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German journal retracts Vietnam scholars’ asthma treatment article over ethical problems

Friday, October 17, 2014, 18:24 GMT+7

An article on asthma treatment written by a Vietnamese scholar together with his wife and released in a German journal has been withdrawn on account of ethical concerns after it was published in May last year.

SpingerPlus retracted the article, titled “Improved Treatment of Asthma by Using Natural Sources of Antioxidants,” on September 25.

It is an open-access journal run by Spinger, a Germany-based global publishing company that publishes books, e-books, and peer-reviewed journals in science, technical, and medical publishing.

“The original version of this paper is retracted because of ethical concerns: the clinical trial was not approved by an ethical board and the authors did not provide evidence that patient consent was obtained,” SpringerPlus explained on its website.

The piece was written by N.V.T., a professor at International University (IU) under the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City, and his wife T.T.H.

SpringerPlus only runs a particular scientific work containing experimental studies and research conducted on human beings if the studies are approved by an appropriate ethics committee and the research follows the guidelines of the World Medical Association, according to regulations introduced by the German journal. 

Professor T. told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that he submitted the article to the journal in late May 2013 before it was published on May 26 the same year.

Dr. Ho Thanh Phong, IU president, said the school has asked T. to write a report on the incident as well as established a council to evaluate and clarify the article’s retraction. 

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