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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Former MD Anderson researcher objects to retraction of his paper

A cell biology journal has retracted a 2016 paper after an investigation revealed that the corresponding author failed to include two co-authors and acknowledge the funding source. According to the retraction notice, the Journal of Cellular Physiology retracted the paper after the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center found that last author Jin Wang […]

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Hey, that’s my case study: Another retraction after doctors claim rights to case write-up

A group of researchers have retracted their 2016 case report about a rare dermatologic disorder in the wake of disputes about authorship and institutional approval. The paper describes a young boy with Job’s Syndrome, in which patients experience painful, itchy and frequently disfiguring skin lesions, along with a constellation of other possible symptoms. The condition […]

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After 35 years, philosophy journal corrects article…by a cat

In 1982, Bruce Le Catt wrote a response to a paper in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy critiquing an earlier article about prosthetic vision. But Le Catt was no ordinary author. No, he was a cat, the beloved pet of David Lewis, a world-class philosopher who just happened to be the author of the article […]

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Fake peer review, forged authors, fake funding: Everything’s wrong with brain cancer paper

The paper had everything: Fake peer review, forged authors, even a fake funder. In other words, it had nothing. A 2015 paper is the latest retraction stemming from an investigation into fake peer review by Springer, which has now netted more than a hundred papers. According to a spokesperson at Springer: Dr. Chengjun Yao and […]

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Unintended consequences: How authorship guidelines destroyed a relationship

It started as a simple email exchange over authorship. But it angered one researcher so much that it ended a 20-year collaboration. In January 2017, a chemist based in Mexico had finished writing a paper describing the structure of a molecule. Sylvain Bernès, at the Instituto de Física Luis Rivera Terrazas, asked his co-author—the head […]

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Journal retracts two papers by authors who lifted others’ data

A journal has retracted two 2014 papers after the editors discovered the authors used data from other research groups without permission. The papers, both published in the same issue of Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics and retracted in May, suffered from similar issues—the authors published data that was not theirs. The authors are all based at […]

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Springer purge of fake reviews takes down 10+ more neuroscience papers

Back in April, Springer retracted a record number 107 papers from Tumor Biology after uncovering evidence they were subject to fake peer reviews. But it appears that the Tumor Biology sweep was only part of the story. During the Tumor Biology investigation, Springer found evidence that the “peer review process was compromised” in a dozen papers […]

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When a tractor stabs a man in the eye, who gets to write up the case report?

A journal has retracted a paper after the university notified the editors that the authors presented the gruesome details of a patient who they didn’t directly treat. But the paper’s corresponding author disputes that claim, arguing that the first author — a radiologist, who has since passed away, provided a crucial diagnosis in this case. We’ve tried […]

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Author of retracted gene editing paper alleges “bullying” by former PI

In the fall of 2015, out-of-work stem cell biologist Mavi Camarasa decided she had waited long enough. It had been three years since she and a colleague were, best they could tell, the first to successfully correct the most common cystic fibrosis mutation in stem cells derived from a patient. But her former lab director, […]

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