In other words, it had nothing.
A 2015 paper is the latest retraction stemming from an investigation into fake peer review by Springer, which has now netted more than a hundred papers.
According to a spokesperson at Springer:
Dr. Chengjun Yao and Dr. Dongxiao Zhuang were added as co-authors without their knowledge by one of the other authors of this article.
The notice also explains that “the peer review process was compromised” and that the National Natural Science Foundation of China, which provides grant funding, “was not involved in the research reported in this article.”
The spokesperson confirmed that this paper, published in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, is related to the more than 100 papers retracted from Tumor Biology over fake peer review, and handful of others from other journals.
Here’s the latest retraction notice:
This article has been retracted at the request of Dr. Chengjun Yao, Dr. Dongxiao Zhuang, The Editor-in-Chief and the Publisher per the Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines for the following reasons:
-There is strong reason to believe that the peer review process was compromised.
-The article shows evidence of irregularities in authorship during the submission process.
-Dr. Chengjun Yao has confirmed that he was not involved in the submission process and does not support its publication.
-Dr. Dongxiao Zhuang has confirmed that he was not involved in the research nor in the writing of this article.
-The National Natural Science Foundation of China mentioned in this paper was not involved in the research reported in this article.
“Nucleolin Promotes TGF-β Signaling Initiation via TGF-β Receptor I in Glioblastoma” was received and accepted by the journal over two days in March 2014 and first appeared online in April 2014, before widespread discussion of fake peer review first took place that fall. The paper has been cited five times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.
We reached out to Yao and Zhuang, both based at Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University in China, and will update the post if we hear back.
The spokesperson also explained that this paper “is an isolated retraction, but it is related to the retractions from Tumor Biology in that there is overlap with some of the authors.”
In April, Springer retracted 107 papers from Tumor Biology, citing evidence of fake peer review. Over the past year, the publisher retracted a dozen more papers in Molecular Neurobiology over “compromised” peer review, which it also discovered during the Tumor Biology investigation. More than 500 papers have been retracted over fake reviews.
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