Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘duplication retractions’ Category

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

“We are living in hell:” Authors retract 2nd paper due to missing raw data

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ijcA 2006 paper investigating the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and celecoxib on prostate cancer cells has been retracted because it appears to contain panels that were duplicated, and the authors could not provide the raw data to show otherwise.

This is the second paper the authors have lost because they couldn’t furnish the original data to defend their work against allegations of image manipulation. The reason: the Institute for Cancer Prevention in New York, where the authors did the work, shut its doors abruptly in 2004, co-author Bhagavathi A. Narayanan told us. (The institute closed thanks to $5.7 million in grant that was misspent, the New York Post reported at the time.)

Recently, some of Narayanan’s papers have been questioned on PubPeer; her work has been the subject of an investigation at New York University, where Narayanan is now based.

Narayanan told us that the criticism of their work has deeply affected her and her co-authors:

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Journal retracts 7 papers by MD Anderson cancer researcher long under investigation

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Bharat Aggarwal

An MD Anderson Cancer Center researcher who has been under investigation by the institution for at least several years has had seven papers retracted from a single journal.

Bharat Aggarwal told us in 2012 that MD Anderson was investigating his work, but in 2013 threatened to sue us for reporting on the case. Aggarwal is no longer listed in the MD Anderson directory, and an email to him there bounced.

This week, Biochemical Pharmacology retracted seven studies of which he is the only common author, noting the “data integrity has become questionable.” The papers have been cited a total of more than 500 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge; one has been designated as “highly cited.” Here are the seven retractions: Read the rest of this entry »

Author dispute, “considerable overlap” retract chemistry study

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Spectrochimica Acta Part A- Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy

A chemistry journal has issued a retraction after “a thorough and time-consuming analysis” revealed two out of four authors did not agree to submitting an article published in May, which also contains “considerable overlap and redundancy” with another paper published a few weeks prior in a different journal.

Shortly after the paper appeared in Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, the journal was told “that parts of the manuscript were reused” from an article in the Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers that was published online March 16. That led to the investigation, and the discovery of the additional authorship issues.

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

Johns Hopkins investigation leads to retraction of two lung papers, one highly cited

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showCoverImageAn investigation at Johns Hopkins University has uncovered several issues with the figures in two papers on a lung disease linked to smoking, one of which is highly cited.

The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine is retracting both papers, which examine the role of protein NRF2 in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. But both contain spliced and duplicated figures, among other issues.

Both papers — which share a total of five authors — received an expression of concern in 2014, after the corresponding author noticed anomalies in the figures. That same year, PubPeer commenters had begun raising questions about some of the figures in one of the papers.

A spokesperson for Johns Hopkins declined to say whether the investigation considered if the errors were the result of misconduct.

All authors agreed with the retraction, except for one who couldn’t be located. Here’s more from the retraction note for both papers:

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Journals retracts three bone papers for duplication by same author

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1-s2.0-S0168365907X02700-cov150hA journal is Journals are retracting three papers after a biomaterials researcher duplicated his own work, sometimes using the same figures to describe different experiments.

Two of the papers are on bone regeneration; one is about targeting tumors. In addition to issues with figures, two one of the retraction notes explain that the papers contain “widespread plagiarism of text” from other papers by the researcher, Hossein Hosseinkhani.

Hosseinkhani is currently affiliated with the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology; when he did the work in the now retracted papers, published in 2004 and 2007, he was based at Kyoto University Hospital and then National Institute for Materials Science in Japan.

The Journal of Controlled Release published all three two of the papers. Here’s the retraction note for “Bone regeneration through controlled release of bone morphogenetic protein-2 from 3-D tissue engineered nano-scaffold,” which has been cited 118 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

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Investigation leads to 5th retraction for drug researcher

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Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 6.05.21 PMA pharmaceutical researcher has received his fourth and fifth retractions for duplicating papers.

Last we saw Giuseppe Derosa on this blog, he was notching retractions after publishing results from the same clinical trial in six different papers; as part of that fallout, a journal has pulled a fourth paper associated with the trial.

Here’s the note for “Effects of an olmesartan/amlodipine fixed dose on blood pressure control, some adipocytokines and interleukins levels compared with olmesartan or amlodipine monotherapies,” which has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge:  Read the rest of this entry »

Journal retracts nanoparticles paper for duplicating figures

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no spine minimum. full size. Editor: Ann Meares JEM: Diane RTP: Jill Kessler

A paper on nanoparticles that target cancer cells has been retracted for duplicating figures from three other papers.

The articles all share a first author: Manasmita Das, based at the time of the research at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER). According to her LinkedIn profile, she is currently a postdoc at the University of North Carolina.

The abstract of the 2011 Bioconjugate Chemistry paper explains just what the new nanoparticles would be useful for:

Multifunctional nanoparticles, developed in the course of the study, could selectively target and induce apoptosis to folate-receptor (FR) overexpressing cancer cells with enhanced efficacy as compared to the free drug. In addition, the dual optical and magnetic properties of the synthesized nanoparticles aided in the real-time tracking of their intracellular pathways also as apoptotic events through dual fluorescence and MR-based imaging.

But according to the retraction note, figure duplications “seriously undermine the conclusions presented in the research article.” Here’s more about the source of those duplications from the full note: Read the rest of this entry »

Nutrition journal accidentally publishes spice paper twice

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FNS2015012717103119The author of a pilot study that suggested adding spices may encourage people to eat more vegetables initially didn’t realize that her paper had been retracted from Food and Nutrition Sciences in May.

What’s more, Zhaoping Li, Chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles and the first author on the paper, didn’t realize the reason for the retraction: The journal had mistakenly published her paper twice, and had to retract the second copy. The first remains published.

This was entirely the journal’s mistake, editor Alessandra Bordoni told us:

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Written by Shannon Palus

February 10th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Labor pains study brought into this world twice

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YJPAI_v16_i6_COVER.inddA group of authors published two articles about one study on pain during childbirth, so one journal is retracting it.

This may seem like a standard case of salami slicing — but this one comes with a nearly 600-word commentary co-authored by the editors of the two journals in question.

The commentary lays out — in a refreshingly transparent way — exactly why the journals came to a joint decision to retract one of the papers:

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