Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘duplication retractions’ Category

Researcher who unsuccessfully sued journal to stop retractions earns another expression of concern

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Mario Saad

Mario Saad

A journal has added expressions of concern (EOCs) to four papers about diabetes, including one co-authored by an author who previously sued a different journal when it took a similar action on his papers.

The Journal of Physiology flagged the papers after an investigation “could not rule out the possibility” that they contained duplicated Western blots. Though the three other papers do not include Mario Saad on their author list, he plays a role: The papers include blots duplicated from other papers of Saad’s. And they reveal that Saad may have published those blots multiple times in his own work.

The EOCs all start out with the same statement: Read the rest of this entry »

Journal flags duplicated text by gynecologic cancer researcher with 13 retractions

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When journals discover duplicated material, many choose to retract — but a cancer journal recently faced with the same dilemma involving a researcher with multiple retractions under his belt has instead decided to flag the paper with an expression of concern.

An editor told us that Cancers considered retracting the paper, by gynecologic cancer researcher Noriyuki Takai, but decided not to because the paper

contains some novel content that is of interest to the scientific community.

Epigenetic Therapy in Human Choriocarcinoma,” published in 2010, has been cited once, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science, and self-plagiarizes from other publications by Takai and his co-author, Hisashi Narahara. Both are researchers at Oita University in Japan.

Here’s the expression of concern:

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Research assistant fired for using student’s thesis in a paper

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Reviews in Medical Microbiology

A research assistant at King Saud University (KSU) has lost his job after he used material from a student’s thesis without permission or attribution in a paper.

Lakshmana Krishnappa was terminated after a disciplinary committee considered his case last November, the vice dean for postgraduate training and research at KSU told Retraction Watch. In April of last year, Krishnappa retracted a paper published in January 2015 — we think that’s the date; the journal doesn’t make it all that clear — that included plagiarized material, published in Reviews in Medical Microbiology. He recently lost a second unrelated paper for duplication.

Here’s the retraction notice for the Reviews in Medical Microbiology paper, “Acinetobacter baumannii: pathogenecity, virulence factors and their correlation with adherence and invasion:”

Read the rest of this entry »

One in 25 papers contains inappropriately duplicated images, screen finds

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Elies Bik

Elies Bik

Elisabeth Bik, a microbiologist at Stanford, has for years been a behind-the-scenes force in scientific integrity, anonymously submitting reports on plagiarism and image duplication to journal editors. Now, she’s ready to come out of the shadows.

With the help of two editors at microbiology journals, she has conducted a massive study looking for image duplication and manipulation in 20,621 published papers. Bik and co-authors Arturo Casadevall and Ferric Fang (a board member of our parent organization) found 782 instances of inappropriate image duplication, including 196 published papers containing “duplicated figures with alteration.” The study is being released as a pre-print on bioArxiv.

An example the paper uses of “duplication with alteration” is this Western blot where a band has been duplicated: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

April 19th, 2016 at 5:30 am

Mistakes lead to retraction, correction of cancer papers by pair

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A series of mistakes have caused a pair of cancer researchers based in China to retract one paper and correct another.

The retraction stems from a duplication of figures in a paper about the molecular underpinnings of colorectal cancer, which the editor of the journal told us he believed was caused by honest error. The other paper was corrected after the authors realized they had published the wrong versions of multiple figures, an error which the authors say does not affect the paper’s conclusions.

This isn’t the first time the pair has had to correct the record — these changes follow a mega-correction for Jie Hong, and Jing-Yuan Fang, both of the Shanghai Jiao-Tong University, where Fang is the director of the Shanghai Institute of Digestive Disease.

Here’s the retraction note for “Role of STAT3 and vitamin D receptor in EZH2-mediated invasion of human colorectal cancer,” published in the Journal of Pathology:

Read the rest of this entry »

Does this scientific image look familiar? It’s from a catalog

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cover (4)There’s something strange about a 2008 paper on the role of nicotine receptors in promoting lung cancer: One of the western blot analyses looks like a version of an image from a commercial catalog.

A commenter on PubPeer pointed out the similarities between an image in “Role of α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in human non-small cell lung cancer proliferation,” which was published in Cell Proliferation, and one used to promote an enzyme sold by Cell Signaling Technology.

Unfortunately, if the images are indeed the same, we can’t tell for certain who copied from whom. But a representative of the company told us it generates its own images, and this one was likely created before the paper was published. The last author — for whom we’ve found three other retractions — denied that the paper copied the image.

Here’s the panel from the paper, which was published in 2008: Read the rest of this entry »

Cancer researcher earns 9th retraction, for image duplication

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Journal of Clinical InvestigationAlfredo Fusco, a researcher in Italy who has been under criminal investigation for scientific misconduct, has earned his ninth retraction.

Retraction number nine, by The Journal of Clinical Investigation, is for duplicating data from another publication — which has also faced questions on PubPeer about image manipulation, along with many other papers by Fusco.

The retraction note for “The RET/PTC-RAS-BRAF linear signaling cascade mediates the motile and mitogenic phenotype of thyroid cancer cells” explains that the journal is pulling the paper even though the authors claim that they can reproduce the data:

Read the rest of this entry »

Lawsuit couldn’t stop four retractions for diabetes researcher

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Mario Saad

Mario Saad

Four expressions of concern in the journal Diabetes have turned into retractions for Mario Saad, a move which he had tried to stop with a lawsuit.

Last August, a judge dismissed Saad’s suit against the American Diabetes Association, which publishes Diabetes, concluding that the expressions of concerns on the papers were not defamation, but part of an “ongoing scientific discourse.” Now, after an investigation at the University of Campinas in Brazil, where Saad is based, and an assessment from an ADA ethics panel (which overturned some of Unicamp’s recommendations), the journal has added to that discourse by turning the EOCs into retractions — and flagging two more of Saad’s papers with EOCs.

Together, the retracted papers have been cited more than 600 times.

As the retraction notes explain, Read the rest of this entry »

Duplicate publication uprooted from plant journal

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AJPS2015012714522401The American Journal of Plant Sciences has retracted a duplicate publication — and is considerately describing what happened in a checklist that accompanies the retraction note.

The checklist is similar to one that friend of Retraction Watch Hervé Maisonneuve has proposed to the Committee on Publication Ethics.

The retracted paper shares one author with the paper that it duplicated from: Irfan Talib, whose affiliation is listed on the retracted paper as the University of Agriculture in Pakistan.

Here are the relevant fields on the checklist for “Study of Genetic Diversity in Germplasm of Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in Pakistan” (a PDF on this page includes the checklist and the original paper):

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Algorithm paper retracted for “significant overlap” with another

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1-s2.0-S0096300314X00044-cov150hA paper on a hybrid algorithm turned out to be a hybrid itself — some original data, plus some from a paper that the authors had published earlier.

According to the retraction note, the overlap was significant enough to pull it from the scientific record.

The retracted paper describes an algorithm that is the combination of a “genetic algorithm” and a “cultural algorithm”– which, as their names sort of suggest, focus on looking at a population of solutions, and the history of which kinds of solutions work, respectively. According to the abstract, results to optimization problems found with a hybrid algorithm are “more accurate and the fast convergence is obvious.”

The retraction note provides a few details about the nature of the duplication:

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Written by Shannon Palus

March 11th, 2016 at 11:30 am