Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Team in Japan earns third retraction for misconduct

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JSRA team of researchers has earned its third retraction after an investigation at Oita University in Japan found instances of misconduct in their research.

The most recent notice mentions the investigation, and specifies that the first author, Satoshi Hagiwara, was responsible for the problematic figures in the paper. Hagiwara is also the first author on two retracted papers we reported on last year; one of the earlier retractions also mentions the investigation, but does not assign responsibility to any particular author. All three papers share three authors.

The retraction notice for “Continuous Hemodiafiltration Therapy Ameliorates LPS-Induced Systemic Inflammation in a Rat Model,” published in the Journal of Surgical Research, explains the issues with the paper:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editors and the first author, Satoshi Hagiwara, due to scientific misconduct and data falsification. An investigation by Oita University into scientific misconduct pointed out the following:

  • 1.Fig. 2C: The graph data of the serum levels of HMGB1 was not completely conformed to the raw data.
  • 2.Panels C,D,G,H of Fig. 3 were incorrectly inserted by the first author.
  • 3.Fig. 3I: The graph data of lung injury score was not completely conformed to the raw data.
  • 4.Fig. 3J: The graph data of liver injury score was not completely conformed to the raw data.

The first author, who conducted these experiments, could not counter the argument by adducing raw data at the investigation, and the investigation recognized them as scientific misconduct. The authors regret these errors and apologize to the scientific community for the need to retract the article.

The paper — which tested a therapy for systemic inflammation — has been cited six times since it was published in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

In addition to Hagiwara, two other authors are common to all three retracted papers: Hideo Iwasaka and Takayuki Noguchi, both listed as affiliated with Oita University.

We’ve reached out to the journal, Hagiwara, and to Masatsugu Moriyama, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Oita University, for more information. We will update this post with anything else we learn.

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