Last year, a researcher cast doubt on a bone scientist’s clinical trials, suggesting some of the findings may not be legitimate. So what’s happened since?
Since 2015, journals have retracted 14 papers by bone researcher Yoshihiro Sato, based at Mitate Hospital in Japan, for issues ranging from self-plagiarism, to problems with data, to including co-authors without their consent. (We covered the latest two retractions this week.) Last year’s analysis identified patterns in more than 30 of Sato’s clinical trials that suggest systematic problems with the results. (Sato has defended his research.)
With doubts cast on Sato’s body of work, we contacted the journals that have published his papers involving human trials, to see if any taken another look at Sato’s work; several responded. While most believe there is little reason to take further action at this time, some told us they are investigating.
Read the rest of this entry »
The troubles continue for a bone researcher, who’s lost multiple papers in recent months due to problems ranging from data issues to including authors without their consent.
Now, journals have retracted two more papers by Yoshihiro Sato. And in a sign of the downstream effects that fraud can have, another journal has retracted two meta-analyses by other authors that cited his work.
Earlier this month, the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion retracted the two meta-analyses because they were based on recently retracted papers by Sato, affiliated with Mitate Hospital. The two new retractions of Sato’s papers are a review and a randomized controlled trial.
Sato was not an author on the meta-analyses published in 2008 and 2011; he was, however, first and lead author on all the retracted papers referenced in the notices. The notices state that the trio of authors on the meta-analyses:
A new analysis of more than 30 clinical trials co-authored by a bone researcher based in Japan is casting doubt on the legitimacy of the findings.
Yoshihiro Sato, based at Mitate Hospital, has already retracted 12 papers, for reasons ranging from data problems, to including co-authors without their consent, to self-plagiarism. Most of these retracted papers are included in the analysis in the journal Neurology, which concluded that Sato’s 33 randomized clinical trials exhibited patterns that suggest systematic problems with the results.
Other researchers have used similar approaches to analyze a researcher’s body of work — notably, when John Carlisle applied statistical tools to uncover problems in the research of notorious fraudster Yoshitaka Fujii, and Uri Simonsohn, who sniffed out problems with the work of social psychologist Dirk Smeesters.
A bone researcher based in Japan with 10 retractions under his belt has retracted two more papers for similar reasons — problems with the underlying data, and including co-authors who didn’t participate in the project.
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.
A bone researcher in Japan has logged his sixth retraction, after acknowledging he duplicated substantial portions of a 2011 paper and added “honorary” co-authors.
The retraction, in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, follows five others for Yoshihiro Sato, including one from JAMA, some of which were pulled over concerns regarding authorship and data integrity. The latest retraction duplicated text from another 2005 paper that was itself retracted last year, both for duplicating from this newly retracted paper and for “concerns about the underlying data.”
Sato — who is listed at Mitate Hospital on the paper — told the journal he takes full responsibility.
Yoshihiro Sato, listed at Mitate Hospital, is the only author of the paper who was not “honorary,” the managing editor of the journal confirmed. He and the same co-authors recently lost three other papers about preventing hip fractures for “concerns regarding data integrity” and authorship issues — one of those papers, published in JAMA, specified that Sato was responsible for the data. All four authors were also included in a retraction last year of a paper with “concerns about the underlying data;” there, too, Sato said his co-authors were named “for honorary reasons.”
Here’s the retraction notice for “Alendronate and vitamin D2 for prevention of hip fracture in Parkinson’s disease: A randomized controlled trial,” published in Movement Disorders:
JAMA and another journal in its network have retracted three 2005 papers about preventing hip fractures, after an admission of scientific misconduct.
All papers are being retracted over concerns about data integrity, and “inappropriate assignment of authorship.” Four of the authors — all based in Japan — have co-authored all of the three newly retracted papers, and also share authorship of a previous retraction from 2015.
The JAMA paper was tagged with an Expression of Concern last year, regarding the “conduct, integrity, and scientific validity” of the paper.
Here’s the retraction notice for the JAMA paper, “Effect of Folate and Mecobalamin on Hip Fractures in Patients With Stroke:” Read the rest of this entry »
A paper suggesting that exposure to sunlight might help prevent hip fractures in the elderly has been retracted, due to duplication and “concerns about the underlying data.”
An expression of concern that appeared last July flagged the 2005 paper as containing text that matched another paper with the same first author that was published in 2011. According to the publisher, that duplicated text sparked a closer look at the text, which raised concerns about the scientific integrity of the paper.