Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Journals retracts three bone papers for duplication by same author

with 4 comments

1-s2.0-S0168365907X02700-cov150hA journal is Journals are retracting three papers after a biomaterials researcher duplicated his own work, sometimes using the same figures to describe different experiments.

Two of the papers are on bone regeneration; one is about targeting tumors. In addition to issues with figures, two one of the retraction notes explain that the papers contain “widespread plagiarism of text” from other papers by the researcher, Hossein Hosseinkhani.

Hosseinkhani is currently affiliated with the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology; when he did the work in the now retracted papers, published in 2004 and 2007, he was based at Kyoto University Hospital and then National Institute for Materials Science in Japan.

The Journal of Controlled Release published all three two of the papers. Here’s the retraction note for “Bone regeneration through controlled release of bone morphogenetic protein-2 from 3-D tissue engineered nano-scaffold,” which has been cited 118 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief because of widespread plagiarism of text, notably from references [1] and [2].

In addition, Figure 1 was previously published as Figure 2b in reference [2], describing different experiments (BMP-2 and bFGF, respectively).

[1] Hosseinkhani H, Hosseinkhani M, Tian F, Kobayashi H, Tabata Y Ectopic bone formation in collagen sponge self-assembled peptide-amphiphile nanofibers hybrid scaffold in a perfusion culture bioreactor. [http://doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.05.050] Biomaterials 27 (2006) 5089–5098

[2] Hosseinkhani H, Hosseinkhani M, Khademhosseini A, Kobayashi H, Tabata Y Enhanced angiogenesis through controlled release of basic fibroblast growth factor from peptide amphiphile for tissue regeneration. [http://doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.08.003] Biomaterials 27 (2006) 5836–5844

PEGylation enhances tumor targeting of plasmid DNA by an artificial cationized protein with repeated RGD sequences, Pronectin®” has been cited 32 times; here’s the retraction note:

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief because of concerns about several of the figures.

• In Figure 1, gels 1(C) and 1(D) are identical, and also identical to the gels in Figures 1(F) and 1(H) in reference [1].

• Figure 1(F) is identical to Figure 1(C) in reference [1].

• Figure 1(A) is identical to Figure 1(A) in reference [1].

• Figure 1(B) is identical to Figure 1(G) in reference [1].

Figures 6 (A), (B), (C) and (D) are identical to Figures 7 (A)(2), (B)(2), (B)(3) and (C)(3) in reference [2], and also identical to Figures 7 US(-)(3), US(+)(1), US(-)(4) and US(+)(4) in reference [3].

[1] Hosseinkhani H, Tabata Y In vitro gene expression by cationized derivatives of an artificial protein with repeated RGD sequences, Pronectin®. [http://doi:10.1016/S0168-3659(02)00412-1] Journal of Controlled Release 86 (2003) 169–182

[2] Hosseinkhani H, Aoyama T, Ogawa O, Tabata Y Tumor targeting of gene expression through metal-coordinated conjugation with dextran. [http://doi:10.1016/S0168-3659(02)00425-X] Journal of Controlled Release 88 (2003) 297–312

[3] Hosseinkhani H, Kushibiki T, Matsumoto K, Nakamura T, Tabata Y Enhanced suppression of tumor growth using a combination of NK4 plasmid DNA-PEG engrafted cationized dextran complex and ultrasound irradiation. [http://doi:10.1038/sj.cgt.7700918] Cancer Gene Therapy 13 (2006) 479–489

Bone regeneration on a collagen sponge self-assembled peptide-amphiphile nanofiber hybrid scaffold” was published in Tissue Engineering and has been cited 53 times; here’s the retraction note* (which is paywalled):

During an investigation for potential unethical conduct in their published work in other scientific journals, it was discovered that not all the coauthors of the above-named article participated in the research reported in the paper, nor did they approve the submission of the manuscript. As a result, the editorial leadership has decided to officially retract the article based on disreputable behavior.

Tissue Engineering is committed to the highest standards of scientific content and integrity, and does not tolerate such improprieties.

We’ve reached out to Hosseinkhani, and JCR.

Update 2/12/16 12:37 p.m. eastern: A commenter pointed out to us that a scientist with the same name as the second author on two of the papers (Mohsen Hosseinkhani) was accused in 2011 of breaking into a lab at his former employer, Mount Sinai Medical Center. He allegedly stole materials and sabotaged studies with lab animals by swapping their tags. He later fled the country to Iran, according to the New York Daily News.

Correction, 2/18/16 9:50 PM Eastern: We had originally pasted the retraction note for the first paper again under the third paper and neglected to list the journal that it was published in. This has now been fixed.

Hat tip: AnonyMouse

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Comments
  • Conrad Seitz MD February 12, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    This must be the same gentleman who was the subject of a blog post on my site three years ago– if some foolish person hasn’t appropriated his name. I’m surprised that he is still active and hasn’t been suppressed in some way. He’s obviously not someone you’d want to accept papers from, much less work with. Read my post: http://conradseitz.com/2012/12/03/amazing-facts-about-dr-hosseinkhani/
    Is this blatant self-promotion? No, it’s just a coincidence that I wrote about him. Really.

    • Marco February 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Well, the corresponding author is not the same person as in your blog post (first name: Hossein, not Mohsen), but Mohsen *is* a co-author on these retracted papers. If the CV of Hossein is correct, he is not the same person as Mohsen.

  • Alan R. Price February 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    The more serious issue in my view is not “duplication” or “widespread plagiarism of text [[so called “self-plagiarism”] — rather it is the apparent Falsification of the research, by using the same images to describe reportedly “:different experiments.”

  • Christopher February 17, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Journal of Controlled Release has actually retracted a total of 6 papers from this author.
    Journal of Controlled Release 2002 pp.345
    Journal of Controlled Release 2003 pp.169
    Journal of Controlled Release 2003 pp.297
    Journal of Controlled Release 2004 pp.157
    Journal of Controlled Release 2005 pp.540
    Journal of Controlled Release 2007 pp.380

    In this context, the retraction of the following article by the same author is also relevant:
    Tissue Engineering 2007 pp.11
    Quote from the retraction notice:
    “[…] During an investigation for potential unethical conduct in their published work in other scientific journals, it was discovered that not all the coauthors of the above-named article participated in the research reported in the paper, nor did they approve the submission of the manuscript. As a result, the editorial leadership has decided to officially retract the article based on disreputable behavior. […]”

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