Earlier this week we reported on the latest retraction of an article by Naoki Mori, number 21 in a series. We could have waited a few days and saved ourselves some trouble.
The journal Leukemia Research has retracted a 2006 paper by Mori, titled “Curcumin suppresses constitutive activation of AP-1 by downregulation of JunD protein in HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines.” From the notice, which is behind a paywall:
The article has been retracted at the request of the Editors-in-
Chief as figures have been duplicated in three other manuscripts
published in other journals: Int J Cancer 2008;123(December
(11)):2702–12 (see Fig. 5a); Retrovirology 2006;3(April):22 (see
Fig. 1A) and Int J Cancer 2006; 118(February (3)):765–72 (see Fig.
One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication
is that authors declare explicitly that their work is original and
has not or will not appear(ed) in a publication elsewhere. As such
this article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system.
Although other notices have implicated Mori alone, this one does not. The reason, we suspect, is the presence of first author Mariko Tomita, who also admitted to recycling figures on at least one other paper she wrote with him, a 2006 article in Retrovirology — which, readers will notice, is the same article cited in the latest retraction notice, making the duplications second-generation (and maybe more) reuse.
The paper has been cited 29 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Is this, retraction number 22, the end of the Mori retractions? Perhaps. Would we bet on it? Not so much.
We admit it has been tempting to spin off a blog called Mori Watch, with the laser-like focus of El Naschie Watch, but we’re sticking to Retraction Watch for now.