An important aspect of the academic publishing process is the facility to retract papers at a later date if the work turns out to have serious errors or -- in rare cases -- to be fraudulent. For many years, the site Retraction Watch has played an important role in keeping track of when papers are retracted -- and why. But even with that long experience, its writers were surprised by the following case:
It's not unusual for us to hear allegations that journals have caved to corporate demands that they retract papers. And companies have certainly objected to the publication of results that painted their products in an unflattering light.
But what we've never explicitly seen is a retraction notice that comes right out and says that they only reason a paper is being removed from the literature is that a company complained. That's the jaw-dropping case with "Visual defects among consumers of processed cassava (gari)," a paper published earlier this year in the African Journal of Food Sciences
Here's why the retraction was made:
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