4 April 2014

The journal Aphasiology has retracted an academic paper following advice from the University of Queensland.

The University advised the journal of concerns about the article after a formal research misconduct inquiry that resulted in UQ seeking the retraction of another article  by two former staff members, published in the European Journal of Neurology.

UQ President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said the University sought the European Journal of Neurology retraction last year, on the grounds that no primary data could be located and no evidence had been found that the study described in the article had been conducted.

UQ subsequently examined 92 papers published since 2007 by former staff members Bruce Murdoch and Caroline Barwood.

The examination did not reveal any other instances of research not supported by primary data or of research undertaken without ethics approval.

It did raise concerns about statistical methodology in the Aphasiology paper, and about the attribution of authorship of a small number of papers.

UQ provided details of those concerns to the editors of the journals to enable them to make informed decisions on what action, if any, they would take.

The Aphasiology retraction states:

The following article has been retracted from publication in the Taylor & Francis journal Aphasiology:

Barwood, C.H.S., & Murdoch B.E. Cognitive linguistic deficits in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Aphasiology, 27:1459–1471. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2013.808315. Version of Record published online 27 June 2013.

The article has been retracted with the authority of the University of Queensland and the journal Editor in Chief, Professor Chris Code, and Taylor & Francis.

The retraction is due to the findings of an investigation by the University of Queensland, which has established that: the manuscript claims to have a control group of 15, however only 7 control participants were documented and some control data were re-used to enlarge the control group. This lack of independence within control data is not acknowledged in the manuscript.

Media: Carolyn Varley (+617) 3365 1120 or 0413 601 248, c.varley@uq.edu.au.