Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases (that’s one title) has retracted a 2011 paper, “Comparative proteomics reveals deficiency of NHE-1 (Slc9a1) in RBCs from the beta-adducin knockout mouse model of hemolytic anemia,” after learning from a reader that the data it contained were previously published by a competing publication.
As the notice explains:
This article has been retracted at the request of the editor as the data in the paper are largely duplicated in a paper entitled “Comparative proteomics reveals deficiency of SLC9A1 (sodium/hydrogen exchanger NHE1) in β-adducin null red cells” that had been accepted for publication at the time it was submitted to this journal and, subsequently, was published in Br. J. Haematol., 154 (2011) 492–501, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08612.x. One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that the data in the paper is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. The republication of the same data in two journals is inappropriate and further burdens the scientific community, given the already vast amount of original material with which it is confronted.
We’re not sure we’ve seen the “give the readers a break” motif before — and we suspect the scientific community in this case is meant to be read as “editors, reviewers and publishers” — but it’s certainly appropriate.
We emailed the first author, Diane Gilligan, of Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, for comment and will update this post if we hear from her. Meanwhile, we spoke with Marshall Lichtman, editor of BCMD, who told us that he’s satisfied that the duplication stemmed from “naivete” rather than misconduct.
I think this was innocent … One of the members of our editorial board was at a meeting where [Gilligan] presented this paper and suggested that she should consider publishing it [in BCMD]. When she submitted the paper she did indicate that the figures and tables had been published elsewhere. There was an indication of that in the paper when it was submitted. We didn’t fully appreciate the degree to which it was duplicated; the reviewers didn’t fully appreciate that. I think [Gilligan] just didn’t understand this was improper.
Hat tip: Clare Francis