Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

A headache: Brain paper retracted over author argument

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neurochemical researchResearchers have retracted a paper following an argument over who deserves top billing, according to the last author of the paper.

The last author added the authors plan to republish the paper once they work things out.

The work for the paper — about cell death in the aftermath of a brain hemorrhage — was started in one lab at the Department of Neurology at the Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, and completed in another.

That led to a dispute, reports the retraction notice, issued by Neurochemical Research:

This article is being retracted at the request of the authors. The experiments were done in multiple laboratories, and ownership of the data is contested.

The authors didn’t take long to voice their concerns over the order: “Up-Regulation of KPNB1 Involves in Neuronal Apoptosis Following Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Adult Rats” was published in December and retracted in April. Predictably, given the short lifespan, it has not been cited, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

Everyone who contributed to the article is listed as a co-author, last author Maohong Cao told us, but some

feel that they contribute more, they think their name should rank in the front or they should be co-first authors. So they feel unfair now and request our retract the article.

Cao told us he plans to republish the paper once the disagreement is settled.

He declined to tell us which authors wanted more credit:

We want confer with the ranking of the authors by ourselves.

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

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Comments
  • Rob Siebers August 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Surely the authors should have sorted out the authorship order when they submitted the paper.

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