Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘embo journal’ Category

EMBO journals retract figures in two papers missing source data

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Journals published by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) have retracted a handful of figures in two papers with the same last and first authors.

After some figures in the 2005 and 2007 papers were flagged on PubPeer and the authors couldn’t provide the original data, the journals decided to retract parts of the papers, since other data supported the remaining conclusions, according to the Head of Scientific Publications at EMBO.

The partial retractions are labeled as corrigenda by the journals. Earlier this year, the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced it would be classifying partial retractions as errata, noting they had been used so rarely by journals.

Both lengthy corrigenda (also reported by Leonid Schneider) contain statements from the authors and the editors. The statements from the authors provide detailed explanations about the problems with the figures in question; here’s an excerpt from the editor’s statement in The EMBO Journal corrigendum: Read the rest of this entry »

Scotland researcher suspended during misconduct probe: report

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Robert Ryan

Robert Ryan

A prominent researcher in Scotland has been suspended amidst a misconduct investigation at the University of Dundee.

According to The Scotsman, the allegations against Robert Ryan center around falsifying data and duplicating figures in his work about molecular bacteriology.

As the outlet reports: Read the rest of this entry »

EMBO investigation yields two more retractions and three corrections for Voinnet

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Olivier Voinnet

Olivier Voinnet

An investigation into the work of Olivier Voinnet by The EMBO Journal has led to another two retractions and three more corrections for the high-profile plant scientist, now suspended from the CNRS for two years.

According to the authors, Voinnet was responsible for some of the errors; all papers have been questioned on PubPeer.

The EMBO J, the flagship publication of the European Molecular Biology Organization, posted four notices earlier today and told Retraction Watch that the notice for the fifth paper would be posted by tomorrow.

This latest round brings our count for Voinnet up to Read the rest of this entry »

Stem cell researcher retracts neuron paper for “image aberrations”

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embo journalJens Christian Schwamborn, a stem cell researcher at the University of Luxembourg, is retracting a 2007 paper on how to grow brain cells.

The paper, “Ubiquitination of the GTPase Rap1B by the ubiquitin ligase Smurf2 is required for the establishment of neuronal polarity,” was published while Schwamborn was at Westfälische Wilhelms‐Universität Münster in Germany. An anonymous critic had sent questions about the study to Germany’s DFG in the middle of last year, and later to Paul Brookes, who posted them on PubMed Commons.

Those criticisms match the problems listed in the detailed notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 18th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Shigeaki Kato up to 33 retractions, with five papers cited a total of 450 times

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Shigeaki Kato

Shigeaki Kato

Former University of Tokyo researcher Shigeaki Kato continues to put big numbers on the board.

Last month, we reported on his 26th, 27th, and 28th retractions, all in Nature Cell Biology and cited close to 700 times. Yesterday, EMBO Journal and EMBO Reports published a total of five more retractions for the endocrinology researcher, who resigned from the university in 2012 following investigations found he had faked images.

Here’s the notice for “A cell cycle-dependent co-repressor mediates photoreceptor cell-specific nuclear receptor function:” Read the rest of this entry »

Geneticist retracting four papers for “significant problems”

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jbc 620Benjamin Barré, a genetics researcher who recently set up his own group at the University of Angers, is retracting four papers he worked on as a graduate student and postdoc.

Neil Perkins, in whose lab Barré was a postdoc, and Olivier Coqueret, in whose lab he did his PhD, tell Retraction Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Senior author “fully confident” in paper that cites retracted Cell study and shares first author

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Last week, we reported on an investigation at Glasgow’s Beatson Institute for Cancer Research into the circumstances of a retraction in Cell. That retraction wasn’t signed by the paper’s first author, Lynne Marshall, who had since moved on to another institution. (We have yet to hear back from Marshall about why she didn’t sign.)

As a commenter on that post pointed out, Marshall was the first author on an EMBO Journal paper that cited the now-retracted Cell paper several times. So we wanted to find out if there were any questions about the EMBO Journal paper, “Nutrient/TOR-dependent regulation of RNA polymerase III controls tissue and organismal growth in Drosophila,” published in February of this year. Savraj Grewal, Marshall’s PI at the University of Calgary until her postdoc ended earlier this summer, tells Retraction Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 13th, 2012 at 10:10 am

Transparency in action: EMBO Journal detects manipulated images, then has them corrected before publishing

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As Retraction Watch readers know, we’re big fans of transparency. Today, for example, The Scientist published an opinion piece we wrote calling for a Transparency Index for journals. So perhaps it’s no surprise that we’re also big fans of open peer review, in which all of a papers’ reviews are made available to readers once a study is published.

Not that many journals have taken this step — medical journals at BioMedCentral are among those that have, and they even include the names of reviewers — but a recent peer review file from EMBO Journal, one publication that has embraced this transparent approach, is particularly illuminating.

Alan G. Hinnebusch, of the U.S. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, submitted a paper on behalf of his co-authors on November 2, 2011, at which point it went out for peer review. The editors sent those reviews back to the author on January 2, 2012, and Hinnebusch responded with revisions on April 4. So far, the process looks much like that any scientist goes through — questions about methods, presentation, and conclusions, followed by answers from the authors.

But what caught the eye of frequent Retraction Watch commenter Dave, who brought this to our attention, was what happened starting on May 18 when the editors responded to the authors again. (That letter is labeled as page 6, but is actually page 16 of the linked document.): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 1st, 2012 at 9:30 am