Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘japan retractions’ Category

“Searching our souls”: Authors retract paper after researcher admits to fabricating data

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Researchers at a prominent Japanese university have retracted a 2016 paper in a chemistry journal after the first author admitted to scientific misconduct.

According to the notice, Kyushu University investigated and verified that the first author had committed scientific misconduct.

We requested a copy of the misconduct report, which revealed that the researcher, Prasenjit Mahato, a postdoctoral fellow at Kyushu University who is no longer affiliated with the university, “admitted to falsifying research” in two papers on which he was first author: a highly cited 2015 paper in Nature Materials, which was retracted in 2016, as well as the 2016 paper in Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), retracted earlier this month. The university investigated and confirmed misconduct in both papers.

We covered the Nature Materials retraction last year, but at the time, the paper’s corresponding author, Nobuo Kimizuka, only told us that the “matter has been under investigation by the formal investigation panel of our University.”

According to the five-page misconduct report — which we translated from Japanese using One Hour Translation and is also available in Japanese on the university’s website — in July 2016, a member of the lab (“Faculty Member B”) began to suspect a problem after he reviewed the data with Mahato (“the defendant”): Read the rest of this entry »

Anesthesiology society bans co-author of researcher with record-number of retractions

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The Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists has permanently banned a co-author of notorious fraudster Yoshitaka Fujii, after investigating many of his publications for alleged fraud.

According to the announcement last month (in Japanese), a committee investigated approximately 40 publications by Yuhji Saitoh of Yachiyo Medical Center and Tokyo Women’s Medical University in Japan. Saitoh resigned from the society once the investigation started; after the committee found evidence of data manipulation and fraud, the society decided it would permanently ban him as a member.

Saitoh was a frequent co-author of Yoshitaka Fujii, an anesthesia researcher with a record-breaking number of retractions (more than 180). Last year, anesthesia fraud sleuth John Carlisle and a co-author analyzed Saitoh’s papers — including many he didn’t co-author with Fujii — and concluded there was very low likelihood the sampling had been conducted randomly, among other potential concerns.

On May 9, the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists issued the following statement, which we translated:

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Written by Alison McCook

June 6th, 2017 at 11:30 am

Could bogus scientific results be considered false advertising?

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Could a scientific paper ever be considered an advertisement?

That was the question posed to a Tokyo court, in a criminal case where prosecutors argued — at the behest of Japan’s ministry of health — that a peer-reviewed paper containing faked data should be considered “fraudulent or exaggerated advertising” under that country’s laws.

In that case, however, the argument didn’t work. In March, the court decided that a fraudulent paper was not false advertising, allowing a pharmaceutical researcher at a Novartis subsidiary to escape jail time. The decision also cleared Novartis of charges and helped the company avoid a ¥4 million ($35,373 USD) fine.

According to an article in The Japan Times, the presiding judge Yasuo Tsujikawa said:

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Written by Andrew P. Han

May 17th, 2017 at 11:40 am

A shadow was cast on a bone researcher’s work. What are journals doing about his papers?

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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.
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Fraud by bone researcher takes down two meta-analyses, a clinical trial, and review

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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:

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Japan, Taiwan taking closer look at fraud — and how to stop it

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Two countries have recently announced plans to learn more about research misconduct, with the goal of preventing it from happening in the first place.

In Japan, the effort takes the form of a joint study group among six universities, which will interview researchers who have engaged in misconduct to discover patterns and common factors for their wrongdoing. In Taiwan, the government recently announced plans to establish an Office of Research Integrity, based on the version in the U.S., to investigate alleged cases of misconduct.

Here’s more about the new Taiwan office, from the Taipei Times:

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Written by Alison McCook

March 20th, 2017 at 9:30 am

Columbia University probe prompts retraction of cardiovascular paper

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A journal has retracted a 2011 study at the request of Columbia University.

According to Jeanine D’Armiento, the study’s last author, the newly retracted paper in Clinical Science contained a figure from a Journal of Hypertension paper published by the same authors earlier that year. 

First and corresponding author Joseph George told Retraction Watch the error was unintentional. A Columbia spokesperson sent us this statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Japan group earns 4th retraction following investigation

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Researchers in Japan have issued their fourth retraction, noting that the same figures were used to depict different experimental conditions.

The group lost two papers in 2015 for the same reason, following a misconduct investigation at Oita University in Japan. Last year, the same group notched another retraction, and pegged the responsibility for the problematic figures on first author Satoshi Hagiwara.

Now, the group has published a fourth retraction in the European Journal of Pharmacologythe latest notice doesn’t identify a culprit. All four retracted papers list Hagiwara as first author.

Here’s the latest retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Lack of reproducibility triggers retractions of Nature Materials articles

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The authors of a highly cited 2015 paper in Nature Materials have retracted it, after being unable to reproduce some of the key findings.

The move prompted the journal to also retract an associated News & Views article.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Fast and long-range triplet exciton diffusion in metal–organic frameworks for photon upconversion at ultralow excitation power:” Read the rest of this entry »

Co-author of retraction record-holder likely fabricated his own data, analysis shows

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In 2012, John Carlisle, a British anesthesiologist, demonstrated conclusively using statistics that Yoshitaka Fujii had faked data in many studies. Fujii — as followers of this blog well know — now holds the record for most retractions by an individual author (183).

Carlisle’s work accomplished two things: It put to rest any doubt that problems with Fujii’s work might have resulted from innocent mistakes, and it gave journals a mathematical tool for conducting investigations into potential cases of misconduct.

Now comes the payoff. In a new paper, Carlisle and another anesthesiologist, John Loadsman, take aim at one of Fujii’s frequent co-authors, Yuhji Saitoh of Yachiyo Medical Center and Tokyo Women’s Medical University in Japan. The pair analyzed data from 31 studies Saitoh published between 1993 and 2012 — including one study that was rejected in 2015 — for a total of 32 papers. Of those, 23 did not include Fujii as an author.

Writing in the journal Anaesthesia, where Carlisle published his first study about Fujii, he and Loadsman state that: Read the rest of this entry »