Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

A correction for Luk van Parijs and colleagues for a “clerical error”

with 2 comments

Luk van Parijs, a former associate professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who was fired in 2005 after confessing to data fabrication and sentenced last year to six months of house arrest, can add another correction to his list of several retractions and errata.

Here’s the notice for “Interferon γ is required for activation-induced death of T lymphocytes,” from the Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM):

As a result of a clerical error, the isotype control histograms were identical for the three treatments shown in Fig. 1 H of this article. Fig. 1, with the corrected controls in panel H, is shown below. The authors regret any confusion that this error may have caused.

The 2002 paper has been cited 234 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

We’ve contacted JEM publisher Rockefeller University Press as well as the corresponding author of the paper for more details, and will update with anything we learn.

Most of van Parijs’ retractions have been in Immunity, but he has had one other in the JEM.

Update, 12:15 p.m. Eastern, 5/1/12: Rockefeller University Press tells us:

A reader of the JEM alerted the editorial office to the duplication, and the editors contacted the authors.

Hat tip: Ari W

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 1st, 2012 at 9:47 am

  • Gareth July 31, 2012 at 5:53 am

    This “correction” is not good enough. The paper should have been retracted as has been the case with other journals who published papers with obviously doctored figures. The explanation given that this was a “clerical error” simply does not hold water. I’m very surprised at J Ex Meds stance, this was originally pointed out to them many years ago and their tardiness in doing anything about it, coupled with the refusal to retract it reflects poorly on what was a prestigious journal.

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