Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘russia’ Category

More “unsubstantiated conclusions” partially sink another origin of life paper

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OrigLife_ak17A trio of researchers based in Russia is asking to pull another set of figures and a table from a 2008 paper on modeling ATP formation after an investigation found the fourth researcher – the first author on the paper — “falsified or fabricated” the data they reflect.

The paper, in Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, is the second partial retraction from many of the same authors for the same reason. Both journals also issued erratum notices, which read quite similarly. Here’s the latest note:

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Journal retracts part of molecular bio paper due to “unsubstantiated conclusions”

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j mol evAll but one of the authors of a 2013 Journal of Molecular Evolution paper have requested a partial retraction due to “erroneous data” and “scientific misconduct” on the part of the remaining author.

The note blames second author Michael Kolesnikov for falsifying data on the formation of ATP. According to the notice, the misconduct was confirmed by a “thorough investigation” by the Bach Institute of Biochemistry in Russia, which no longer employs Kolesnikov.

Here is the note for “Abiotic Photophosphorylation Model Based on Abiogenic Flavin and Pteridine Pigments”: Read the rest of this entry »

Physics paper sinks amid accusations of unacceptable “overlap”

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prl-bannerA paper in Physical Review Letters has been retracted for “overlap” with two other previously published papers.

The notice isn’t available online yet, so we got in touch with American Physical Society (APS) editorial director Dan Kulp for more information. Here’s what he told us about “Anomalous melting scenario of the two-dimensional core-softened system”: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

November 19th, 2014 at 9:30 am

“Stupid, it should not be done that way”: Researcher explains how duplications led to a retraction

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Rienk van Grondelle, via VU

More than two years ago, we wrote about a retraction for duplication in Biophysical Journal prompted by an email from pseudonymous whistleblower Clare Francis. That post generated a robust discussion, including one comment from someone calling himself or herself “Double Dutch.”

This past weekend, the last author of that paper, Rienk van Grondelle, left a lengthy response to that comment in which he explained how the duplication happened. We’ve confirmed that it was van Grondelle who left the comment, which we reproduce here in full (we’ve added paragraph breaks for readability): Read the rest of this entry »

Plagiarism forces retraction of Slavic bird flu paper

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virosinA group of virologists from Kazakhstan and Russia have lost their 2011 bird flu article in Virologica Sinica. Their offense: plagiarizing from a previous article by a team from Sweden on a similar topic.

The paper, “Phylogenetic Analysis of the Non-structural (NS) Gene of Influenza A Viruses Isolated in Kazakhstan in 2002–2009,” which purported to show that: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

December 19th, 2013 at 9:30 am

Not our problem: Journal bows out of data dispute after U Minn challenges previous statement

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cellcyclecoverBack in May we reported on an Expression of Concern in Cell Cycle — a notice that had entered life as a retraction but mysteriously metamorphosed into the less dramatic form. The statement limned a rather bizarre dispute between researchers who crossed paths at the University of Minnesota and are now embroiled in litigation over ownership of the data.

Now, it gets weirder. Responding to further correspondence from the university, the journal has effectively washed its hands of the matter — without bothering to wipe down the sink or hang up the towel.

Here’s the “Comment on Expression of Concern“: Read the rest of this entry »

Amid a legal dispute, journal downgrades a retraction to an expression of concern

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cellcyclecoverThe journal Cell Cycle is expressing a “note” of concern about a 2012 paper by a former researcher at the University of Minnesota, who has claimed that her mentor at the institution was violating her copyright. It turns out the journal had briefly retracted the paper, but reversed itself with the expression of concern — a curious about-face that, in our experience, often indicates the work of lawyers.

That seems to be the case here, too.

The article, “Chalcone-based small-molecule inhibitors attenuate malignant phenotype via targeting deubiquitinating enzymes,” was already the subject of an erratum, available here:

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Why editors should stop ignoring anonymous whistleblowers: Our latest LabTimes column

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A retraction notice appeared a few months ago in the Biophysical Journal:

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (

This article has been retracted at the request of Edward Egelman, Editor-in-Chief.

The editors have noted that there is a substantial overlap of figures and text between this Biophysical Journal article and D. Rutkauskas, V. Novoderezkhin, R.J. Cogdell and R. van Grondelle. Fluorescence spectral fluctuations of single LH2 complexes from Rhodopseudomonas acidophila strain 10050. Biochemistry, 43 (2004) 4431–4438, doi:10.1021/bi0497648. The submission of this paper was inconsistent with the Biophysical Journal policy which states: “Manuscripts submitted to Biophysical Journal (BJ) must be original; papers that have already been published or are concurrently submitted elsewhere for publication are not acceptable for submission. This includes manuscripts previously submitted to BJ, as well as material that has been submitted to other journals while BJ is considering the manuscript. If some part of the work has appeared or will appear elsewhere, the authors must give the specific details of such appearances in the cover letter accompanying the BJ submission. If previously published illustrative material, such as figures or tables, must be included, the authors are responsible for obtaining the appropriate permissions from the publisher(s) before the material may be published in BJ”. We are therefore retracting the publication of the Biophysical Journal article.

Ordinarily, such duplications go to the bottom of our list of retractions to cover, despite how common they are. There’s usually less of a story behind them than there is behind a completely opaque notice, or behind one that sports a whiff of fraud. But they’re still important, as Bruce Chabner, the editor of The Oncologist, pointed out in a recent issue of his journal in which a duplication retraction appeared: Read the rest of this entry »