Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘portugal’ Category

Author appeared to use phony Caltech co-authors, up to 8 retractions

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ACBEA journal has retracted three articles from a chemist in Portugal with a history of problems with co-authors and data — the exact problems cited by the new notices.

Specifically, it appears as if Rodrigo J.G. Lopes made up the affiliations of multiple co-authors from the California Institute of Technology, causing the journal to “doubt the existence of the authors.”

Lopes first came to our attention in 2013, when he lost a paper in the Chemical Engineering Journal for including data he couldn’t have produced, as the lab lacked the necessary equipment. That had followed a previous retraction, when Lopes added co-authors without their permission. We’ve since found other retractions for Lopes, bringing his total to eight, by our count. Read the rest of this entry »

EMBO awardee under investigation loses grant

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Sonia Melo

Sonia Melo

Sonia Melo, the recipient of an early career award from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) who fell under investigation after one of her papers was retracted, has now lost the grant.

On the EMBO release announcing the nine awardees of the 2015 Installation Grants, there now appears an asterisk beside Melo’s name. At the bottom of the page, this message appears: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

March 2nd, 2016 at 10:30 am

Labor pains study brought into this world twice

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YJPAI_v16_i6_COVER.inddA group of authors published two articles about one study on pain during childbirth, so one journal is retracting it.

This may seem like a standard case of salami slicing — but this one comes with a nearly 600-word commentary co-authored by the editors of the two journals in question.

The commentary lays out — in a refreshingly transparent way — exactly why the journals came to a joint decision to retract one of the papers:

Read the rest of this entry »

“There was no effort to commit fraud,” says EMBO awardee under investigation

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Sonia Melo

Sonia Melo

A recent recipient of an early career award now under investigation by granting agency EMBO told us today that last week’s retraction in Nature Genetics stemmed solely from an “embarrassing error,” and she hopes to republish the data in a new paper.

Last week was rough for Sonia Melo: Nature Genetics retracted one of her papers, and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) announced it was investigating the papers that formed the basis of her application. The retraction was of “A TARBP2 mutation in human cancer impairs microRNA processing and DICER1 function,” which has been cited 235 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

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

Melo contacted us today to defend her record: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

February 2nd, 2016 at 11:30 am

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 »

Post-doc fired after explaining image problems in paper to Retraction Watch

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Christian Ramos

Christian Ramos

We reported last week on a Portuguese group that lost two papers over mislabeled image files.

Now, we’ve learned that first author Christian Ramos has been fired after speaking to Retraction Watch and offering what seemed like a heartfelt apology (which you can read here). Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 3rd, 2014 at 9:30 am

“This situation left me ashamed and infuriated with myself:” Scientist retracts two papers

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j bacteriologyA Portuguese group has retracted two papers in the Journal of Bacteriology after mislabeled computer files led to the wrong images being used.

And, we’ve learned in a heartfelt email, the first author was devastated.

Here’s the notice for “MtvR Is a Global Small Noncoding Regulatory RNA in Burkholderia cenocepacia”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

October 17th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Solvent paper dissolves under heat of institutional investigation

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Jced_coverA chemical engineering paper published in February has been retracted for data and authorship problems.

According to the retraction notice, the authors’ institutions investigated and found that not only was the data not reproducible, but “not all co-authors on the manuscript were aware of or agreed to the content and scientific conclusions in the article.”

Here’s the notice in the Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data for “Ionic Liquids as Promising Solvents for Biomass Derived Mannitol and Xylitol”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

September 22nd, 2014 at 11:30 am

“I am not a monster and I am not unreasonable:” Student attacks professor with axe after grant is cut

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coimbraA physics graduate student at the University of Coimbra in Portugal attacked a professor with an axe earlier this month after losing a grant.

The student, Colin Paul Gloster, attacked physics lecturer Maria Filomena Santos, who according to the Irish Mirror will “require reconstructive surgery as the axe cut very close to the tendons.”

Speaking of the Irish Mirror story, Gloster tells Retraction Watch that “the main point that I axed someone is true.” But, he adds:

I am not a monster and I am not unreasonable.

According to the Irish Mirror: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 25th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Posted in portugal

Seeing triple: Optics paper proves to be one of three, retracted

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joptA team of physicists has lost their 2013 paper in the Journal of Optics after the publisher learned that the article had already appeared in print twice before.

The article, “Inscription of narrow bandwidth Bragg gratings in polymer optical fibers,” came from researchers at the Instituto de Telecomunicacoes, in Portugal, and the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, in Birmingham, England. Per the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »