New retractions of diabetes, cardiovascular papers from Japan involve repeat use of figures
The authors, led by Yoshiyuki Hattori, of Dokkyo University School of Medicine in Mibu (
whose motto, by the way, is “where character is developed through learning” a reader points out that we had the wrong Dokkyo initially), published the same figure twice, and in the same year, in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.
Here’s a retraction notice from the JCP:
The editors of the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta have discovered duplication of data in two manuscripts: “Disruption of the actin cytoskeleton up-regulates iNOS expression in vascular smooth muscle cells” (J. Cardiovasc. Pharmacol., 43 (2004) 209–213) and “Statin blocks Rho/Rho-kinase signaling and disrupts the actin cytoskeleton: relationship to enhancement of LPS-mediated nitric oxide synthesis in vascular smooth muscle cells” (Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1689 (2004) 267–272, doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2004.04.006). We have requested an explanation from the authors, and an acceptable response has not been received. In the interests of scientific integrity, the editors of both journals have elected to retract both articles.
That paper was cited 7 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
We also found two more retraction notices for Hattori. One appeared May 17 in the online edition of Diabetologia, a Springer journal (the link seems to be broken), for the 2005 paper “Angiotensin-II-induced oxidative stress elicits hypoadiponectinaemia in rats,” cited 65 times:
This article has been retracted by the Editor-in-Chief of Diabetologia following the discovery of redundant publication (parts of figure 3 were previously published in Metabolism; doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2004.10.017).
The Metabolism paper, cited 20 times since it was published in April 2005, has also been retracted:
The editor would like to confirm the retraction of this paper at the request of the corresponding author. This article contains material that has appeared in Diabetologia, 48 (2005) 1066–1074.
We reached Dennis Vance, editor of BBA, who told us that a reader alerted him and his counterpart at JCP, Michael Rosen, to a potential problem back in early February of this year. Specifically, the issue involved the appearance of figure 5 from the BBA article as figure 3 in the JCP paper, but with a different legend.
Hattori’s group initially replied to requests for explanation, Vance said, but then stopped. The editors tried to be sensitive, given the intervention of geologic events.
At that time we were a little bit concerned about the earthquake; they had other things troubling them.
But eventually they realized that an explanation — at least, a plausible one — wouldn’t be forthcoming and decided to pull the papers.
I don’t understand why people do this. There’s lots of pressure on researchers these days, but still, there’s no excuse.
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