Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘faked data’ Category

Who is Ranjit Kumar Chandra? A timeline of notoriety

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R K Chandra

R K Chandra

Last month, Ranjit Kumar Chandra was denied an extension to file an appeal of his lawsuit against the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). It seemed to mark the end of a long fall for the self-proclaimed “father of nutritional immunology,” who has ended up with multiple high-profile retractions and on the wrong end of a costly libel lawsuit.

The case had a lot of twists and turns, however. So for your convenience, we’ve compiled a timeline of everything you need to know about the events that led up to the lawsuit — where it all began, and how it ended last July, when the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favor of the CBC, and the apparent epilogue this June.

In the 1980s, Chandra was a highly regarded nutrition researcher; in 1989, he was made a member of the Order of Canada. He authored over 200 papers during his time at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He has referred to himself as the “father of nutritional immunology,” but the link to his website no longer appears to be active.

Here’s how it all fell apart: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Michael Koziol

July 26th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Bone researcher up to 10 retractions

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Neurology JournalA journal is retracting three papers and a letter from a bone researcher who admitted to scientific misconduct, noting that all co-authors were included only for honorary reasons.

We’ve previously reported on six retractions of papers co-authored by Yoshihiro Sato, who is based at Mitate Hospital in Japan, including one in JAMA. Retractions stemmed from the use of “honorary” co-authors, as well as concerns over the data. One paper seemed to be the victim of “extensive self-plagiarism.”

Sato, who is the first and corresponding author of all ten retractions (including the letter), accepted full responsibility of the newly retracted publications, noting that none of the co-authors took part in any misconduct.

Here’s the retraction notice — which is similar for all four new retractions — issued on July 12: Read the rest of this entry »

Ex-Mount Sinai postdoc who falsified 50+ images earns 5-year funding ban

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ori-logoA former postdoctoral researcher at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York has received a five-year funding ban after an investigation concluded that they had falsified data underlying more than 50 images.

According to a report released today by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), Zhiyu Li falsified Read the rest of this entry »

1st retraction for ex-Pitt postdoc who admitted to doctoring data

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American Journal of Physiology Renal Phsyiology

A former postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh has issued his first retraction after an investigation by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) concluded he had falsified and/or fabricated data in two published papers.

The ORI investigation into the work of Kenneth Walker, determined that he had

falsified and/or fabricated quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) data to demonstrate a statistically significant or “trend” of statistical difference in the expression of renal or bladder urothelium and muscle developmental markers between control and experimental (mutant) mice, when there was none.

The ORI report said that Walker has agreed to retract or correct a 2013 PLOS ONE paper and a 2015 study published in American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology (AJPRP).

Here’s the first retraction notice, issued by AJPRP: Read the rest of this entry »

1st retraction for cancer researcher who doctored data in 11 studies

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LeukemiaA cancer journal has retracted a paper co-authored by a researcher who falsified or fabricated data in 11 studies, according to an investigation by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

In December 2015, an ORI probe into the work of Girija Dasmahapatra concluded that he had

…duplicated, reused, and/or relabeled Western blot panels and mouse images and claimed they represented different controls and/or experimental results…

Dasmahapatra left the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in July 2015.

Here’s the retraction notice, issued in April 2016: Read the rest of this entry »

Harvard researcher’s PhD revoked, former group earns three more retractions

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Journal of Biological ChemistryA research fellow at Harvard has lost his PhD from a university in Singapore after being found guilty of falsifying data, and his former group leader’s contract has been terminated by his institution.

But that’s not the whole story. This tangled mess involves not only the Harvard researcher, Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, and his former boss, Ravi Kambadur at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, but an as-yet unnamed colleague of theirs who, we’re told, has admitted making up data in three papers, on which Lokireddy and Kambadur are co-authors. Bear with us as we walk you through this tale.

Two of those papers have been retracted by The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC); one in Molecular Endocrinology has yet to be pulled. Kambadur, who held joint appointments at the NTU and the Agency for Science, Research and Technology (A*STAR) in Singapore, has now had his contract terminated at both institutions.  Read the rest of this entry »

Second retraction for researcher who faked 70+ experiments

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Journal of Biological ChemistryTwo researchers found to have faked data by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) have lost a paper that they co-authored.

According to the ORI report issued on May 25, Ricky Malhotra, one of the researchers in question, admitted to fabricating 74 experiments, and falsifying well over 100 Western blots while at the Universities of Michigan (UM) and Chicago (UC). One week later, the ORI issued additional findings about Karen D’Souza, a colleague of Malhotra’s at the UC, concluding that she had also falsified some data.

Both researchers agreed to the retraction of a 2010 paper published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), the reports note.

Here’s the retraction notice, issued on July 1: Read the rest of this entry »

Five more retractions for biologist with funding ban brings total to six

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Journal of Cell ScienceAn erstwhile cell biologist has retracted five papers published in the Journal of Cell Science (JCS), all of which had been flagged in a recent investigation by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

The investigation found John Pastorino, previously a cell biologist at Rowan University in New Jersey, guilty of doctoring more than 40 images, resulting in a five-year funding ban.

The probe identified eight papers co-authored by Pastorino, six of which had already received expressions of concern (EOC) — including all of the newly retracted JCS papers. Nataly Shulga is a co-author on all eight papers.

Last week, we reported on the first of the expected retractions of the flagged papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Here are the retraction notices, which are the same for all five JCS papers: Read the rest of this entry »

Have 1 in 5 UK academics fabricated data?

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logoA small survey of UK academics suggests misconduct such as faking data and plagiarism is occurring surprisingly often.

The survey — of 215 UK academics — estimated that 1 in 7 had plagiarized from someone else’s work, and nearly 1 in 5 had fabricated data. Here’s how Joanna Williams and David Roberts at the University of Kent summarize the results in their full report, published by the Society for Research into Higher Education: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

July 1st, 2016 at 11:30 am

Should fraudsters be criminally prosecuted?

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Michael Hadjiargyrou

Michael Hadjiargyrou

After an AIDS vaccine researcher was sentenced to five years in prison for spiking samples, our co-founders Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus raised an important question: Should we criminally prosecute researchers who commit misconduct? (So has Richard Smith.) In last fall’s special issue of the Journal of Information Ethics, Michael Hadjiargyrou at New York Institute of Technology, said: yes. Tell us what you think in a poll at the end of our discussion.

Retraction Watch: Did any particular event prompt this article? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

July 1st, 2016 at 9:30 am