Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘nature publishing group’ Category

Nature retracts epigenetics paper by author who lost two Science papers last year

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cover_natureFrank Sauer, formerly of the University of California, Riverside, has had a 2002 letter on epigenetics retracted from Nature due to “inappropriate image manipulation.”

Sauer had two papers retracted from Science last year following a university investigation. Here’s the Nature notice for “Histone methylation by the Drosophila epigenetic transcriptional regulator Ash1:” Read the rest of this entry »

Former Columbia postdoc faked Alzheimer’s research in Cell and Nature

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cover_natureRyousuke Fujita, a former Columbia University postdoc who admitted to having faked the findings of a 2011 Cell paper in a retraction notice last year, also faked the results of a 2013 Nature paper, according to a new report from the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

Fujita’s work, in conjunction with Asa Abeliovich, was widely hailed as a significant step forward, a way to turn skin cells into brain cells. But the story began falling apart when the Cell retraction said that he “acknowledged inappropriately manipulating image panels and data points, as well as misrepresenting the number of repeats performed.”

The ORI’s findings in the case also involve a 2013 Nature paper, “Integrative genomics identifies APOE ε4 effectors in Alzheimer’s disease,” and a paper never published. Fujita, according to the ORI: Read the rest of this entry »

David Vaux: Nature’s decision to add double-blind peer review is good, but could be better

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David Vaux, a cell biologist at the Walter + Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, explains how Nature could do more to remove bias from the peer review process. He previously wrote about his decision to retract a paper.


David Vaux

Last week, Nature announced that they are to offer authors of papers submitted to Nature or the monthly Nature research journals the option of having their manuscripts assessed by double-blind peer review, in which reviewers are blinded to the identity of authors and their institutions. Until now, papers sent to Nature, and most other journals, have been reviewed by a single-blind process, in which the reviewers know the identities and affiliations of the authors, but the authors are not told who the reviewers are. The goal of double-blind peer review is for submitted papers to be judged on their scientific merit alone, and thus to reduce publication bias.

While Nature should be applauded for this move, the way they have implemented it leaves room for improvement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

February 25th, 2015 at 11:00 am

“The main improvements reported are invalid”: Quantum communication paper retracted

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scientificreportsA 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.

Here’s the notice for “Efficient Quantum Transmission in Multiple-Source Networks”: Read the rest of this entry »

Far from earth-shatteringly new: Plagiarism topples Chinese quake paper

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scientificreportsA group of scientists at the Chinese Earthquake Administration in Beijing have lost their 2014 paper in Nature Scientific Reports for lifting chunks of text from a previously published article.

The abstract of the paper, “Early magnitude estimation for the MW7.9 Wenchuan earthquake using progressively expanded P-wave time window,” states: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

January 26th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Can’t spell Novartis without VART: Drug study retracted for conflict of interest, data issues

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JHH(Cover).inddA major scandal in Japan over the Novartis hypertension drug valsartan has resulted in a retraction from the Journal of Human Hypertension. 

Frequent Retraction Watch subject Hiroaki Matsubara resigned his post at Kyoto Prefectural University in 2013, after his work on valsartan was shown to be riddled with data errors and undisclosed conflicts of interest.

Also that year, suspicions about Chiba University hypertension researcher Issei Komuro’s work were first raised by an anonymous blog, which detailed numerous image manipulations in the researcher’s published works. Komuro, who frequently collaborated with Matsubara, has been a senior author on a number of valsartan papers, including the now-retracted one, which reported the results of Novartis-sponsored Valsartan Amlodipine Randomized Trial in 2011 without reporting the Novartis funding.

The paper, which has been cited three times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, had already been subject to a correction in 2013Read the rest of this entry »

Nature Cell Biology insulin paper retracted over antibody problems

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nature cell biologyNature Cell Biology article on insulin regulation has been retracted after scientists noted that the antibodies used in their research were not as specific as they had previously believed.

The notice is clear on the problems with the science, which together “call into question the main conclusions of the paper.” Three of the paper’s five authors were employed at Novartis at the time of publication.

Here’s the notice for “Wolfram syndrome 1 and adenylyl cyclase 8 interact at the plasma membrane to regulate insulin production and secretion”: Read the rest of this entry »

Shigeaki Kato up to 33 retractions, with five papers cited a total of 450 times

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Shigeaki Kato

Shigeaki Kato

Former University of Tokyo researcher Shigeaki Kato continues to put big numbers on the board.

Last month, we reported on his 26th, 27th, and 28th retractions, all in Nature Cell Biology and cited close to 700 times. Yesterday, EMBO Journal and EMBO Reports published a total of five more retractions for the endocrinology researcher, who resigned from the university in 2012 following investigations found he had faked images.

Here’s the notice for “A cell cycle-dependent co-repressor mediates photoreceptor cell-specific nuclear receptor function:” Read the rest of this entry »

Nature issues Expression of Concern for paper by author who threatened to sue Retraction Watch

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Ariel Fernandez, via Wikipedia

Ariel Fernandez, via Wikipedia

Nature has issued an Expression of Concern for a paper co-authored by a scientist who threatened to sue us last year for writing about another Expression of Concern for one of his other papers.

Here’s the “Editorial Expression of Concern” for “Non-adaptive origins of interactome complexity:”

Read the rest of this entry »

Updated: Former Vanderbilt scientist faked nearly 70 images, will retract 6 papers: ORI

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ori logoA former Vanderbilt University biomedical engineer committed fraud on a massive scale, according to a new Office of Research Integrity (ORI) report.

Igor Dzhura is banned from receiving federal funding for three years, and is retracting six papers, which have been cited more than 500 times. Since leaving Vanderbilt, he has worked at SUNY Upstate Medical University, and now works at Novartis.

According to the ORI, Dzhura was a busy boy at Vanderbilt, faking images and drastically inflating the number of experiments he conducted by duplicating computer files and saving them in nested folders. The total body count from his work includes: Read the rest of this entry »