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Another Australian retraction has been added to Retraction Watch – 16 Feb 20160

Posted by Admin in on February 20, 2016

“An 8th paper has been retracted for Anna Ahimastos, a heart researcher who faked patient records.

It’s the last in a chain of retractions that were the result of an investigation by her former workplace, Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Australia. As with the others, she did not agree to the retraction.

The investigation found fabricated patients records in some papers; in other papers, such as the newly retracted 2010 study in Atherosclerosis, the original data source could not be verified. The latest retraction – “A role for plasma transforming growth factor-β and matrix metalloproteinases in aortic aneurysm surveillance in Marfan syndrome?”  – followed up on a previous clinical trial, examining how a blood pressure drug might help patients with a life-threatening genetic disorder.

16 February 2016 – 8th retraction appears for researcher who faked patient records

About Retraction Watch
We launched Retraction Watch in August 2010, and although we didn’t predict this, it’s been a struggle to even keep up with retractions as they happen. While we occasionally dip into history in our “Best Of” series, realistically we don’t want to fall even further behind. If we ever have the resources to grow the site, this will be one of our priorities.

Self Correction: What to do when you realize your publication is fatally flawed (Papers: Kerry Grens 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on February 18, 2016

“At a Keystone Symposia meeting a couple of years ago, Pamela Ronald delivered the most difficult talk of her life. She studies plant immunology at the University of California, Davis, but instead of discussing her group’s latest findings, she decided to detail its recent mistake: while performing routine validation assays, students in her lab had found that one of the lab’s bacterial strains was mislabeled. They also discovered that a protein assay they had used was not reliable. That meant that her conclusions in two papers she’d published in 2011 and 2009 about the identity of a long-sought bacterial protein recognized by the rice immune system were likely wrong.

“Never had I heard anyone give a talk like that,” she says. But she felt compelled to use the platform to let her peers know about the error. Audible gasps arose from the crowd. At one point, someone in the audience covered his face with his hands and shook his head, she recalls. “I’ll never forget it.”

Ultimately, Ronald retracted both papers, one from PLOS ONE and another from Science. As word got around about how forthcoming she was—in her talk at the conference and in alerting the journals to the problems—she began to receive pats on the back. The blog Retraction Watch applauded Ronald for “doing the right thing,” and researchers echoed the sentiment, saying it must have been a tough decision. “On the one hand I was really very flattered I got that reaction from people, but [I was] also a little bit puzzled,” Ronald says. “I never thought there was a choice.””

Tags: science publishing, retraction, publishing, literature, culture and corrections

Grens K (2015) Self Correction: What to do when you realize your publication is fatally flawed. The Scientist. 29(12) Available from: (Accessed 19 February 2016).

Pedagogical Support for Responsible Conduct of Research Training (Papers: Misti Ault Anderson 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on February 16, 2016

Abstract: The number of training programs for the responsible conduct of research (RCR) has increased substantially over the past few decades as the importance of research ethics has received greater attention. It is unclear, however, whether the proliferation of RCR training programs has improved researcher integrity or the public’s trust in science. Rather than training researchers simply to comply with regulations, we could use the opportunity to develop researchers’ ability to understand and appreciate the ethical ideals that inform the regulations in order to help them integrate ethical decision-making into their work on a regular basis. Incorporating ethical principles into research training requires a new way of teaching RCR and the development of support materials to facilitate its adoption. The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, a panel established to advise the President on bioethical issues arising from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology, developed and provides pedagogical materials based on its published reports to facilitate the integration of ethics education across the curriculum and in support of RCR and general bioethics education.

Anderson M (2016) Pedagogical Support for Responsible Conduct of Research Training. Hastings Center Report. 46(1) 18-25.
Available at: (accessed 16 February).
Publisher (Open access)


Why should ethics approval be required prior to publication of health promotion research? (Papers: Ainsley J Newson and Wendy Lipworth 2015)0

Posted by Admin in on February 8, 2016


Issue addressed:Most academic journals that publish studies involving human participants require evidence that the research has been approved by a human research ethics committee (HREC). Yet journals continue to receive submissions from authorswho have failed to obtain such approval. In this paper, we provide an ethical justification of why journals should not, in general,publish articles describing research that has no ethics approval, with particular attention to the health promotion context.

Methods:Using theoretical bioethical reasoning and drawing on a case study, we first rebut some potential criticisms of the need for research ethics approval. We then outline four positive claims to justify a presumption that research should, in most instances,be published only if it has been undertaken with HREC approval.

Results:We present four justifications for requiring ethics approval before publication: (1) HREC approval adds legitimacy to the research; (2) the process of obtaining HREC approval can improve the quality of an intervention being investigated;(3) obtaining HREC approval can help mitigate harm; and (4) obtaining HREC approval demonstrates respect for persons.

Conclusion:This paper provides a systematic and comprehensive assessment of why research ethics approval should generally be obtained before publishing in the health promotion context.So what?Journals such as theHealth Promotion Journal of Australiahave recently begun to require research ethics approvalfor publishing research. Health promotion researchers will be interested in learning the ethical justification for this change.

Newson A and Lipworth W (2015) Why should ethics approval be required prior to publication of health promotion research?. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 2015,26, 170–175. Available at: (accessed 9 February 2016)
Publisher (Open Access):