Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Cancer genetics group retracts three papers for “inappropriate presentation of data”

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jbc 620A group of cancer genetics researchers in Italy and the U.S. has retracted three papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) after it became aware they had duplicated some bands in their figures.

Here are the three papers:

All three notices say the same thing:

This article has been withdrawn by the authors.

We asked the JBC — whom we’ve criticized for such opaque notices before — for more information, and they said that their policy is “to maintain confidentiality in these matters.” The first author of the studies, Loredana Moro, tells us:

I was contacted by the Journal about presence of duplicated bands in some of the figures. Whilst original gels or gels from parallel experiments were provided to the Journal to confirm the veracity of published results, we agreed to comply with ASBMB publication guidelines and withdraw the papers entirely due to inappropriate presentation of data.

We don’t know how the journal first became aware of the potential duplications, but we do know that pseudonymous whistleblower Clare Francis contacted them about problems in all three articles in December 2012.