Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘jcb’ Category

Former postdoc admitted to fraud in cell bio paper, lead author says

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A researcher in Switzerland has retracted her 2015 paper in the Journal of Cell Biology, saying the first author — her former postdoc — admitted to fabricating multiple aspects of the paper.

After Sophie Martin of the University of Lausanne couldn’t reproduce the data from another manuscript she was preparing to submit, she contacted her former student, Pranav Ullal, who admitted he had fabricated the data, along with two figures in the JCB paper.

A spokesperson for the University of Lausanne told us that Ullal left Switzerland after his contract was over, and is now in India.

Martin told us the whole experience has been upsetting:

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Written by Alison McCook

February 21st, 2017 at 11:30 am

Prominent researcher in Taiwan loses another paper for image duplication

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In November, a vice president at an institution in Taiwan retracted a hotly debated cancer paper from Nature Cell Biology, citing image problems including duplications. Now, the Journal of Biological Chemistry has done the same, again citing image duplications.

There are a few things to note about the latest retraction: One, the last author is again Kuo Min-liang — who holds an appointment at National Taiwan University (NTU), and is also a vice president at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan. Kuo is currently facing allegations that he accepted bribes to add co-authors to his papers; NTU told us it is investigating the latest retraction in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, including Kuo.

The other notable feature of the retraction is the notice itself, which lists a remarkable number of duplicated images. Take a look:

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Don’t trust an image in a scientific paper? Manipulation detective’s company wants to help.

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Mike Rossner. Source: S. Peterson

Mike Rossner. Source: S. Peterson

Mike Rossner has made a name for himself in academic publishing as somewhat of a “manipulation detective.” As the editor of The Journal of Cell Biology, in 2002 he initiated a policy of screening all images in accepted manuscripts, causing the journal to reject roughly 1% of papers that had already passed peer review. Other journals now screen images, but finding manipulation is only the first step – handling it responsibly is another matter. Rossner has started his own company to help journals and institutions manage this tricky process. We talked to him about his new venture.

Retraction Watch: What are the primary services offered by your company?

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Written by Alison McCook

February 24th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Fat cell paper earns unusually detailed retraction

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jcbA pair of cell biologists have taken responsibility for extensive figure errors that scuttled their paper in the Journal of Cell Biology.

While there were five authors, first and last authors Eva Szabo and Michal Opas took responsibility in the notice. A number of figures “contain incorrect data and/or presentation errors,” and the original data isn’t available for verification. The notice is unusually clear about which figures and data are compromised.

The paper was published in 2008, and retracted on January 12, 2015. It has been cited 32 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the notice for “Calreticulin inhibits commitment to adipocyte differentiation’: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 16th, 2015 at 9:30 am

UCL finds errors in work by biologist Cossu, but no “deliberate intention to mislead”

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A cell biologist at University College London (UCL) who has had one paper retracted and another corrected has been cleared of misconduct by the university.

The news, first reported by Times Higher Education, comes after a retraction of a paper by Giulio Cossu prompted by pseudonymous whistleblower Clare Francis that we wrote about in January.

Here’s the full text of UCL’s statement on the investigation: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 9th, 2013 at 11:00 am

Researcher found by ORI to have committed misconduct earns back right to apply for Federal grants

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Philippe Bois

A former researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in  Memphis has won back the right to apply for Federal research funding despite a 2011 finding against him by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

Philippe Bois, a cancer researcher now working at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida, argued that the alleged misconduct in the ORI findings — which led to a three-year ban on applying for funding — was actually honest error. As Bois’s attorneys explained last year: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 19th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Posted in jcb,united states

Clare Francis scores a bullseye: Journal of Cell Biology paper retracted for image manipulation

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jcbIf you’re a journal editor or publisher, there’s a good chance your email inbox has seen its share of emails from “Clare Francis,” who has been crusading against text and image duplication in papers for some years now. Some editors have grown quite weary of those emails, sometimes because they don’t want to deal with anonymous whistleblowers, and sometimes because they have found Clare’s claims to be without merit.

But the Journal of Cellular Biology is one journal that has apparently continued to take them seriously. Today, they retract “Follistatin induction by nitric oxide through cyclic GMP: a tightly regulated signaling pathway that controls myoblast fusion,” a 2006 paper about which Francis first raised concerns in early November. Here’s the notice, one of those wonderfully detailed ones that make us squeal like schoolgirls meeting the Beatles: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 22nd, 2013 at 2:45 pm