Geology paper has a rocky road, is now retracted

The authors of a 2019 paper in PLOS One on rocks in China have retracted the article for “misrepresentation of the results and data.” The article, “Impacts of rock properties on Danxia landform formation based on lithological experiments at Kongtongshan National Geopark, northwest China,” was written by a group from Sun Yat-sen University and Hainan … Continue reading Geology paper has a rocky road, is now retracted

PLOS ONE retracts perfume study when data don’t pass the sniff test

A pair of perfume researchers in England have lost a 2019 paper on what makes a scent appealing because, ahem, something about the data didn’t smell quite right.  The article was titled “Social success of perfumes,” and it appeared in July in PLOS ONE. There was a press release and a university writeup about the … Continue reading PLOS ONE retracts perfume study when data don’t pass the sniff test

Just how common is positive publication bias? Here’s one researcher who’s trying to figure that out

While the presence of publication bias – the selective publishing of positive studies – in science is well known, debate continues about how extensive such bias truly is and the best way to identify it. The most recent entrant in the debate is a paper by Robbie van Aert and co-authors, who have published a … Continue reading Just how common is positive publication bias? Here’s one researcher who’s trying to figure that out

Should a paper on mindfulness have been retracted? A co-author weighs in

Two weeks ago, we covered the retraction of a PLoS ONE paper on mindfulness following criticism — dating back to 2017 — by James Coyne. At the time, the corresponding author, Maria Hunink, of Erasmus and Harvard, had not responded to a request for comment. Hunink responded late last week, saying that she had been on … Continue reading Should a paper on mindfulness have been retracted? A co-author weighs in

Do wind turbines cause plagiarism? Energy researcher up to 20 retractions

The editors of PLoS ONE have done something that we’re betting Donald Trump will never do: Retract a statement about noisy wind turbines. The journal is pulling a 2014 article, titled “Adaptive neuro-fuzzy methodology for noise assessment of wind turbine,” after concluding that the researchers plagiarized. The corresponding author of the article is Shahaboddin Shamshirban, … Continue reading Do wind turbines cause plagiarism? Energy researcher up to 20 retractions

How one journal became a “major retraction engine”

If you think you’ve noticed more and more retractions at PLoS ONE recently, you’re not wrong. The journal retracted 53 papers last year. That’s not a record — that belongs to a journal that retracted more than 400 papers at once — nor is it that many more than the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which … Continue reading How one journal became a “major retraction engine”

Maybe combining red wine and tea doesn’t kill tumors after all

According to the internet, Bear Grylls, the TV survivalist, said he “was always brought up to have a cup of tea at halfway up a rock face.” Which sounds too cute to be true and, given Grylls’ history of, um, buffing the hard edges of reality, almost certainly isn’t. But Grylls appears to be far … Continue reading Maybe combining red wine and tea doesn’t kill tumors after all

PLOS ONE pulls highly cited mindfulness paper over undeclared ties, other concerns

PLoS ONE has retracted a meta-analysis on mindfulness after determining that the authors used dubious methodology and failed to adequately report their financial interest in the psychological treatment the article found effective. The article, “Standardised mindfulness-based interventions in healthcare: An overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of RCTs,” appeared in April 2015 and has been … Continue reading PLOS ONE pulls highly cited mindfulness paper over undeclared ties, other concerns

Author of retracted PLOS ONE paper wonders if he was punished for being honest

The stars did not align for a 2016 paper ancient astronomy in the Amazon region after the author discovered errors in his work that the journal deemed fatal to the case, although the author has objected to the retraction. And the author feels as though he was punished for being honest.  The article, “Solar-Aligned Pictographs … Continue reading Author of retracted PLOS ONE paper wonders if he was punished for being honest

“All very painful:” Two retractions to watch for, in eLife and PLOS ONE

We have news of two upcoming retractions, both following critiques on PubPeer. PLOS ONE is retracting a 2012 paper by researchers at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, “Interferon-β Induces Cellular Senescence in Cutaneous Human Papilloma Virus-Transformed Human Keratinocytes by … Continue reading “All very painful:” Two retractions to watch for, in eLife and PLOS ONE