Notice of retraction: final resolution.

Annals of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 17.81). 06/2005; 142(9):798. DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-142-9-200505030-00116
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: The scientific literature is a record of the search for truth. Publication of faked data diverts this search. The scientific community has a duty to warn people to ignore an article containing faked data and must try to prevent inadvertent citation of it. The scientific community accomplishes these tasks by publishing a retraction and linking it to the fraudulent article's citation in electronic indexes of the medical literature, such as PubMed. This mechanism is far from perfect, as shown by a case history of scientific fraud perpetrated by Eric Poehlman, PhD. His institution notified 3 journals that they had published tainted articles. Two journals failed to retract. The third journal retracted immediately, but other authors continued to cite the retracted article. Another duty of the scientific community is to verify the integrity of other articles published by the author of a fraudulent article. This task falls to the author's institution and requires coauthors to vouch for their article's integrity by convincing institutional investigators that the suspect author could not have altered the raw scientific data from their study. Two universities are currently investigating Poehlman's published research. Maintaining the integrity of the scientific literature requires governmental institutions that have the authority to investigate and punish guilty scientists and requires that research institutions investigate alleged fraud. It requires journal editors to issue a retraction when they learn that their journal has published a tainted article. It requires research institutions to accept their responsibility to investigate every article published by a scientist who has published even 1 fraudulent article. Finally, it requires authors to take pains to avoid citing retracted articles and to issue a correction when they inadvertently cite a retracted article.
    Preview · Article · May 2006 · Annals of internal medicine
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    ABSTRACT: A community of scientists arrives at the truth by independently verifying new observations. In this time-honored process, journals serve 2 principal functions: evaluative and editorial. In their evaluative function, they winnow out research that is unlikely to stand up to independent verification; this task is accomplished by peer review. In their editorial function, they try to ensure transparent (by which we mean clear, complete, and unambiguous) and objective descriptions of the research. Both the evaluative and editorial functions go largely unnoticed by the public--the former only draws public attention when a journal publishes fraudulent research. However, both play a critical role in the progress of science. This paper is about both functions. We describe the evaluative processes we use and announce a new policy to help the scientific community evaluate, and build upon, the research findings that we publish.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2007 · Annals of internal medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The relationship between physical activity levels and disease rates has become an important health-related concern in the developed world. Heart disease, certain cancers and obesity persist at epidemic rates in the US and Western Europe. Increased physical activity levels have been shown to reduce the occurrence of many chronic diseases leading to reductions in the burden on the healthcare system. Activity levels in humans are affected by many cultural and environmental factors; nevertheless, current research points to a strong biological input with potential genetic, neurological and endocrinological origins. Of unique interest, the sex hormones appear to have a very strong influence on activity levels. The current animal literature suggests that females tend to be more active than males due to biological pathways of estrogenic origin. The majority of human epidemiological and anthropological data, on the contrary, suggest women are less active than men in spite of this inherent activity-increasing mechanism. The purpose of this study is to review the current literature regarding the control of physical activity levels by the sex hormones in humans. Using the natural transitional phases of the aging endocrine system, natural periodicity of the menstrual cycle and pharmacological/hormone replacement therapy as variable experimental stages, some authors have been able to provide some information regarding the existence of an inherent activity-increasing mechanism in humans. In brief, activity levels during life stages prior to and after menopause do not significantly differ, despite the vast changes in sex hormone levels and function. Sex hormone differences throughout a regular menstrual cycle do not appear to influence activity levels in humans either; an effect that is pronounced in the female rodent. The use of hormone replacement therapies provides researchers with more systematic controls over hormone modulation in human subjects; however, this benefit comes with additional confounding variables, mostly due to disease or other states of malfunction. Despite the addition of these confounding factors, minor changes to the activity pattern have been observed in women, especially during the initial administration of the therapy. Observations are yet to be made in male subjects during replacement therapy. In general, some evidence exists suggesting that a biological mechanism extending from the sex hormones influences activity in humans. Unfortunately, despite a small number of investigative reports, the paucity of human research investigating how the sex hormones affect activity levels in humans prevents conclusive delineation of the mechanisms involved. Future research in this unique sub-field of endocrinology and exercise science utilizing more appropriate research protocols and effective techniques will provide definitive evidence of such mechanisms.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Sports Medicine