Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘image manipulation’ Category

Sun sets on Sun Yat-sen University cell bio paper

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j cell scienceResearchers at Sun Yat-sen University in China have lost a paper in the Journal of Cell Science for “inappropriate figure manipulations,” which they blame entirely on the first author.

According to the notice, three figures were “inappropriately modified” — cells or nuclei were moved, and the edges of cell images were trimmed. The researchers place the responsibility on first author Liping Chen, claiming that “her co-authors were completely unaware.”

The modifications didn’t affect the conclusions, the note says, but after an investigation by Sun Yat-sen University, the journal decided to retract the paper. Liping Chen says she “regrets the inappropriate figure manipulations,” according to the note.

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PLoS ONE mega-correction, but no retraction, for researcher who sued diabetes journal

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Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

PLoS ONE has just issued a 12-figure correction on a paper by Mario A. Saad, who sued the American Diabetes Association unsuccessfully in an attempt to prevent it from retracting four papers in its flagship journal Diabetes.

The corrections include taking out Western blots copied from another Saad paper, as well as several figures where the bands were “misplaced.”

PubPeer commenters suggest this may not be enough, calling seven additional figures into question. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

March 4th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Heart journal issues expression of concern after fraud report

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circulationThe American Heart Association’s journal Circulation has issued an expression of concern for a paper about the molecular underpinnings of arrhythmias that was co-authored by a biomedical engineer who committed fraud on a massive scale.

According to an investigation by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), former Vanderbilt engineer Igor Dzhura faked nearly 70 images and drastically over-estimated the number of experiments he conducted. He was banned from receiving federal funding for three years.

The fraud has resulted in six retracted papers, Dzhura has agreed to retract six papers, which have been cited more than 500 times. [Ed. note: at this time, only one paper has actually been retracted]

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SfN journal retracts paper, bans UPenn researchers over “data misrepresentation”

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journal of neuroscienceThe Journal of Neuroscience has yanked an Alzheimer’s paper and banned three University of Pennsylvania authors from publishing there temporarily, following conflicting investigations by the university and the publisher, the Society for Neuroscience, into the data.

The 2011 paper looked into the cellular makeup of the characteristic plaques that develop in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s been cited 64 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

While the notice states that Penn’s investigation “supports the journal’s findings of data misrepresentation,” last author Virginia Lee said she asked the journal to simply issue a correction of the faulty data, since the findings are “extremely important” for the field and have been affirmed by a later paper. According to author John Trojanowski (who is married to and publishes regularly with Lee), he and Lee have been barred from publishing in Journal for Neuroscience for several years. Senior Co-author Edward Lee is out for a year [see update at the bottom of this post].

Lee provided us with a letter Vice Dean of Research Glen Gaulton sent to the journal (click here to read), in which he says an investigation found “no evidence of research misconduct” and the “errors…do not detract from or otherwise alter the conclusions of the manuscript.”

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Prominent geneticist David Latchman’s group notches second retraction

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j cell scienceA team of researchers whose work is under investigation by University College London has retracted a second paper.

Three of the 11 authors of the 2005 Journal of Cell Science paper being retracted — David Latchman, Richard Knight, and Anastasis Stephanou — were authors of a Journal of Biological Chemistry paper retracted in January. Stephanou takes the blame for the “errors” which felled the Journal of Cell Science paper, about how a tumor suppressor responds to DNA damage.

Here’s the notice for “STAT-1 facilitates the ATM activated checkpoint pathway following DNA damage:” Read the rest of this entry »

Several chem journals neutralize papers from Brazil group over figure fraud

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quimica novaSeveral journals have retracted or corrected papers from a group at State University of Maringá in Brazil over what one chemistry journal calls “fraudulent use” of figures previously published by the authors.

Química Nova, which is retracting a 2013 paper, issued a notice that taps an additional eight articles with Angelica Lazarin as the corresponding author that reused figures. Specifically, the papers included images “where same trace on the figure was assigned to different conditions and/or compounds.”

A number of the papers mentioned in the Química Nova notice were co-authored by Claudio Airoldi, whose group retracted 11 papers in 2011 following concerns over fraudulent nuclear magnetic resonance images.

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Danish high court clears Pedersen in misconduct case

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bkp_portrait

Klarlund Pedersen

Lawyers one, scientists nil.

Danish judges have overruled scientists in that nation, concluding that a panel of experts erred in finding that physiologist Bente Klarlund Pedersen, of the University of Copenhagen, was guilty of misconduct.

Last September, Pedersen announced that she would fight the ruling of the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD, Danish acronym UVVU), which had said she had committed misconduct in four of 12 articles it had examined.

As we reported then, Pedersen’s case is tied to that of another Copenhagen scientist, Milena Penkowa, with whom she had collaborated and who also has been found guilty of scientific misdeeds. (The new ruling does not address Penkowa.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

February 18th, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Publisher and uni go head to head over disputed images in diabetes papers

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Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

The State University of Campinas University of Campinas and the American Diabetes Association disagree strongly over how to handle disputed images from faculty member Mario Saad, who is suing the ADA to prevent retraction of his papers.

While the State University of Campinas University of Campinas (Unicamp) acknowledges that 2 of Saad’s papers contain “mistakes”, it concluded there was “not an intention in the actions of the authors,” and the mistakes did not have a negative impact on the scientific community. Ultimately: “the studies published have their own strength, are healthy and were not artificially strengthened by the incorrect images.”

In response, however, Saad’s lawsuit says the ADA asked the school to reinvestigate the articles, and refused to accept any papers from Unicamp faculty in any ADA journals until the issues are resolved.

The ADA has issued four expressions of concern in Saad’s research published in its flagship journal, Diabetes. Saad’s lawsuit aims to prevent the journal from retracting those papers, and asks for monetary compensation.

Retraction Watch has obtained a report of the investigation by Unicamp and Saad’s lawsuit. You can read the full lawsuit here, and the investigation report here.

Here is an excerpt from the Unicamp’s findings: Read the rest of this entry »

Figure dupe sinks cell bio paper

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cellular biohemTulane researchers Tong Wu and Chang Han, who have been anonymously accused of figure duplication in the past, have now finally lost a paper for that reason.

The frequent plagiarism tipster Juuichi Jigen (a pseudonym) set up a blog in 2012 alleging that the pair inappropriately reused images in six other papers, though none of those have been retracted. The recent notice, issued at the end of January by the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, states that the figure duplication was confirmed by the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Research Integrity. Han, the first author, was at UPitt when the paper was published in 2008, though she moved to join Wu at Tulane in 2009.

Here’s the notice for “Regulation of Wnt/ß-Catenin Pathway by cPLA2α and PPARδ“: Read the rest of this entry »

Diabetes researcher sues journal to prevent retractions of papers cited more than 600 times

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Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Mario Saad, via unicamp.br

Mario A. Saad, who last year retracted a paper for plagiarism, is now suing the American Diabetes Association over four expressions of concern in its flagship journal, Diabetes.

As reported in the Boston Business Journal, Saad’s lawsuit claims that his institution, the State University of Campinas, investigated two articles at the journal’s behest. The American Diabetes Association was unhappy with the results, and asked the school to reopen the investigation, including two additional papers.

Saad is suing to prevent the journal from retracting the papers, in addition to monetary compensation.

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