250th COVID-19 Retraction Is for Faked Ethics Approval

Retraction Watch Staff

July 21, 2022

Researchers in Iran have lost a paper on Covid-19 infection in a two-month-old boy after the journal learned that they'd fabricated ethics approval for the article. 

It's the 250th Covid-19 retraction by our count.

"Coronavirus disease 2019 in a 2-month-old male infant: a case report from Iran" appeared in December 2020 in Clinical and Experimental Pediatrics. The senior author of the paper was Sajjad Ahmadpour, of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Diseases Research Center at Qom University of Medical Sciences.

According to the retraction notice (which doesn't appear in the expected place but can be found here):

Coronavirus disease 2019 in a 2-month-old male infant: A case report from Iran," published in Clinical and Experimental Pediatrics in December 2020, has been retracted from publication.
The authors violated the journal's publication ethics policy by falsifying IRB approval.
The ethical ID submitted by the authors is not relevant to this case report, and no valid ethical ID was subsequently provided.
Therefore, the CEP ethics committee has decided to retract this paper from the journal. We apologize to readers and assure them that we aim to thoroughly screen for ethics violations prior to publishing papers in Clinical and Experimental Pediatrics.

In an email to Retraction Watch, Ahmadpour objected to the retraction and denied that his group had fabricated IRB approval: 

We are not agree that our article be retracted. As mentioned for several times, our case report be approved by ethical commite of Qom university of Medical Sciences. This case report is a partial part of mega research related to the COVID19 risk factor in pediatrics. This article previously approved by 3 reviewrs and non of them mentioned any ethical issue for this case report. We don't fabricate IRB approval for this case report. …
For several times we said that this study had IRB approval. However, we can provide a IRB approval for this particular paper in 7 working days.

We've asked for a copy. Meanwhile, Ahmadpour said his group provided the journal evidence of IRB approval for the "megaproject" — although not this particular study — but apparently that did not impress. About that megaproject: 

We included more than 1000 COVID19 pediatrics in a mega projects. During following we noticed to this particular study. We report the study with ethical approval and also get written consent form from the family of case who reported in this article.


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