Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Author added to paper after investigation at University of Helsinki

with 2 comments

CoverIssueAn author has been added to a biochemistry paper following an investigation by the University of Helsinki.

Karen Sabatini, currently a biochemist at the University of San Diego, was erroneously left off the author list of a paper published in 2010 in Soft Matter. She apparently left Helsinki in 2010.

The circumstances may be unclear, but one thing we do know: authorship issues often take down papers entirely. Since this just warranted a correction, the mistake could have just been an oversight, rather than pointing to a larger issue.

Here’s the note for “Formation of lipid/peptide tubules by IAPP and temporin B on supported lipid membranes:”

Following an investigation carried out by the University of Helsinki the authorship of the above paper has been corrected to be Paavo K. J. Kinnunen, Yegor A. Domanov, Juha-Pekka Mattila, Karen Sabatini and Teemu Varis.

The article is not indexed in Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

We reached out to a press person at the university, who declined to answer our questions. We also emailed the journal, Sabatini, first author Paavo Kinnunen — now at Aalto University — and last author Teemu Varis. We’ll update this post with anything else we learn.

Update 1/7/16 4:12 p.m. eastern: Thanks to one of our readers, we’ve received a copy of the investigation from the University of Helsinki, completed in 2011 (we’re not sure why it took the journal four years to act on it). We’ve had it translated via One Hour Translation; you can read the full report here.

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Written by Shannon Palus

December 22nd, 2015 at 9:30 am

Comments
  • Eric December 29, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    It’s on Web of Science, WOS:000365407500014. Cited once, plus a second citation from the author list correction.

  • Tuomas Aivelo January 5, 2016 at 3:40 am

    I asked the official papers for U. of Helsinki investigation (uploaded to Dropbox but the document is in Finnish: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qdn2bzkg9klm2hz/Kinnunen_p%C3%A4%C3%A4t%C3%B6s%20122011.pdf?dl=0) – it’s strange press officers didn’t comment as these are publicly available papers:
    Mattila accused Kinnunen of violation of responsible conduct in research, as he omitted Sabatini from the author list. Mattila, Sabatini and Domanov feel that Sabatini’s contribution was enough to be included in author list, while Kinnunen feels that Sabatini’s contribution was not enough to be included.
    The decision based on investigation doesn’t tell how significant Sabatini’s contribution was, but the investigating group recommendation based on ICMJE guidelines that Sabatini was included in author list. Kinnunen was found faulty on the disregard for the responsible conduct of research due to denigrating the role of other researchers in publications. Kinnunen had though at that point already left University of Helsinki to Aalto University.
    The decision was date 21.12.2011 so it did take a good four years to get the author list updated. This might due to Kinnunen still objecting the addition of Sabatini to author list.

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