daniel Barr, and Mai Har Sham — explain.

Recently the 430 abstracts submitted for the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) were peer reviewed. After an alarming report of apparent plagiarism from one of the 30 reviewers, text similarity checking was conducted on all the abstracts received using Turnitin. This identified 12 suspected cases of plagiarism and 18 suspected cases of self-plagiarism. Abstracts with a Turnitin Similarity Index above 30% (ranging from 37% to 94%) were further assessed and labelled as potential self-plagiarism if overlapping texts had at least one author in common. Continue reading Even potential participants of a research integrity conference commit plagiarism, organizers learn