Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Bone researcher up to 10 retractions

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Neurology JournalA journal is retracting three papers and a letter from a bone researcher who admitted to scientific misconduct, noting that all co-authors were included only for honorary reasons.

We’ve previously reported on six retractions of papers co-authored by Yoshihiro Sato, who is based at Mitate Hospital in Japan, including one in JAMA. Retractions stemmed from the use of “honorary” co-authors, as well as concerns over the data. One paper seemed to be the victim of “extensive self-plagiarism.”

Sato, who is the first and corresponding author of all ten retractions (including the letter), accepted full responsibility of the newly retracted publications, noting that none of the co-authors took part in any misconduct.

Here’s the retraction notice — which is similar for all four new retractions — issued on July 12:

The Neurology® editorial office recently received a letter expressing concern about the validity of the results of this paper. The corresponding author, Dr. Yoshihiro Sato, responded to a request for an explanation by requesting that the paper be retracted because of scientific misconduct. Dr. Sato accepts full responsibility for this fraudulent paper and maintains that none of the coauthors participated in any misconduct and appeared as authors on an honorary basis only.

One of the newly retracted papers, “Risedronate therapy for prevention of hip fracture after stroke in elderly women,” has been cited 56 times since publication in 2005, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Neurology has also retracted a 2005 letter the authors wrote about the paper, “Risedronate therapy for prevention of hip fracture after stroke in elderly women. Reply from the Authors,” in response to researchers who raised some concerns about the original paper. The retraction notice for the letter includes this line: 

The Editor retracts online and printed replies related to the article.

Next, Neurology has retracted a 2007 paper, “Risedronate and ergocalciferol prevent hip fracture in elderly men with Parkinson disease,” which has been cited 42 times.

Finally, “Amelioration of osteoporosis and hypovitaminosis D by sunlight exposure in stroke patients,” a 2003 paper that has been cited 31 times. This paper included a 2008 correction notice, which reads:

…the data regarding the number of falls per subject were incorrect. The Results section should have stated that the number of falls per subject was 0.9± 1.5 in the untreated group and 0.7±1.3 in the sunlight-exposed group. After the correction and recalculation, there is still no significant difference between the two groups in the number of falls per subject during the study period. The authors regret the error.

Jun Iwamoto, who is at Keio University School of Medicine, is listed as a co-author on all nine retracted papers (and the retracted letter). Numbers for Kei Satoh and Tomohiro Kanoko, both at Hirosaki University School of Medicine, numbers stand at eight and seven retractions (including the letter), respectively. Yoshiaki Honda is listed as a co-author on three of the retracted papers.

We’ve reached out to Neurology, and will update the post with anything else we learn.

Hat tip: So disappointed

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