One journal has retracted a paper containing images that recently raised suspicions of obvious duplications, and another journal is planning to do the same.
Scientists first leveled accusations against the newly retracted paper in Scientific Reports, along with two others by the same researchers, earlier this month on Twitter. One other journal — PeerJ — has announced that it plans to retract one of the questioned papers, as well. The third paper, in Frontiers in Pharmacology, bears an expression of concern.
It was unusually quick action on the part of the journals, as well as the authors’ host institution, the University of Malaya, which announced last week the authors had manipulated figures in all three papers, along with one other.
According to the allegations, a group of researchers in Malaysia have used the same four images to represent some 30 cells at different stages of cell death. One researcher has even suggested the allegedly doctored images appear in three different papers.
A researcher accused of misconduct by an anonymous Japanese blogger has corrected a 2003 paper in Circulation Research, after providing a university investigation with the original source files.
Allegations of fraud have dogged Shokei Kim-Mitsuyama for years, and even caused him to step down from his position as editor in chief at another journal. However, Kim-Mitsuyama and his colleagues call the latest correction a “mistake,” which didn’t affect any of the paper’s conclusions.
We’ve unearthed a total of five publications co-authored by Kim-Mitsuyama that have earned corrections, the latest of which cites an investigation by the university:
Do we need a “throwing vendors under the bus” category here at Retraction Watch?
Earlier this year, we reported on the retraction of a paper because of sloppy work by an outside lab. Now, we have the story of a retraction for “negligence” by a translator. Specifically, the author says the passages shared between the retracted 2015 vascular paper and another paper in EMBO Journal are a result of “negligence on the part of the translation company that I trusted to make my manuscript ready for submission.”
A paper on quantum communication has been retracted for failing to address several important problems, making the conclusions invalid.
Quantum communication involves sending a series of photons in specific quantum states over fiberoptic cables. It’s a little like the 1s and 0s of traditional computing, but much more secure. If the photons are intercepted on their way to the intended target, the quantum states will change, and the recipients can know their information was accessed by other parties. This is especially interesting to governments with a lot of secret information to transmit: both China and the U.S. have programs to develop these networks.
The retracted paper was a discussion of how to efficiently send lots of quantum information from different sources through the same fiberoptic cables at once.
Transplant of induced pluripotent stem cells to treat heart failure probably never happened
Hisashi Moriguchi, a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo, had claimed a result that would have put him years ahead of researchers toiling in stem cell research. But the claims were met with a great deal of doubt — to say the least — and the story began to unravel when Harvard, where Moriguchi said he’d done the work, denied it had ever taken place.