Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘jacs (journal of the am. chemical society)’ 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falsifying research” in two papers on which he was first author: a highly cited 2015 paper in Nature Materials, which was retracted in 2016, as well as the 2016 paper in Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), retracted earlier this month.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 »

Why don’t the raw data match what was reported in a chemistry paper?

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Chemistry researchers in China have retracted their 2016 paper after reporting that the raw data did not match what they presented in the article.

The authors were attempting to develop a method to produce large amounts of a high-quality two-dimensional form of antimonene, a prized crystal structure that has been notoriously difficult to synthesize reliably.

They were successful, according to the paper, achieving “a large quantity of few-layer antimonene” and demonstrating its “exact atomical structure” and properties.

But they may have spoken too soon. Read the rest of this entry »

JACS corrects, removes author from previously flagged paper

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JACSA paper at the center of a high-profile case of alleged misconduct in Hong Kong has earned a correction notice.

The correction replaces an expression of concern on the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) paper, which followed allegations of data manipulation. It provides some un-cropped images, and removes a co-author from the paper. However, it does not appear to address previous allegations of misconduct, nor a recent ruling from an investigation at Hong Kong University (HKU), which found that some of the data were “invalid.”

Here is the correction notice for “Molecular Imaging of Peroxynitrite with HKGreen-4 in Live Cells and Tissues:”

Read the rest of this entry »

JACS imaging paper “under editorial review” has been replicated, says author

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JACS The author of a paper “under editorial review” at the Journal of the American Chemical Society has told us the results the paper have been replicated, contrary to claims made by a former member of her lab.

What’s more, the author said she has submitted a correction to the paper, which is currently flagged with an expression of concern, to provide uncropped images.

We originally reported on the case in February from the perspective of Roger Wong, a former chemist at Hong Kong University who said he hasn’t been able to replicate the findings out of the lab of Dan Yang, a current chemistry professor at HKU (who is female, despite the fact that “Dan” is frequently used as a male name in English). We unfortunately failed to reach Yang in February because of an email glitch; once we contacted Yang, she told us she does not believe Wong’s side of the story:

Read the rest of this entry »

JACS imaging paper “under editorial review”

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The Journal of the American Chemical Society has issued an expression of concern over “the presentation of results” in a 2014 paper about a new probe for use in imaging.

We haven’t heard back from the journal nor the authors of the paper, so there’s not much we can officially say about what the journal is investigating.

Here’s the text from the expression of concern:
Read the rest of this entry »

Intellectual property issues sink cancer paper in JACS

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176 spine minimum. full size. Editor: Lingling JEM: Leslie RTP: Michael ReidThe authors of a paper on a mechanism for potential cancer therapies are retracting it after realizing they published some proprietary findings “without permission and agreement from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

According to the retraction note in Journal of the American Chemical Society, the authors included an X-ray crystal structure and data that were gathered at St. Jude’s and considered the hospital’s intellectual property. On the paper, the last author, Zhengding Su, listed an affiliation at St. Jude and Hubei University of Technology in China, along with Amersino Biodevelop Inc., based in Waterloo, Canada.

Here’s the note for “Efficient Reactivation of p53 in Cancer Cells by a Dual MdmX/Mdm2 Inhibitor:”  Read the rest of this entry »

Bielawski and Wiggins up retraction count to five with three in JACS

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Journal of the American Chemical SocietyThe Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) has retracted three articles that had earned expressions of concern by chemistry researchers who were under investigation at the University of Texas, Austin.

Kelly Wiggins and Christopher Bielawski have already received two other retractions and several EoCs.

The newly retracted articles have each been cited more than 50 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The three papers are: Read the rest of this entry »

Chemists Bielawski and Wiggins up to eight expressions of concern, one retraction

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Christopher Bielawski

Two researchers who already had three expressions of concern under their belts have five more, plus a retraction.

Kelly Wiggins and Christopher Bielawski share authorship on all the papers in question. After the first set of EoCs, Bielawski, at the time a PI at UT Austin, told Chemistry and Engineering News that a “former lab member” had admitted to faking the data. The recent retraction indicates that University of Texas at Austin’s Office of Research Integrity formally investigated the lab, and determined that Bielawski was telling the truth about a former lab member being to blame.

Bielawski has since taken a post at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. He told us that move was unrelated to anything that happened at UT Austin, but declined to answer other questions. Wiggins got a postdoc at the University of Illinois, which an Illinois spokesperson confirmed lasted from July 1 2013 to January 22 2014; we’re waiting to hear back on our question about whether her departure had anything to do with misconduct.

Here’s the retraction notice for “A Mechanochemical Approach to Deracemization,” in Wiley journal Angewandte Chemie: Read the rest of this entry »

Structure fumble sinks second of author’s JACS papers

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jacsat_v136i001.inddProof that organic chemistry is hard for everyone, not just pre-meds: A paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society was retracted after the structures of compounds being studied were “misassigned.”

Another study by author Doo Ok Jang, also in JACS, was retracted in 2013 for the same reason; you can read our coverage here. Jang and Sang Yoon Kim published that one in 2008; the paper we’re talking about today was published in 2010 by Jang and Sung Jun Kim.

Here’s the notice for “Indium-Mediated Catalytic Enantioselective Allylation of N-Benzoylhydrazones Using a Protonated Chiral Amine:” Read the rest of this entry »

Chemists lose JACS silicone paper over data dispute

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Journal of the American Chemical SocietyA pair of chemists at Ball State University in Indiana has lost their paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society on silicone in a dispute over the provenance of the data.

The article, “Silicone Electrosynthesis from Silica Raw Materials at Room Temperature,” was written by Jeffrey E. Dick, a grad student, and Daesung Chong. It appeared in JACS in March.

As the abstract explained: Read the rest of this entry »