Article retracted after critics say it has “racist ideological underpinnings”

A psychology journal has retracted a controversial article about mental ability in South African women after a petition calling on the publication to withdraw the paper generated more than 5,000 signatures.   The paper, “Age- and education-related effects on cognitive functioning in Colored South African women,” was published in Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition in March. … Continue reading Article retracted after critics say it has “racist ideological underpinnings”

Journal flags paper over allegations it used competitors’ text, plasmids

A journal has issued an expression of concern (EOC) for a paper on a common crop virus after the authors were accused of using competitors’ unpublished text and plasmids. Investigations by the journal and the involved institutions — the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, where the paper’s authors are based, and North Carolina State […]

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Authors retract abstract following misconduct by diabetes biotech

Earlier this year, authors retracted a meeting abstract about a diabetes drug, following the revelation that the biotech that funded the trial committed misconduct. The retraction was initiated by corresponding author Itamar Raz, at Hadassah Medical Center in Israel. The journal didn’t receive a response from any co-authors who were affiliated with the biotech company, Andromeda, so […]

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Author Interview: Justin Adams on a New Digital Fossil Archive (Part 2)

baboon-495x320False-color image of the fossil baboon Papio angusticeps, from Adams et al. 2015. CC-BY. Yesterday, we started an interview with Justin Adams, senior author on a recent PLOS ONE paper discussing a newly available set of 3D

Entrepreneur ranking retracted for not being “inclusive enough”

This is a first for us — a publication that covers start-ups in South Africa has retracted a list of 13 rising tech entrepreneurs for not being “inclusive enough.” Lists are a staple of popular media, so much so that they’ve earned their own word: listicle. But we’ve never seen one get retracted before. We weren’t […]

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Defamation concerns prompt theology journal to pull paper

The editor-in-chief of a theology journal has retracted a paper on South African Christian groups because of “unsubstantiated statements with potential defamation of character.” The article, published in 2007 in HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, discusses “demanding Christian religious movements” where the group “isolates itself from the outside world,” and leaders influence their followers to “commit to […]

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All about the fossilized bones of (maybe) Homo naledi

SIX WOMEN UNEARTHED A NEW HUMAN SPECIES As you know, most fields of science, especially the ones best beloved by media, are dominated by white guys. Paleoanthropology, for example. Unless you are pretty familiar with human paleontology, Meave Leakey is … Continue reading »

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Paper cited by New York Times for key stat gets retracted

A paper that had served as the key aspect of an April New York Times article about a recent surge of violence against immigrants in South Africa has since been retracted for plagiarism. The research, which appeared in the Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, had served as the source of the newspaper’s statement that the country is “home to […]

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Misidentified genetic sequence causes retraction of pathogen paper one month after publication

The author of an article mapping the genome of an infectious bacterium is pulling the paper because — well, it wasn’t the bacterium she thought it was. Study author Celia Abolnik is retracting her paper in Genome Announcements because it didn’t actually map out the DNA of Mycoplasma meleagridis, a bacterium that typically infects turkeys but has recently been found in chickens. […]

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Widely covered editorial extolling importance of diet over exercise “temporarily removed”

The British Journal of Sports Medicine has “temporarily removed” an editorial arguing that physical activity alone will not cure the obesity epidemic, following an expression of concern. In its place stands the following message: This paper has been temporarily removed following an expression of concern. First author Assem Malhotra, based at the Department of Cardiology, […]

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