Archive for the ‘crystallography retractions’ Category
Last year, we covered the case of Robert Schwarzenbacher, formerly of Salzburg University. Schwarzenbacher had provided the crystallographic data for a paper in the Journal of Immunology, but those results raised questions with another crystallographer and prompted an investigation by the university. Schwarzenbacher admitted he’d committed misconduct, although he recanted at one point, and was eventually fired.
Every now and then, we see retraction notices that refer vaguely to legal issues. Sometimes, we can dig up the actual reason. But the European Biophysics Journal has two retractions that leave us completely in the dark.
Protein structure retracted after investigation into “highly improbable features,” journal calls it fraud
In 2010, a group of
crystallographers immunologists and allergy researchers at the University of Salzburg published a paper in the Journal of Immunology claiming to have derived the structure of a birch pollen allergen.
That structure, however, caught the attention of Bernhard Rupp, an eminent crystallographer. In January of this year, Rupp submitted a paper to Acta Crystallographica Section F pointing out problems with it, which prompted the editors of the crystallography journal to contact the authors of the original paper a month later. Those authors, it turns out, agreed with Rupp, they write in a response to his paper published in the April 2012 issue of Acta Crystallographica Section F: Read the rest of this entry »
About a year ago, Acta Crystallographica Section E issued a bombshell editorial. The journal was pulling 70 papers from two groups of researchers at the same Chinese university after discovering that the structures they reported had been fakes.
As the editorial explained, the fraud was detected during a routine review of the structures by Ton Spek, of Utrecht University in The Netherlands. According to the editorial: Read the rest of this entry »