Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘faked data’ Category

Guardian retracts 13 articles for fabrication; writer defends his work

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nfNt_pGn_400x400The Guardian is taking down 13 articles and excerpts from others after a freelance writer couldn’t provide evidence for the material.

The writer, however, has defended his work, saying he simply lost his notes from earlier stories:

The claim that I fabricated stories is wrong.

Yesterday, the UK newspaper released a statement from editor Lee Glendinning entitled “A note to our readers about a reporter who breached our trust.” After sources in a February story said they’d never spoken to Joseph Mayton, a freelancer based in San Francisco, the paper launched an investigation: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 27th, 2016 at 9:00 am

Heart researcher faked 70+ experiments, 100+ images

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ori-logoA former researcher at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago faked dozens of experiments and images over the course of six years, according to a new finding from the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

Ricky Malhotra, who studied heart cells, admitted to committing misconduct at both institutions, the ORI said in its report of the case. The fakery involved three National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant applications, one NIH progress report, one paper, seven presentations, and one image file. Despite an investigation at the University of Michigan, where Malhotra was from 2005-2006, he continued this falsification at [University of Chicago], after the [University of Michigan] research misconduct investigation was completed,” according to the ORI. The agency found that he Read the rest of this entry »

What happened after a journal decided to get tough on plagiarism?

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Reiss

Carol Shoshkes Reiss

In July 2015, DNA and Cell Biology began routinely scanning manuscript submissions for plagiarism using iThenticate; since then, it’s rejected between four and six manuscripts each month for that reason alone. Additional submissions have been rejected after the journal realized the authors had digitally altered figures. The level of misconduct “shocked” editor-in-chief Carol Shoshkes Reiss, as she wrote in a recent editorial for the journal. She spoke to us about the strict measures the journal has adopted in response to these incidents.

Retraction Watch: Why did you decide to begin scanning submissions for plagiarized text using iThenticate™ software in July, 2015? Did something prompt that decision? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 18th, 2016 at 11:30 am

PLOS ONE pulls maize paper with Photoshopped images

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PLOS OnePLOS ONE has retracted a paper after editors learned that some of the images had been manipulated using Photoshop.

First author of the paper, Chuan Li, confirmed that he was responsible, and told Retraction Watch he apologizes for his “low-level mistake.”

Zhongfu Ni, last author of the paper from the China Agricultural University in Beijing, told us that all the co-authors agree with the retraction.

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

Dev Cell paper retracted after author admits to doctoring data

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Developmental CellThe authors of a Developmental Cell paper have retracted it after the first author admitted to manipulating and falsifying data and reagents.

The problems came to light after the authors couldn’t reproduce the findings, about a mechanism underlying meiosis. When questioned about the matter, the first author of the paper, Saurav Malhotra, admitted to doctoring data and materials. 

Here’s the retraction notice to the paper, “The Anaphase-Promoting Complex/Cyclosome Is Essential for Entry into Meiotic M-Phase: Read the rest of this entry »

Former accounting prof adds 4 more retractions, bringing total to 37

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James Hunton, via Bentley University

James Hunton, via Bentley University

We’ve found four more retractions for an erstwhile accounting professor, bringing his total to 37.

The latest retractions follow a 2014 investigation into the work of James H. Hunton by his former employer, Bentley University in Massachusetts, which found him guilty of misconduct, resulting in more than two dozen retractions. Here’s the list of retractions released by the American Accounting Association

Here is the retraction notice, which is similar for all the newly retracted papers:

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New Jersey university biologist earns funding ban for doctoring more than 40 images

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John Pastorino

John Pastorino

A researcher has agreed to a five-year ban on Federal U.S. funding for research after the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) determined that he had falsified or fabricated more than 40 images in nine papers.

The findings, released by the ORI today, are another chapter in a case involving John Pastorino, a cell biologist at Rowan University. In February, we reported that two journals had issued expressions of concern (EOCs) for six of his papers.

Pastorino, according to the ORI,  Read the rest of this entry »

Former Pitt postdoc admits to faking data

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pittA former postdoc at the University of Pittsburgh has admitted to committing research misconduct in published papers and in National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant applications.

The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) said on Friday that Kenneth Walker, who was studying the development of the urinary tract,  Read the rest of this entry »

Data manipulation flushes paper on gut bacteria

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cell reportsData manipulation in a Cell Reports paper blew the importance of a kind of bacteria out of proportion.

Retracted this month — less than three months after it was published — the paper showed, according to a summary on the cover page:

B. subtilis is a symbiont that resides in the gut of C. elegans and generates nitric oxide that is essential for the host. Xiao et al. demonstrate that nitric oxide promotes defense against pathogenic bacteria by activating p38 MAPK, demonstrating the importance of commensal bacteria in host immunity.

But B. subtilis — a member of the Bacillaceae family — aren’t actually as plentiful as they appeared, explains the retraction notice for “Gut-Colonizing Bacteria Promote C. elegans Innate Immunity by Producing Nitric Oxide:”

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Biologists earn 5th retraction following Swedish investigation

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plos pathA team of biologists have earned a fifth retraction for a paper containing manipulated images, following an investigation by the Swedish government.

Last year, the investigation found that former Uppsala University doctoral student Apiruck Watthanasurorot had manipulated figures in five papers, four of which have already been retracted. Earlier this year, we reported that his supervisor, last author Kenneth Söderhäll, had requested PLOS Pathogens simply correct the fifth paper because independent groups have confirmed the findings. But according to the retraction notice for “Bacteria-Induced Dscam Isoforms of the Crustacean, Pacifastacus leniusculus,” Söderhäll has since agreed to the retraction:

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