Things that pop up in databases. Read at your own risk.

One must be wary of the basic data in databases, for typographical errors creep in. These errors lurk there, waiting to surprise the innocent scholar who seeks knowledge and perhaps truth. These errors are rife.

A prolonged technical discussion with Ivan Oransky led this evening to a stroll through a citation database. Suddenly there popped up a most startling citation:


Penis, C., Anindell, W. A., Penis, H., Eisemann, M., & van der Ende, J. von boning, L.(1986). Perceived depriving parental rearing and depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 1485, 170-175.

But… that citation turned out to be mangled — filled with typos. Here’s the real citation [you can click on the link to get to the study, if that’s your idea of a good time]:

C Perris, W A Arrindell, H Perris,M Eisemann, J van der Ende,and L von Knorring, Perceived depriving parental rearing and depression. BJP February 1986 148:170-5;

Here is a different example, one of many you can easily find if you’re of a mind to go looking: This is a portion of the lengthy list of co-authors of the study “Search for excited leptons in pp collisions at root s= 7 TeV,” published in Physics Letters B, 720, no. 4-5 (2013), p. 309 ff.:


Is “A. Delgado Penis” the real name of that co-author? The database lists an affiliation for that individual: “Ctr Invest Energet Medioambientales & Tecnol CIEM. Madrid”. Perhaps someone reading this blog item will track down the story of A. Delgado Penis, and share that story with the world.

Antonio_DelgadoUPDATE: Investigator Alan Boyle identifies the correct spelling of the scientist’s name. The individual in question is Antonio Delgado Peris, based at CIEMAT, in Madrid, Spain. Here is his photo.

BONUS (returning, inevitably, to the point at which all this began): “The case of the three retracted Penises

BONUS (completely unrelated): The case of “The Three Garridebs

Improbable Research