Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Botanist pair’s paper retracted, others questioned on PubPeer

with 10 comments

Plant Science TodayA plant sciences journal has pulled a 2016 paper for manipulated images after the study came under question at PubPeer.

According to the notice, the authors claim that the images were supplied by a “service provider;” the editor-in-chief of the journal told us he doesn’t have any details on this third party’s identity.

The first author of the retracted paper in Plant Science Today Dibyendu Talukdar, from the University of Calcutta in West Bengal, India — has several other papers being questioned on PubPeer. His co-author, Tulika Talukdar, who is based at Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Government College in West Bengal, India, according to her ResearchGate page, is a co-author on three of these papers. According to the present paper, however, Tulika Talukdar is affiliated with Raja Peary Mohan College, which is part of the University of Calcutta.

Here’s the retraction notice:

RAPD gel images given in the paper seems manipulated. According to the authors, the images were provided by a service provider. The authors failed to provide the original/raw images to prove their innocence. Since the paper is centred around these gel images, the publisher has no other way than to retract the article. The corresponding author had agreed for the retraction.

The 2016 paper, “RAPD-based DNA fingerprinting in Lantana camara L. ecotypes and development of a digital database platform ‘LANRAD’,” is yet to be cited, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

K. K. Sabu, editor-in-chief of Plant Science Today from the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute in Kerala, India, told us the case has resulted in changes to the editorial policy of the journal:

We will [insist] the authors to keep the original (raw) files of the images submitted to our journal and in case for verification, they need to submit the same to the concerned Editor.

Sabu added that the issues with the paper came to light after a reader informed him that a PubPeer thread had been started about the paper, noting some irregularities in the bands.

Many of Dibyendu Talukdar’s papers are also being questioned on PubPeer

We’ve reached out to Dibyendu and Tulika Talukdar (we’re not sure if there’s a relation between the two), and will update the post with anything else we learn.

Hat tip: Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

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Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

July 5th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Comments
  • herr doktor bimler July 5, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    the authors claim that the images were supplied by a “service provider;”

    If only there were some way of obtaining experimental results oneself!

  • rfg July 7, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Disturbing on several points. Every author is responsible for every piece of data in a paper. At least that’s what we teach in ethics class. Sure in large collaborations it does not mean that every author has to inspect every page of every lab notebook. But the authors should look at the figures.

    Also, how long is it going to take before every journal requires that every raw gel blot film etc that was used to prepare every figure in a paper MUST be included in supplemental material?

    We’ve been doing it voluntarily for a while. It’s no big burden – the gel is scanned to make the figure already. The editors and reviewers like it. COPE needs to include the “raw gel” requirement in their guidance. PubPeer might get a little less lively, but science will benefit.

  • Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva September 1, 2016 at 11:10 am

    4 more retractions from Hindawi journals.

    BioMed Research International 2014, Article ID 479180, 21 pages
    Leaf Rolling and Stem Fasciation in Grass Pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) Mutant Are Mediated through Glutathione-Dependent Cellular and Metabolic Changes and Associated with a Metabolic Diversion through Cysteine during Phenotypic Reversal
    Dibyendu Talukdar 1, Tulika Talukdar 2
    1 Department of Botany, R.P.M College, University of Calcutta, Uttarpara, Hooghly, West Bengal 712 258, India
    2 Department of Botany, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Government College, University of North Bengal, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734 010, India
    doi: 10.1155/2014/479180
    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/479180/

    “BioMed Research International has retracted this article. The article was found to contain images with signs of duplication and manipulation in Figures 1(a), 1(b), 1(d), 2(b), 3(a), 3(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3(k), 4(d), 4(g), 4(m), 4(p), 8, 10(c), 10(d), 10(e), 10(f), 10(g), 10(h), 10(i), 10(j), 10(k), 10(l), and 10(o) and duplication from Talukdar D. An induced glutathione-deficient mutant in grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.): Modifications in plant morphology, alteration in antioxidant activities and increased sensitivity to cadmium. Biorem. Biodiv Bioavail. 2012; 6: 75–86 in Figure 2B and from Dibyendu Talukdar and Tulika Talukdar, “Superoxide-Dismutase Deficient Mutants in Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.): Genetic Control, Differential Expressions of Isozymes, and Sensitivity to Arsenic,” BioMed Research International, vol. 2013, Article ID 782450, 11 pages, 2013, doi: 10.1155/2013/782450 in Figure 10.”

    BioMed Research International, vol. 2013, Article ID 782450, 11 pages, 2013.
    Superoxide-Dismutase Deficient Mutants in Common Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.): Genetic Control, Differential Expressions of Isozymes, and Sensitivity to Arsenic.
    Dibyendu Talukdar 1, Tulika Talukdar 2
    1 Department of Botany, R.P.M College, University of Calcutta, Uttarpara, Hooghly, West Bengal 712 258, India
    2 Department of Botany, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy Government College, University of North Bengal, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734 010, India
    doi: 10.1155/2013/782450
    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2013/782450/

    “BioMed Research International has retracted this article. The article was found to contain images with signs of duplication and manipulation in Figures 1, 3, 4, 5(A), 5(B), 6, 8(b), 9(C), 9(G), 9(I), and 9(J).”

    ISRN Agronomy, vol. 2013, Article ID 284830, 15 pages, 2013.
    Growth Responses and Leaf Antioxidant Metabolism of Grass Pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) Genotypes under Salinity Stress
    Dibyendu Talukdar
    doi: 10.1155/2013/284830
    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/284830/

    “International Scholarly Research Notices has retracted this article. The article was found to contain images with signs of duplication and manipulation in Figures 5(a), 5(b), 6(a), and 6(b), and duplication from Talukdar D. Plant Growth and Leaf Antioxidant Metabolism of Four Elite Grass Pea (Lathyrus sativus) Genotypes, Differing in Arsenic Tolerance. Agric Res (2013) 2: 330. doi:10.1007/s40003-013-0085-3 in Figure 6.”

    The Scientific World Journal, vol. 2012, Article ID 345983, 11 pages, 2012
    Flavonoid-Deficient Mutants in Grass Pea (Lathyrus sativus L.): Genetic Control, Linkage Relationships, and Mapping with Aconitase and S-Nitrosoglutathione Reductase Isozyme Loci
    Dibyendu Talukdar
    Department of Botany, R.P.M. College, University of Calcutta, Uttarpara, West Bengal, Hooghly 712 258, India
    doi: 10.1100/2012/345983
    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2012/345983/

    “The Scientific World Journal has retracted this article. The article was found to contain images with signs of duplication and manipulation in Figures 2 and 3.”

  • Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva September 8, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Retraction 6
    Environmental and Experimental Biology (2014) 12: 73–81
    A common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) mutant with constitutively low cysteine desulfhydrase activity exhibits growth inhibition but uniquely shows tolerance to arsenate stress
    Dibyendu Talukdar
    Department of Botany, R.P.M. College, University of Calcutta, Uttarpara, Hooghly 712258, West Bengal, India
    http://eeb.lu.lv/EEB/201407/EEB_12_Talukdar.pdf

    http://eeb.lu.lv/retractions/
    “The journal retracts the following article: Talukdar D. (2014) A common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) mutant with constitutively low cysteine desulfhydrase activity exhibits growth inhibition but uniquely shows tolerance to arsenate stress. Environ. Exp. Biol. 12: 73–81. Based on information discovered after publication and reproted to EEB in May 2016, the article in question was examined. It is concluded that images in the article contain signs of duplication and manipulation. The retraction was approved by the Editor-in-Chief. The author did not respond to the inquiries.”

  • Anonymous October 11, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Dr. Tulika Talukdar replaced as the Head of Department of Botany by Dr. Sonali Dey:
    http://apcrgc.org/dept_botany/
    http://web.archive.org/web/20160323223050/http://apcrgc.org/dept_botany.html

  • Anonymous October 11, 2016 at 6:26 am

    A 2014 Talukdar paper can no longer be accessed. Neither can the publisher’s site.

    Sciknow Publications Ltd. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 2014, 2(1):7-16
    Differential morpho-agronomic and physiological responses of grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) and lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) genotypes to arsenic
    Dibyendu Talukdar
    Department of Botany, R.P.M. College, Uttarpara, West Bengal, Hooghly 712 258, India
    DOI: 10.12966/bmb.03.02.2014
    http://www.sciknow.org/article/detail/id/862
    https://www.pubpeer.com/publications/A57E86E0100329E0434EC41F5FE5CA
    https://web.archive.org/web/20151011082452/http://www.sciknow.org/

  • Anonymous October 11, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    The following paper can no longer be traced on the publisher’s web-site.

    Discovery Genetics, 2015, 1(1), 17-22
    Meiosis-driven cytogenetic consequences and transmission of double trisomics in grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.)
    Dibyendu Talukdar
    Department of Botany, R.P.M. College (University of Calcutta), Uttarpara, Hooghly 712258, West Bengal, India
    http://discoveryjournals.com/genetics/current_issue/v1/n1/index.htm
    http://discoveryjournals.com/genetics/current_issue/v1/n1/A4.pdf

  • Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva October 13, 2016 at 1:19 am

    Retraction 7
    Talukdar D & Talukdar T (2016) Inventory of invasive alien plants in Bethuadahari wildlife sanctuary in Nadia district, West Bengal, India. Tropical Plant Research 3(1): 120–130
    Original URLs:
    http://www.tropicalplantresearch.com/archives/?year=2016&vol=3&issue=1
    http://www.tropicalplantresearch.com/archives/?year=2016&vol=3&issue=1&ArticleId=94
    Retraction URLs:
    http://www.tropicalplantresearch.com/archives/?year=2016&vol=3&issue=1&ArticleId=94
    http://www.tropicalplantresearch.com/archives/2016/vol3issue1/15.pdf

    Comment in email to me by Dr. Omesh Bajpai, Managing Editor, Tropical Plant Research:
    “the article authored by Dibyendu Talukdar and Tulika Talukdar has been ‘Retracted’ as the corresponding author is not responding our mail regarding the duplication of data and images in his article.”

  • Anonymous October 15, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Dibyendu Talukdar ResearchGate profile reduced to basics. Tulika Talukdar ResearchGate profile gone. Dibyendu Talukdar Google Scholar profile gone. Dibyendu Talukdar institutional profile reduced to one short phrase / description.
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dibyendu_Talukdar2
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tulika_Talukdar
    http://scholar.google.co.in/citations?user=KDGWANAAAAAJ&hl=en
    http://www.rpmcollege.org/faculty_details.php?fid=14

    Graphical summary:
    https://imgur.com/a/9Im5k

  • Anonymous October 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

    The Dibyendu Talukdar Frontiers Loop profile lists him as “GT”. His entire publishing list has been removed except for the Frontiers editorial.
    http://loop.frontiersin.org/people/119379/bio

    The description states:
    “Dr. Dibyendu Talukdar, Associate Professor in Botany, has completed his undergraduate and post graduate studies in Botany from University of Kalyani, Kalyani, West Bengal, India with high first class marks. He was awarded prestigious UGC-CSIR NET fellowship in 1995 and obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Kalyani in the year 2008 on Cell biology & plant breeding (Mutation biology). Dr. Talukdar is a talented and excellent researcher: quick in his responses, innovative, hardworking, problem solver with a strong drive, sharp mind and plenty of energy. He has deep knowledge of plant cell biology, molecular biology, mutation genetics, biodiversity and functional stress biology. His research articles give an insight into his capabilities to combine originality in conceiving problems relevant to the context and his ability to plan and execute appropriate experiments and interpret the results logically, which is reflected in brilliant track record of over 90 academic publications and several high input book chapters in journals of high national and international repute. He is the pioneer to develop robust cytogenetic and genetic stocks comprising aneuploids, polypploids, reciprocal translocations, diploid mutants, and recombinant inbred lines (RILs) in legume crops particularly in hardy legume Lathyrus sativus L.. His area of research works has now extended to functional stress biology of food legumes, medicinal crops and weeds which is of great relevance for future molecular mutation and stress breeding. His extensive work on native biodiversity and its diverse use by indigenous people in Gangetic West Bengal and in Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim is also quite impressive. He has multi tasking abilities being reviewer for journals Frontiers in Plant Science, Plant Cell Reports, Biologia Plantarum, BMC Plant Biology, Plant Physiology & Biochemistry, African Journal of Biotechnology, Annual Review & Research in Biology, and many others. He has successfully hoisted a Frontier research topic on “Frontiers of sulfur metabolisms in plant growth, development, and stress response” in collaboration with eminent scientists from Germany, Poland, USA, and India. Dr. Talukdar is now serving plant community as Associate professor in Botany, R.P.M. College, University of Calcutta, India.”

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