In an email to the JOEM editorial board

In an email to the JOEM editorial board

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The following email was sent by JOEM editor Paul Brandt-Rauf to the members of the Journal's Editorial Board via Managing editor Marjory Spraycar.

From: Paul Brandt-Rauf
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 1:58 PM
To: 'JOEM'
Subject: retraction

Dear JOEM Editorial Board Members:

I am writing to inform you that I have reached a final decision about the Zhang and Li article, namely that retraction is necessary. There is one last point of relevant information that has come to light. It turns out that although the corresponding author is dead, his co-author is still alive. I have been able to contact her and inform her of the situation, and she has agreed to retraction of the article. I know that most of you had been in agreement with this decision already, but for those of you who had favored another option, I hope that the co-author's agreement in this matter makes my decision somewhat easier to accept. I have attached the statement of Notice of Retraction that I intend to publish ASAP. According to the consensus of my legal advice, the statement has been carefully worded and kept to the barest minimum of the facts. I thank you all for your thoughtful insights into this most difficult and unfortunate situation.


The following is the notice of retraction:


It has been brought to our attention that an article published in JOEM in the April, 1997 issue by Zhang and Li1 failed to meet the journal's published editorial policy in effect at that time. Specifically, financial and intellectual input to the paper by outside parties was not disclosed. Although it is impossible to know what the impact of such disclosure would have been, it is possible that full knowledge of the circumstances may have altered the review process or the subsequent interpretation of the study by readers. Therefore, after thorough investigation, consultation with outside experts and consideration by the Editorial Board, I have decided that retraction is necessary. It should be understood that there is no evidence to suggest the existence of scientific fraud in this work and that the factual content of the article has not been re-evaluated. This decision is based solely on the violation of the journal's policy regarding disclosure.

The corresponding author of this article (Dr. Zhang) has since died. However, the co-author (Dr. Li) has been informed of this decision and has agreed to the retraction of the article. We will also make appropriate notification to the National Library of Medicine regarding future citation of this paper.

Paul Brandt-Rauf, M.D., Sc.D., Dr.P.H.

1 Zhang J, Li S. Cancer mortality in a Chinese population exposed to hexavalent chromium in water. JOEM 1997;39:315-319.


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