Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘biochemistry’ Category

7th retraction for Ohio researcher who manipulated dozens of figures

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Terry Elton, via OSU

Terry Elton

A pharmacology researcher at Ohio State University has added his seventh retraction, four years after a finding of misconduct by the U.S. Office of Integrity (ORI).

An analysis of the work of Terry Elton determined that he had

falsified and/or fabricated Western blots in eighteen (18) figures and in six (6) published papers.

 In 2012, the ORI finding, which resulted in a three-year funding ban (that is now complete), recommended that Elton retract all six papers, one of which had already been retracted at the time of the report. 

Four years later, the last of the six papers flagged by the ORI has finally been retracted by Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology.

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

You’ve been dupe’d: Results so nice, journals published them twice

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With so many retraction notices pouring in, from time to time we compile a handful of straight-forward retractions.

Once again, this list focuses on duplications — but unlike other duplications, these authors were not at fault. Rather, these retractions occurred because the publishers mistakenly published the same paper twice — the result of a transfer between publishers, for instance, or accidentally publishing the unedited version of the paper. We’re forced to wonder, as we have before, whether saddling researchers’ CVs with a retraction is really the most fair way to handle these cases.

So without further ado, here’s five cases where the journal mistakenly duplicated a paper, and had to retract one version: Read the rest of this entry »

Biotech journal pulls well-cited review that plagiarized from several sources

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Applied Microbiology and BiotechnologyA biotechnology journal has retracted a 14-year-old review after an investigation concluded that the authors had plagiarized from numerous sources.  

The last author of the paper — which has been cited 289 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science — told us the authors took a few lines from other reviews, and unintentionally left off the references.

In June 2011, the same author was denied a prestigious fellowship after an anonymous plagiarism allegation was filed against him. 

Here’s the retraction notice in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology for “The nitrile-degrading enzymes: current status and future prospects:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dalmeet Singh Chawla

August 1st, 2016 at 9:30 am

Four more retractions for biomaterials researcher brings total to 7

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Journal of Controlled ReleaseA biomaterials researcher has lost four more papers for figure-related issues such as duplications, bringing his total to seven retractions.

We previously reported on three retractions two by the Journal of Controlled Release (JCR) of papers co-authored by Hossein Hosseinkhani, who is currently based at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei. Now, the JCR is pulling four more studies that list Hosseinkhani as a co-author.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Enhanced expression of plasmid dna – cationized gelatin complex by ultrasound in murine muscle:” Read the rest of this entry »

Author pulls study for duplication, blames editing company

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MedChemCommThe author of a paper about insulin has retracted it due to “extensive text and data overlap” with another paper.

In November 2015, MedChemComm issued an expression of concern (EOC) for the same paper. According to the EOC, the author of the paper, Yong Yang, flagged the paper to the journal, citing problems with authorship and portions of text overlap, which Yang attributed to an editing company.  

The editor-in-chief of the journal told us Yang’s institution — China Medical University — carried out an investigation into the case at the journal’s request.

We’ve also found a 2015 retraction for Yang, after he published a paper without the okay of his previous institution in Texas. 

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

Doing the right thing: Authors share data, retract when colleague finds error

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no spine minimum. full size. Editor: Holly JEM: Leslie RTP: Karen Geist ancac3

A pair of chemical engineers has retracted a paper after another researcher was unable to replicate their work, in a case that we consider an example of doing the right thing.

Dennis Prieve, at Carnegie Mellon University, was interested in applying the paper — on how systems of molecules known as “reverse micelles” conduct electrical charge — to his own work, but was having trouble repeating the calculations. So Prieve contacted the authors — John Berg and his PhD student Edward Michor, based at the University of Washington — who supplied him with their original data.

It took several weeks of back and forth to figure out the problem, Michor told us, as the paper was published in 2012, so he had to decipher his old notes. When they found that several incorrect values were used in the paper, the authors issued a retraction notice, published in March:

Read the rest of this entry »

Dairy journal retracts paper lacking co-authors’ consent

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Dairy science and technologyA journal about dairy science has retracted a paper after learning that it was published without the consent of all its authors.

An independent inquiry found no evidence of research misconduct, but nevertheless recommended that the institution — Curtin University in Perth, Australia — request to retract the paper.

Here’s the retraction notice, published in Dairy Science and Technology: Read the rest of this entry »

Book publisher: Authors plagiarized “in good faith” because they cited previous work

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A publisher has retracted a chapter from a book on flow cytometry after determining the authors plagiarized some material — but noted that because the authors cited the article they lifted from, they likely acted “in good faith.”

We were tipped off to this retraction from the authors of the review article the chapter plagiarized from, who told us they were upset by the incident and doubted whether the authors had performed the experiments they described in the chapter.

More broadly, the retraction raises an important question: How can publishers retract one chapter of a book, leaving the rest intact?

First, let’s take a look at the retraction notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

May 3rd, 2016 at 9:30 am

Shigeaki Kato up to 38 retractions

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Shigeaki Kato

Shigeaki Kato

Our retraction notice count for Shigeaki Kato, number seven on our leaderboard, has grown to 38.

The former University of Tokyo endocrinologist recently earned another retraction, for a paper in Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics that contained image manipulation. As we’ve noted before, Kato resigned from the university in 2012 as it investigated his work for misconduct; in 2013 a Japanese newspaper reported that the investigation had found 43 papers from his lab contained “likely altered or forged materials.”

In addition to the new retraction, we’ve dug up four others for Kato from the past few years, plus one correction. Two of the retraction notices mention an investigation at the University of Tokyo.

First, the retraction note for “Multiple co-activator complexes support ligand-induced transactivation function of VDR,” published in December:

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 »