Archive for the ‘nature communications’ Category
Recently, a biostatistician sent an open letter to editors of 10 major science journals, urging them to pay more attention to common statistical problems with papers. Specifically, Romain-Daniel Gosselin, Founder and CEO of Biotelligences, which trains researchers in biostatistics, counted how many of 10 recent papers in each of the 10 journals contained two common problems: omitting the sample size used in experiments, as well as the tests used as part of the statistical analyses. (Short answer: Too many.) Below, we have reproduced his letter.
Dear Editors and Colleagues,
I write this letter as a biologist and instructor of biostatistics, concerned about the disregard for statistical reporting that is threatening scientific reproducibility. I hereby urge you to spearhead the strict application of existing guidelines on statistical reporting. Read the rest of this entry »
Susana Gonzalez, a rising star in stem cell research, has had a rough year.
In addition to being fired from her former research institute (which she is now appealing), one of her grants (totaling nearly 2 million Euros) was suspended. Most recently, she has received two new retractions in Nature Communications over figure duplications and missing raw data. By our count, she has a total of three retractions.
Both of the new notices say the papers contained figures duplicated in other papers by Gonzalez, and neither includes Gonzalez among the list of co-authors who agreed to the retraction.
Gonzalez was dismissed from her position at the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Spain last February over allegations of misconduct. According to the head of basic research at CNIC, Gonzalez is still embroiled in a legal battle with the Center over her dismissal. Vicente Andrés could not go into detail because of the ongoing litigation, but he told us: Read the rest of this entry »
After a series of documentaries prompted his former employer, Karolinska Institutet (KI), to reopen a misconduct investigation against him, KI has today released one verdict regarding a 2014 Nature Communications paper: guilty.
KI said it is contacting the journal to request a retraction of the paper, which has already been flagged with an expression of concern.
Here’s more from a release from the institution: Read the rest of this entry »
Nature Communications has issued an expression of concern for a 2014 paper by beleaguered surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, citing concerns over whether the paper accurately reports the experiments that were carried out.
According to the notice, Macchiarini, a former rising star in the field of transplant medicine, agrees with the expression of concern. Three of his 22 co-authors have objected.
“Experimental orthotopic transplantation of a tissue-engineered oesophagus in rats” describes transplanting an esophagus into rats that was seeded with their own stem cells, and notes that all animals survived the study period (14 days), and gained more weight than rats given a placebo operation. It’s a topic Macchiarini has made famous, as the first surgeon to perform a similar procedure with a human tracheal transplant. But he’s faced charges of misconduct in the last few years, resulting in his dismissal from Karolinska Institutet (KI).
Two weeks after Nature Communications published a paper on asymmetric cell division in July, it posted a retraction notice saying the paper was submitted “without the knowledge or consent” of all but the corresponding author.
The following day the journal “amended” the retraction note to include the initials of the corresponding author, Aicha Metchat, then based at European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany.
The final notice for “An actin-dependent spindle position checkpoint ensures the asymmetric division in mouse oocytes” reads:
It’s not unusual to hear authors bemoan the fact that a new paper doesn’t cite their work that set the stage for a scientific advance. “The journal limited me to [a seemingly abitrary number of] references,” authors sometimes shrug, with or without apology. This week, however, we found a case of that which seems to have been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
The authors of a September 2013 article in Nature Communications have issued a correction for the piece, which failed to cite the source of a key step in their experiment.
The article, “Val66Met polymorphism of BDNF alters prodomain structure to induce neuronal growth cone retraction,” came from the lab of William “Clay” Bracken, a biochemist at Weill Cornell Medical College. According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »