Retraction Watch

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Archive for the ‘olivier voinnet’ Category

Eighth Voinnet paper retracted — this one from Science

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Olivier Voinnet

Olivier Voinnet

A high-profile plant scientist who has been racking up corrections and retractions at a steady clip has had another paper — this one from Science — retracted.

The retraction, of a paper that had been previously corrected, is the eighth for Olivier Voinnet. According to the notice, the correction did not address all the figure problems with the paper, which “cannot be considered the result of mistakes.”

Here’s the notice in full: Read the rest of this entry »

Swiss, French institutions investigating several papers

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eth-zurichcnrsInstitutions in France and Switzerland are investigating figures in several molecular biology papers, according to a joint press release published today.

Unfortunately, theres not much more we can tell you about the investigation — the press release doesnt specify the names of researchers, journals, or even the area within molecular biology thats under scrutiny.

The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France will lead the inquiry, with contribution from ETH Zürich in Switzerland. Molecular biology researchers from both institutions were involved in the flagged publications, an ETH Zürich spokesperson told us.

The ETH Zürich spokesperson added: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

September 8th, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Beleaguered plant scientist with 22 corrections avoids 3 more

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CellCell will not be issuing corrections for three papers co-authored by prominent plant biologist Olivier Voinnet, after readers on PubPeer raised questions about some of the images. 

The news may be a welcome relief for Voinnet, based at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, who has recently issued 22 corrections and seven retractions. Ongoing questions about his work have also earned him a three-year funding ban, and caused the European Molecular Biology Organization to revoke an award.

On July 28, Cell published editorial notes for all three papers, which have been collectively cited more than 1000 times (also reported by Leonid Schneider). The notes say that the journal will take “no further action,” noting that the authors of the papers informed Cell of the problems with figures, which do not appear to compromise the papers’ overall validity.  

Here’s the first editorial notefor a 1998 paper: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

August 9th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Weekend reads: Open data’s downsides; do journals serve a purpose?; fraud allegations down in China

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booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured news that a religion journal wouldn’t be retracting a paper despite evidence of forgery in the evidence it relied on, and also news that we’re hiring. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 25th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Plant scientist Voinnet’s correction count grows to 22

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nature structure molecular biologyWe have found another correction for high-profile plant scientist Olivier Voinnet, bringing his total count to 22. Voinnet, who works at ETH Zurich, also has seven retractions, a funding ban, and a revoked award.

Voinnet’s most recent corrections involve problems with figures; the same issue is cited in this latest correction notice, for “Competition for XPO5 binding between Dicer mRNA, pre-miRNA and viral RNA regulates human Dicer levels.”

The correction notice in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, issued earlier this year, explains:

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EMBO takes back Voinnet’s award, investigates other awardee who just lost a Nature Genetics paper

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Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 11.41.20 AMEMBO has taken back an award given to beleaguered plant biologist Olivier Voinnet in 2009, and is investigating a recent grantee who had a paper retracted from Nature Genetics yesterday.

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) “promotes excellence in the life sciences” in Europe, in part by awarding prizes to promising young scientists. Voinnet and Sonia Melo earned their awards by exhibiting potential as young scientists studying genetics — of plants and cancer, respectively — but now EMBO is skeptical of the papers that formed the basis of their applications.

Melo’s Installation Grant from EMBO was announced just last month, and consists of 50,000 Euros annually for three to five years. She is currently based at the University of Porto, in Portugal.

Voinnet’s problems are well-documented on this blog — 21 corrections, seven retractions, and two investigations. Earlier this week, we reported that the Swiss National Science Foundation had cut off Voinnet’s funding, and banned him for three years. Read the rest of this entry »

Swiss funding agency cuts off Voinnet, bans him for 3 years

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Olivier Voinnet

Olivier Voinnet

The Swiss National Science Foundation has stopped funding prominent plant scientist Olivier Voinnet, following months of questions about his work that have culminated in multiple retractions and corrections.

The agency confirmed to us that it has also banned Voinnet from seeking funding from the SNSF for three years.

We asked the SNSF the amount of funding Voinnet was receiving from SNSF at the time of this decision. They told us it was 1.25 million Swiss francs, equivalent to roughly the same in U.S. dollars.

By our count, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

January 26th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Science publishes Voinnet’s 19th, 20th, and 21st corrections

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351-6271-coverProminent plant biologist Olivier Voinnet has issued three more corrections in this week’s issue of Science.

Collectively, the papers have earned more than 1400 citations, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

By our count, he’s now at 21 corrections and seven retractions, following months of questions about his work. He’s been the subject of an investigation that found he “breached his duty of care,” and another which found evidence of scientific misconduct.

One correction goes against the recommendation of the ETH Commission to retract the paper for “well documented intentional manipulations.” According to the correction note, the incorrect figures did not “alter the data in any material way that could be construed to benefit the results and their conclusions.” That correction is the only one of the three for which Voinnet takes full responsibility.

The other two corrections place the responsibility on  Read the rest of this entry »

Voinnet’s notice count grows, as he notches his 18th correction

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home_coverOlivier Voinnet, a high-profile plant scientist at ETH Zurich, has earned a mega-correction. It wrapped up a rough year for the biologist, which included his seventh retraction, and a CNRS investigation that found evidence of misconduct.

This latest correction, to a paper on the mechanisms behind RNA silencing in Arabidopsis, was published in RNA. The 2007 paper has been cited 101 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The corrigendum modifies three figures in total.

The notice is long, so we’re not going to post the whole thing here. The first error in “Transitivity in Arabidopsis can be primed, requires the redundant action of the antiviral Dicer-like 4 and Dicer-like 2, and is compromised by viral-encoded suppressor proteins” is a clarification to a legend:

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Voinnet retracts highly cited paper, bringing his total to 7

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coverOlivier Voinnet, a well-known plant scientist at the ETH in Zurich, has notched his 7th retraction for a highly cited paper. The 2003 paper was pulled when “additional image manipulations” came to light after The Plant Journal issued a correction earlier this year.

The retraction follows an investigation into — and then retraction of — several other papers co-authored by Voinnet. The authors originally corrected the paper after they learned one image had been duplicated, and repeating the experiment found the “same interpretation and conclusions” held true. But when the corresponding author learned of additional “data manipulation,” they decided to retract the paper altogether.

Here’s the retraction notice for “An enhanced transient expression system in plants based on suppression of gene silencing by the p19 protein of tomato bushy stunt virus:”

Read the rest of this entry »