Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Genetics journal isn’t down with O.P.D. – stealing other people’s data

with one comment

GMR logoGenetics and Molecular Research, an online-only journal, has retracted two articles about gastric cancer by a group of Iranian researchers who appear to have put their own names on other people’s data.

Both articles were published in 2014. One was titled “Absolute quantification of free tumor cells in the peripheral blood of gastric cancer patients;” the other, “ZNF797 plays an oncogenic role in gastric cancer.” The list of authors on the two papers isn’t identical, but both papers share a few in common, including the same two last authors: F. Ghasemvand and S. Heidari-Keshel.

It turns out, Saeed Heidari-keshel wasn’t down with other people’s data, and alerted the journal to the problem.

Here’s more from the retraction notice for the first article, which was found to be “substantially equal” to another paper:

The corresponding author of the article published in Genetics and Molecular Research, Saeed Heidari-keshel, alerted our editorial staff about this situation and requested that the article should be retracted. The results are surprisingly similar, with the number of positive patients being almost the same, for example. After review and after contacting the authors, the editors of Genetics and Molecular Research have decided to retract the article. The authors and their institutions have been advised of this serious breach of ethics.

And from the second retraction notice for an article similar to yet another publication:

The corresponding author of the article published in Genetics and Molecular Research, Saeed Heidari-keshel, alerted our editorial staff about this situation and requested that the article should be retracted. After review and after contacting the authors, the editors of Genetics and Molecular Research have decided to retract the article. The authors and their institutions have been advised of this serious breach of ethics.

Heidari-Keshel seems like an upstanding sort, and we’ve emailed him for comment.

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Comments
  • OPP March 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Kudos to Saeed Heidari-keshel. Being a whistle-blower in Iran is not an easy thing and there are risks.

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