Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘biochem biophys research comm’ Category

A university asked for numerous retractions. Eight months later, three journals have done nothing.

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Anil Jaiswal

When journals learn papers are problematic, how long does it take them to act?

We recently had a chance to find out as part of our continuing coverage of the case of Anil Jaiswal at the University of Maryland, who’s retracted 15 papers (including two new ones we recently identified), and has transitioned out of cancer research. Here’s what happened.

As part of a public records request related to the investigation, we received letters that the University of Maryland sent to 11 journals regarding 26 “compromised” papers co-authored by Jaiswal, four of which had been retracted by the time of the letter. The letters were dated between August and September 2016 (and one in February) — although, in some cases, the journals told us they received the letter later. Since that date, three journals have retracted nine papers and corrected another, waiting between four and six months to take action. One journal published an editorial note of concern within approximately two months after the university letter.

And six journals have not taken any public action.

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7th retraction for Ohio researcher who manipulated dozens of figures

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Terry Elton, via OSU

Terry Elton

A pharmacology researcher at Ohio State University has added his seventh retraction, four years after a finding of misconduct by the U.S. Office of Integrity (ORI).

An analysis of the work of Terry Elton determined that he had

falsified and/or fabricated Western blots in eighteen (18) figures and in six (6) published papers.

 In 2012, the ORI finding, which resulted in a three-year funding ban (that is now complete), recommended that Elton retract all six papers, one of which had already been retracted at the time of the report. 

Four years later, the last of the six papers flagged by the ORI has finally been retracted by Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology.

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

How did two papers on same gene with different authors, publishers, end up with identical retraction notices?

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1-s2.0-S0006291X16X00058-cov150h1Here’s an interesting case: We’ve found two retracted papers that describe the same gene, and both have nearly identical retraction notices. What’s unusual is that the two papers don’t have any authors in common, and appeared in two different journals published by two different companies.

The cause of both papers’ demise: Plagiarism, and use of unpublished data without permission “from an unnamed source,” who wishes to remain that way. The author of one of the papers confirmed to us that the unnamed source is a “3rd party service company.” Springer told us that the third party in the other paper, however, is another researcher.

It’s a puzzling case, to be sure. We think we have uncovered some of what happened, but remain slightly fuzzy on the details.

Here’s the first retraction, for “KDM3A interacted with p53K372me1 and regulated p53 binding to PUMA in gastric cancer,” originally published online September 30 by Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications:

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Two more retractions bring lab break-in biochemist up to eleven

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bbrcKarel Bezouška, the Czech biochemist who was caught on hidden camera breaking into a lab fridge to fake results, has turned it up to eleven with two new retractions.

Both retractions appeared in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, one in October 2014 and one in January 2015.  His story began two decades ago in 1994, when he published a paper in Nature that couldn’t be reproduced, and was eventually retracted in 2013.

The best part of the story, of course, is that when his university was attempting to recreate his experiments, Bezouška broke into a lab fridge to tamper with the experiments. Unbeknownst to him, he was caught on hidden camera.  Read the rest of this entry »

“Apparently, the bureaucracy at Elsevier is the most cumbersome thing in the world:” Journal editor

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bbrcWe recently came across a paper in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, an Elsevier title, that had been temporarily removed without explanation. While we see a fair number of such opaque notices from Elsevier — and have written about why we think they’re a bad idea — we took interest in this one because the last author, Toren Finkel of the NIH, was the corresponding author of a Nature paper retracted earlier this year. (He also had two corrections on one Science paper, both of which are paywalled.)

What we learned suggests the withdrawal was completely unrelated to the Nature retraction, but also reveals a journal editor’s exasperation.

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Journal withdraws diabetes paper written by apparently bogus authors

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BBRCTalk about a Trojan Horse.

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications has withdrawn a paper it published earlier this year on metabolic proteins linked to diabetes, not because the article was bogus but because the authors appear to have been. The work itself is accurate — indeed, it likely belongs to a Harvard scientist, Bruce Spiegelman, who’d presented his data on the subject several times recently and was in the process of preparing his results for publication. We’ve written about researchers trying to punk journals with faked articles, and about a researcher who apparently made up a co-author, but here’s something new!

Nature has the story. According to Nature, in July Spiegelman: Read the rest of this entry »

ORI: Ohio State researcher manipulated two dozen figures in NIH grants, papers

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terry elton

Terry Elton, via OSU

Terry S. Elton, a researcher at Ohio State University in Columbus who studies genetic expression in various heart conditions and Down syndrome, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity for fabricating and/or falsifying data in a number of NIH grants and resulting papers.

According to an OSU statement sent to Retraction Watch last night, it was an anonymous whistleblower who alerted the university to the potential misconduct in July 2010. The ORI report notes that he two OSU investigations, along with the ORI investigation, found that Elton: Read the rest of this entry »

Two retractions in biophysics journal, one because article is “too preliminary and potentially misleading”

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We’ve seen vigorous debates here on Retraction Watch about when studies should be retracted. Does it require fraud? Just not being reproducible? Somewhere in between?

Given the apparent divergence of opinions on the issue, we thought it would be worth highlighting a case that involves language we haven’t seen before. Here’s the notice for “Apoptosis of CT26 colorectal cancer cells induced by Clostridium difficile toxin A stimulates potent anti-tumor immunity,” which originally appeared online in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications in April: Read the rest of this entry »

Another retraction for Naoki Mori (make that 23?)

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The retraction total for Naoki Mori continues to rise.

The October issue of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications has retracted a 2007 paper by Mori et al for the same issues — manipulated images — that  brought down the 20-odd other papers of his since the scandal broke in late December.

Here’s the notice for the pulled paper, titled “Downregulation of citrin, a mitochondrial AGC, is associated with apoptosis of hepatocytes:” Read the rest of this entry »

Third retraction for Indiana University scientist who altered figures in NIH-funded research

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Another shoe has dropped in the case of Emily M. Horvath, the Indiana researcher whose tinkering with figures while on a $369,000 federal grant ended in sanctions by government officials.

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, an Elsevier title, has retracted another paper on which Horvath was an author, bringing to three the number of her articles tainted in the scandal. The paper, “A novel membrane-based anti-diabetic action of atorvastatin,” was published online in June 2008, and cited four times since, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. (Atorvastatin is sold as Lipitor.) According to the journal: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

October 26th, 2010 at 3:07 pm