Ever since we broke the news about the issues with the now-retracted Science paper about changing people’s minds on gay marriage, we’ve been the subject of a lot of press coverage, which has in turn led a number of people to ask us: Who has the most retractions?
Well, we’ve tried to answer that in our new Retraction Watch leaderboard.
Who has the most retractions? Here’s our unofficial list (see notes on methodology), which we’ll update as more information comes to light:
- Yoshitaka Fujii (total retractions: 183) Sources: Final report of investigating committee, our reporting
- Joachim Boldt (94) Sources: Editors in chief statement, additional coverage
- Diederik Stapel (58) Source: Our cataloging
- Adrian Maxim (48) Source: IEEE database
- Peter Chen (Chen-Yuan Chen) (43) Source: SAGE, our cataloging
- Hua Zhong (41) Source: Journal
- Shigeaki Kato (39) Source: Our cataloging
- James Hunton (37) Source: Our cataloging
- Hendrik Schön (36) Sources: PubMed and Thomson Scientific
- Hyung-In Moon (35) Source: Our cataloging
- Naoki Mori (32) Source: PubMed, our cataloging
- Tao Liu: (29) Source: Journal
- Cheng-Wu Chen (28) Source: our cataloging
- Gideon Goldstein (26)
- Scott Reuben (25)
- Gilson Khang (22) Sources: WebCitation.org, WebCitation.org, journal
- Friedhelm Herrmann (21)
- Noel Chia (21)
- Dipak Das (20) Click here for a full list of retracted papers
- Khalid Zaman (20)
- Jin Cheng (19)
- Bharat Aggarwal (18)
- Fazlul Sarkar (18)
- John Darsee (17)
- Wataru Matsuyama (17)
- Alirio Melendez (17)
- Robert Slutsky (17)
- Ulrich Lichtenthaler (16)
- Erin Potts-Kant (16)
- Pattium Chiranjeevi (15)
We note that all but one of the top 30 are men, which agrees with the general findings of a 2013 paper suggesting that men are more likely to commit fraud.
Many accounts of the John Darsee story cite 80-plus retractions, which would place him third on the list, but Web of Science only lists 17, three of which are categorized as corrections. That’s not the only discrepancy. For example, Fujii has 138 retractions listed in Web of Science, compared to 183 as recommended by a university committee, while Reuben has 25, compared to the 22 named in this paper. We know that not everything ends up in Web of Science — Chen, for example, isn’t there at all — so we’ve used our judgment based on covering these cases to arrive at the highest numbers we could verify.
Shigeaki Kato is likely to end up with 43 retractions, based on the results of a university investigation.
All of this is a good reminder why the database we’re building with the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation and Arnold Foundation will be useful.
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The authors, Kobra Pourabdollah and Bahram Mokhtari, are affiliated with the Razi Chemistry Research Center in the Shahreza Branch of Islamic Azad University. In September, we reported on the retractions of three articles by the researchers in Synthesis and Reactivity in Inorganic, Metal-Organic, and Nano-Metal Chemistry.
Readers then alerted us to five other retractions in the Journal of Coordination Chemistry — although these papers did not appear (at least by the retraction notice) to have involved self-reviewing.
The duo now also has lost a 2012 article in Spectroscopy Letters: An International Journal for Rapid Communication. , which has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. According to the notice: Read the rest of this entry »
Synthesis and Reactivity in Inorganic, Metal-Organic, and Nano-Metal Chemistry is retracting three articles for duplication — redundancy the authors, chemical engineers at Islamic Azad University, in Shahreza, Iran, appear to have gotten around by reviewing their own manuscripts. But, if they did say so themselves, those papers were really something!
Here’s the retraction notice for two of the papers, both of which appeared in 2012 and which were cited seven times and once, respectively, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge:
Read the rest of this entry »
The University of Tokyo panel investigating the work of a former professor there, Shigeaki Kato, has recommended the retraction of 43 of his group’s articles, according to a report in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
If the papers are indeed retracted, Kato, who already has at least five articles subject to an expression of concern and five retractions, would be fifth on the list of most retractions for a single author, by our unofficial tally. His fellow countryman, Yoshitaka Fujii, continues to hold the lead at what appears to be 183, followed by Joachim Boldt (~89), John Darsee (~83), and Diederik Stapel, at 53. [See note at end.]
The Asahi report quotes Kato — who has received some $20 million in government funding for his work — as acknowledging problems with the data in his studies: Read the rest of this entry »
For several months now, we’ve been reporting on variations on a theme: Authors submitting fake email addresses for potential peer reviewers, to ensure positive reviews. In August, for example, we broke the story of a Hyung-In Moon, who has now retracted 24 papers published by Informa because he managed to do his own peer review.
Now, Retraction Watch has learned that the Elsevier Editorial System (EES) was hacked sometime last month, leading to faked peer reviews and retractions — although the submitting authors don’t seem to have been at fault. As of now, eleven papers by authors in China, India, Iran, and Turkey have been retracted from three journals.
Genetic Vaccines and Therapy (GVT) has retracted a paper by a group of Pakistani authors who recommended one of their colleagues as a reviewer for their manuscript.
That’s not all: According to the journal, the researchers apparently also misappropriated data from a previous study.
The article in question, “Structure based sequence analysis & epitope prediction of gp41 HIV1 envelope glycoprotein isolated in Pakistan,” was published in June 2012. The first author is Syyada Samra Jafri, who we see as being at the University of the Punjab in Lahore. According to the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »
Iranian mathematicians latest to have papers retracted for fake email addresses to get better reviews
Three Elsevier math journals are among the latest scientific publications to be retracting papers because fake email addresses were used to obtain favorable peer reviews.
The three papers appear in two journals: “On two subclasses of (α,β)-metrics being projectively related,” in the Journal of Geometry and Physics; and “Complex Bogoslovsky Finsler metrics” and “Sasaki–Randers metric in Finsler geometry,” in the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications. All three share authors Akbar Tayebi, of the University of Qom, Iran, and Esmaeil Peyghan, of Arak University, also in Iran.
The notices in the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications read as follows (the EES refers to the Elsevier Editorial System): Read the rest of this entry »
Hyung-In Moon, the South Korean plant compound researcher who made up email addresses so he could do his own peer review, is now up to 35 retractions.
The four new retractions are of the papers in the Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry that initially led to suspicions when all the reviews came back within 24 hours. Here’s the notice, which includes the same language as Moon’s 24 other retractions of studies published in Informa Healthcare journals: Read the rest of this entry »
Journal editor resigned in wake of retractions for fake email addresses that enabled self-peer review
The case of Hyung-In Moon — the researcher who faked email addresses for potential peer reviewers so he could do his own peer review — has already led to one resignation.