Harvard cancer lab subject to federal misconduct probe

Sam W. Lee, a Harvard researcher — or perhaps former Harvard researcher — who has lost three papers to retraction, including one from Nature, now has an expression of concern for another article, this one in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

The notice for that paper, 2000’s “Overexpression of Kinase-Associated Phosphatase (KAP) in Breast and Prostate Cancer and Inhibition of the Transformed Phenotype by Antisense KAP Expression,” reads: Continue reading Harvard cancer lab subject to federal misconduct probe

An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers.

Levon Khachigian

The story of Levon Khachigian’s research is a long and winding tale.

One place to start would be in October 2009, when a paper co-authored by Khachigian — whose work at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has been funded by millions of dollars in funding from the Australian government, and has led to clinical trials, although more on that later — was retracted from Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The “corresponding author published the paper without the full consent or acknowledgement of all the researchers and would like to apologize for this error,” according to that notice. Continue reading An Australian university cleared a cancer researcher of misconduct. He’s now retracted six papers.

Alfredo Fusco, facing misconduct charges in Italy, up to 21 retractions

Cancer Research

Alfredo Fusco, a researcher in Italy who has faced criminal charges for research misconduct for more than five years, has had six more papers retracted, for a total of 21.

The latest six retractions are all from Cancer Research. An example, for “Haploinsufficiency of the Hmga1 Gene Causes Cardiac Hypertrophy and Myelo-Lymphoproliferative Disorders in Mice,” a paper first published in 2006: Continue reading Alfredo Fusco, facing misconduct charges in Italy, up to 21 retractions

Former University of Maryland cancer researcher up to 21 retractions

Anil Jaiswal

Anil Jaiswal, who until a year ago was a cancer researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, has had four more papers retracted.

That makes 21 for Jaiswal, who joins our leaderboard of the 30 researchers with the most retractions. All four new retractions appear in journals published by the American Association for Cancer Research, and are for image or data manipulation.

For example, here’s the retraction notice for “Aromatase Inhibitor–mediated Downregulation of INrf2 (Keap1) Leads to Increased Nrf2 and Resistance in Breast Cancer,” in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics: Continue reading Former University of Maryland cancer researcher up to 21 retractions

Three more retractions brings diabetes researcher who once sued publishers to 18

Mario Saad

FEBS Letters has retracted three papers by the Brazilian diabetologist Mario Saad, bringing his total to 18.

The now-retracted articles, published between 2005 and 2010, contain doctored images, according to the notices, which read similarly.

Here’s one, for the 2005 paper “Aspirin inhibits serine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 in growth hormone treated animals”: Continue reading Three more retractions brings diabetes researcher who once sued publishers to 18

Cancer researcher who once tried to sue critics is up to 40 retracted papers

Fazlul Sarkar

Welcome to the Top 10, Fazlul Sarkar.

Sarkar, the cancer researcher formerly of Wayne State University who once tried to sue critics on PubPeer, has had another seven papers retracted. That makes a total of 40, and places him in the Top 10 of our leaderboard of authors with the most retractions.

Three of the retractions appear in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and four are from PLOS ONE. All involve falsification of data; one article had been corrected earlier, in 2014. Continue reading Cancer researcher who once tried to sue critics is up to 40 retracted papers

Researcher who once tried to sue critics has another dozen papers retracted

Fazlul Sarkar

A cancer researcher who went to court — unsuccessfully — claiming that commenters on PubPeer had cost him a new job has just lost another 12 papers.

The twelve now-retracted papers by Fazlul Sarkar and colleagues — as well as another by Sarkar that is now subject to an editor’s note — all appeared in Cancer Research, which made for a long table of contents in its September 15 issue. Continue reading Researcher who once tried to sue critics has another dozen papers retracted

When it comes to retracting papers by the world’s most prolific scientific fraudsters, journals have room for improvement

Journals have retracted all but 19 of the 313 tainted papers linked to three of the most notorious fraudsters in science, with only stragglers left in the literature. But editors and publishers have been less diligent when it comes to delivering optimal retraction notices for the affected articles.

That’s the verdict of a new analysis in the journal Anaesthesia, which found that 15% of retraction notices for the affected papers fail fully to meet standards from the Committee for Publication Ethics (COPE). Many lacked appropriate language and requisite watermarks stating that the articles had been removed, and some have vanished from the literature.

The article was written by U. M. McHugh, of University Hospital in Galway, Ireland, and Steven Yentis, a consultant anaesthetist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London. Yentis was editor of Anaesthesia during the three scandals and had a first-hand view of two of the investigations. He also is the editor who unleashed anesthetist and self-trained statistician John Carlisle on the Fujii papers to see how likely the Japanese researcher’s data were to be valid (answer: not very likely). Continue reading When it comes to retracting papers by the world’s most prolific scientific fraudsters, journals have room for improvement

Management researcher with 16 retractions has new professorship

Ulrich Lichtenthaler

Ulrich Lichtenthaler, a management professor who has had to retract 16 papers for data irregularities, has a new position in academia.

According to a news release from the International School of Management (ISM), a business school based in Germany, Lichtenthaler has been appointed Professor of Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the Cologne campus. Lichtenthaler is also taking over as one of the directors of the Entrepreneurship Institute at ISM, which conducts research in the field.

Lichtenthaler’s name may be familiar to readers: After journals retracted more than a dozen of his articles, he resigned from a previous post at the University of Mannheim in 2015.

We emailed Lichtenthaler to ask if he had disclosed his history to his new employers; he forwarded the email to ISM’s head of marketing and sales, who told us:

Continue reading Management researcher with 16 retractions has new professorship

“The final verdict:” Lancet retracts two papers by Macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

The Lancet chapter of the Paolo Macchiarini saga appears to finally be over.

In an editorial titled “The final verdict on Paolo Macchiarini: guilty of misconduct,” the editors of the journal announce that they are retracting two papers by the now-disgraced surgeon and colleagues “after receiving requests to do so from the new President of the Karolinska Institute (KI), Ole Petter Ottersen.” Late last month, Ottersen declared Macchiarini and six other researchers — including one of the whistleblowers in the case — guilty of misconduct.

The long story took many twists and turns — for instance, in September 2015, Lancet editors wrote an editorial with close to the opposite title: “Paolo Macchiarini is not guilty of scientific misconduct,” published after KI released the results of a previous investigation:   Continue reading “The final verdict:” Lancet retracts two papers by Macchiarini