A journal has retracted a 2012 paper after the last author was unable to provide material to support the results presented in multiple figures.
The lack of supporting data came out during “an internal inquiry and subsequent legal proceedings,” according to the notice, issued by Cell Cycle.
The last author on the paper is Susana Gonzalez, who was dismissed from her position at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Spain last year.
Here’s the full notice:
We, the Editors and Publishers of Cell Cycle, are retracting the following article:
Lorena Arranz, Antonio Herrera-Merchan, Jose Manuel Ligos, Antonio de Molina, Orlando Dominiguez, Susana Gonzalez. “Bmi1 is critical to prevent Ikaros-mediated lymphoid priming in hematopoietic stem cells” Cell Cycle 11.1 (2012): 65–78 http://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.4161/cc.11.1.18097
We have been made aware of certain irregularities in Figures 1d, 2e, and 6b of the above work that are relevant to its results. We have been advised that, during the course of an internal inquiry and subsequent legal proceedings, corresponding author Dr. Susana Gonzalez was not able to provide original raw data or laboratory notes for any of the experiments represented in these figures to explain or justify the results reported in the article. The remaining co-authors maintain, and we accept, that they did not participate in, and nor were they aware of, this omission.
We believe the foregoing constitutes a breach of certain representations and warranties made by the corresponding author Dr. Gonzalez to us with respect to complying with ethical standards and practices governing scientific research and conduct, and of our policy on publishing ethics and integrity. We note that we received, peer-reviewed, accepted, and published the article in good faith based on the purported veracity of these representations and warranties. We have been informed in our decision-making to retract the work by the guidance of COPE guidelines on retractions.
The 2012 paper “Bmi1 is critical to prevent Ikaros-mediated lymphoid priming in hematopoietic stem cells” has been cited nine times according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, formerly part of Thomson Reuters.
We contacted Jose F. de Celis, head of the Centre for Molecular Biology “Severo Ochoa” (CBMSO), where Gonzalez has been working since June 2016. He told us she went on sick leave in July. We asked about the investigation mentioned in the notice; he told us:
The only investigation I am aware of took place at CNIC. CNIC did not make the outcome public, and we were never informed of this outcome.
We also asked about the “legal proceedings:”
My only information is that after her dismissal from CNIC, [Dr] Gonzalez initiated legal actions concerning the legality of her firing from CNIC
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