Jesús Lemus — the veterinary researcher whose work colleagues have had trouble verifying, including being unable to confirm the identity of one of his co-authors — has notched his ninth retraction.
It’s a clear and comprehensive notice, from the Journal of Applied Ecology, despite the bizarre nature of the case:
The following article from Journal of Applied Ecology, ‘Faecal bacteria associated with different diets of wintering red kites: influence of livestock carcass dumps in microflora alteration and pathogen acquisition’ by Guillermo Blanco, Jesús A. Lemus and Javier Grande published in Journal of Applied Ecology, 43, 990–998 (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2006.01200.x), has been retracted by agreement between Guillermo Blanco, E.J. Milner-Gulland, the Executive Editor of Journal of Applied Ecology, and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
The retraction has been agreed following doubts raised by an investigation carried out by the Ethics Committee of the Spanish Superior Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) relating to the validity of the laboratory analyses conducted by Dr Lemus, as well as the existence of Dr Lemus’s collaborator, Javier Grande.
The Journal of Applied Ecology article did not form part of the CSIC investigation. However, following this investigation, the lead author of the article was unable to confirm the identity of the laboratories where Dr Lemus carried out the analyses or to identify the co-author.
Although the field and statistical procedures and the diet data reported in the paper are not subject to any concerns, there are doubts about the validity of the results on the bacterial flora composition, which were combined with the other data for overall analysis. Therefore, the overall findings of the study are cast into doubt.
Due to the ephemeral nature of the samples used (faecal swabs), the lead author cannot replicate the analyses with the same samples employed in the original study. As a result, Dr Blanco wishes to retract this article.
The paper has been cited 23 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Hat tip: Noam Ross