Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘elsevier’ Category

You’ve been dupe’d: Nice data — let’s see them again

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As we’ve said before, with hundreds of retractions per year, there are simply too many for us to cover individually.

So from time to time we’ll compile a list of retractions that appeared relatively straightforward, just for record-keeping purposes.

Often, these seemingly straightforward retractions involve duplications, in which authors — accidentally or on purpose — republish their own work elsewhere.

Sometimes journals and authors blame this event on “poor communication,” our first example notes:

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Four more retractions for biomaterials researcher brings total to 7

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Journal of Controlled ReleaseA biomaterials researcher has lost four more papers for figure-related issues such as duplications, bringing his total to seven retractions.

We previously reported on three retractions two by the Journal of Controlled Release (JCR) of papers co-authored by Hossein Hosseinkhani, who is currently based at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei. Now, the JCR is pulling four more studies that list Hosseinkhani as a co-author.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Enhanced expression of plasmid dna – cationized gelatin complex by ultrasound in murine muscle:” Read the rest of this entry »

A prominent psychiatry researcher is dismissed. What’s happening to his papers?

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Alexander Neumeister. Source: Yale School of Medicine

After a prominent researcher was dismissed due to multiple instances of misconduct in his studies, how are journals responding?

When an investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found multiple issues with the work of psychiatry researcher Alexander Neumeister, New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center shut down eight of his studies. (Disclosure: The author of this post is an NYU journalism student, but has no relationship with the medical school.) The agency concluded the studies, which involved using experimental drugs to relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), were tainted by lax oversight, falsified records, and inaccurate case histories, according to the New York Times. (Neuroskeptic also recently analyzed the case.)

We reached out to the journals that have published Neumeister’s papers, to ask if these recent events have caused them to take a second look at his work. Several have responded, with some noting they plan to investigate, or will do so if asked by the institution. But many believe there is little cause for concern. Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve been dupe’d (again): Do these data look familiar? They are

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plant_growth_regulationWe can’t keep up with the growing number of retraction notices, so we’ve compiled a list of recent duplications to update our records.

1. Authors don’t always intentionally duplicate their own work, of course. The first paper on our list was retracted after the authors included a figure from a previous paper by accident, according to the publisher: Read the rest of this entry »

Sixth retraction appears for bone researcher due to “extensive self-plagiarism”

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cov150hA bone researcher in Japan has logged his sixth retraction, after acknowledging he duplicated substantial portions of a 2011 paper and added “honorary” co-authors.

The retraction, in Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, follows five others for Yoshihiro Sato, including one from JAMA, some of which were pulled over concerns regarding authorship and data integrity. The latest retraction duplicated text from another 2005 paper that was itself retracted last year, both for duplicating from this newly retracted paper and for “concerns about the underlying data.”

Sato — who is listed at Mitate Hospital on the paper — told the journal he takes full responsibility.

Here’s the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

“We were completely shocked:” Plant biologists issue mega-correction

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Plant Cell cover

Plant biologists have issued a major correction (what we dub “mega“) after realizing a significant mistake in their experiment.

The 2014 paper shows that a protein known as RAP plays a key role in chloroplast biogenesis. But as Ludwig Maximilians University-based authors Alexandra-Viola Bohne and Laura Kleinknecht continued to do their research, they found an error in the design of primers they used to synthesize the RNA for their experiments — and told us they are concerned other researchers could run into the same problem.

Although the authors considered retracting the paper, since its main conclusion was unaffected, they issued a correction notice, published in April in Plant Cell:

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Authors pull Mol Cell paper for “inappropriate manipulation” of data

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Molecular CellThe authors of a Molecular Cell paper have retracted it due to issues with multiple figures — including one with evidence of “intentional misconduct.”

According to the authors’ institution, IMIM in Barcelona, all co-authors are aware of the retraction. The penultimate author — Antonio García de Herrerosretracted three papers in May from the Journal of Biological Chemistry for reusing images to represent different experiments, and recently corrected multiple figures in a Journal of Cell Science paper over “possible duplications and/or splices.”

Here’s the newest retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

June 29th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Nutrition researcher loses two more papers after misconduct findings come to light

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R K Chandra, self-proclaimed father of nutritional immunology (from

R K Chandra, self-proclaimed father of nutritional immunology (from

The self-proclaimed “father of nutritional immunology,” Ranjit Kumar Chandra, has lost two more papers following the release of a misconduct investigation report by his former employer, Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN).

The report was released last year after Chandra lost his libel suit against the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). The newly retracted papers were both published in Nutrition ResearchOn one, the author is listed as “Amrit Jain,” who is allegedly Chandra, as well.

Here’s the retraction notice for the article by Amrit Jain

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Columbia investigation reveals researcher faked data — and a degree

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InnateImmunityA researcher faked data and a masters degree, according to an investigation by Columbia University.

He’s also earned his fourth retraction. The new notice, along with one we’ve uncovered from 2014, provide some information on the extent of the deception of Robert Frumento, who left Columbia a decade ago, around the time that the now-retracted papers were published.

Here’s the new retraction notice:

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Prompted by PubPeer, biologist corrects three papers

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GeneA biologist has corrected three papers that are nearly a decade old, after concerns were raised on PubPeer.

A commenter first posted a comment about an image in one of the papers in 2013; after more comments on other papers appeared in November 2015, author Zoya Avramova at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln received emails alerting her to the threads. She has responded, including to the 2013 comment, noting “the said images should have been assembled more carefully.”

After repeating some of the experiments to verify the results, she has now issued corrections on three papers, about the genetics of model organism Arabidopsis. The papers share a first author, Abdelaty Saleh, who was a postdoc in Avramova’s lab at the time of the work.

The correction notice for “Dynamic and stable histone H3 methylation patterns at the Arabidopsis FLC and AP1 loci,” appearing in the July 2016 volume of Gene, explains:  Read the rest of this entry »