Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘misconduct investigations’ Category

Three more retractions for former record-holder Boldt, maybe more to come

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Justus Liebig University in Germany has been investigating concerns that Joachim Boldt, number two on the Retraction Watch Leaderboard and now up to 92 retractions, may have “manipulated” more data than previously believed.

Until now, the vast majority of Boldt’s retractions were thought to have involved inadequate ethics approval. However, new retraction notices for Boldt’s research suggest that there’s evidence the researcher also engaged in significant data manipulation.

The first retraction from the university investigation emerged last year. Two of three new notices cite the investigation specifically, and an informant at the university told us that there are more retractions to come.

Here are the retracted papers that are freshly on the record, starting with an August retraction for a 1991 Anesthesiology paper (cited 37 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge):

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Drugmaker accused of omitting side effect data from 2003 Risperdal paper

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cover7607A 2003 paper may have left out potentially “significant” data on the long-term side-effects of an antipsychotic drug used in children, according to a former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

As reported by the Toronto StarDavid Kessler is alleging that Janssen, the maker of Risperdal (and owned by Johnson & Johnson), omitted data about the risks of the drug: In particular, that boys who use it over a long period may be at risk of growing breasts.

There’s anecdotal evidence of the side effect. One family claimed the drug had caused their son to grow a pair of 46 DD-sized breasts in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, reported the Wall Street Journal in February. They won, to the tune of $2.5 million. The suit is apparently just one of 1,200 like it.

The abstract of the paper, “Prolactin levels during long-term risperidone treatment in children and adolescents,” published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, suggests that levels of a key hormone aren’t a problem in the long term:

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Four papers by former Wayne State researcher retracted after ORI report

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Teresita L. Briones

Teresita L. Briones

Retractions have been published for four papers authored by former Wayne State University professor, Teresita L. Briones, after an April ORI report found evidence of misconduct in the articles.

Investigators found that Briones had “intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly engaged in research misconduct by falsifying and/or fabricating data.” They flagged five papers and three grant applications that contained false data.

As a result of their findings, four out of the five papers have been retracted, and the editors of the remaining journal say they are looking into the last paper.

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Nutrition researcher Chandra loses libel case against CBC

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CBCThe self-proclaimed “father of nutritional immunology,” Ranjit Kumar Chandra, has lost a libel lawsuit against the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC).

The suit was in response to a 2006 three-part documentary from the CBC, which examined allegations of fraud against the former Memorial University researcher.

After the 58-day trial, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice “ruled in favour of CBC, on the grounds that the words in the broadcast were true,” according to CBC producer Lynn Burgess: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

July 31st, 2015 at 10:21 am

Judge dismisses cardiac stem cell researchers’ lawsuit against Harvard

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Piero Anversa

Piero Anversa

A Massachusetts judge has dismissed a lawsuit by researchers who argued that an investigation by Harvard cost them job offers.

Last year, Piero Anversa, a stem cell researcher at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and a colleague, Annarosa Leri, sued Harvard over an investigation into their work that they claim damaged their reputations: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

July 29th, 2015 at 2:30 pm

“Falsified” data shelve two more drug studies from discredited U Colorado student

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The authors of a pair of papers in Molecular Pharmaceutics are retracting them following an investigation at the University of Colorado Denver, which found a graduate student had faked data.

Rajendra Kadam was a prominent member of the Research lab of Uday B. Kompella, until the investigation revealed earlier this year that he had “falsified” data from a liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) machine for years.

So far, we’ve found four retractions (including the latest two) and one expression of concern for Kadam. There may be more on the way: Read the rest of this entry »

Oregon grad student admits to faking data in four neuroscience papers

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oriweb_logoA graduate student at the University of Oregon in Eugene has admitted to faking data that appeared in four published papers in the field of visual working memory, according to the Office of Research Integrity.

David Anderson’s supervisor at the time was Edward Awh, who has since moved to the University of Chicago.

Anderson told Retraction Watch that the misconduct stemmed from “an error in judgment”:

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Penn State postdoc faked data in cancer manuscript

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oriweb_logoA former postdoctoral fellow at Penn State University faked numerous data and analyses in a manuscript submitted to Molecular Cancer Research, according to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

In a notice released today, the ORI found Julie Massè: Read the rest of this entry »

UPitt investigation brings total retraction count to four for pair of cancer researchers

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Journal of Biological Chemistry1An official inquiry by the University of Pittsburgh has led to two more retractions for a pair of cancer researchers, Tong Wu and Chang Han. By our count, the pair now have four retractions under their belt, all the result of the university investigation.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry published the notices earlier this month, after it was discovered the papers contained cropped panels, among other issues. Importantly, the two papers appear to even have shared some data.

One 2006 paper, “Modulation of Stat3 Activation by the Cytosolic Phospholipase A2α and Cyclooxygenase-2-controlled Prostaglandin E2 Signaling Pathway,” investigated the molecular actors in cancer growth, such as overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). It has been cited 34 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the notice:

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“There has been negligence”: Biologist banned for one year by German funding agency

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Jens Christian Schwamborn

As a consequence for academic “negligence” which resulted in two retractions, biologist Jens Schwamborn was banned from seeking funding from German funding agency DFG for one year.

The ban — which ended in March, 2015 — was the result of an investigation by DFG and the University of Münster, which reviewed the issues that led to retractions of two papers about neuron development, one in The EMBO Journaland another in the Journal of Biological Chemistry

Here’s the official statement on the ban, sent to us by Head of Communications Britta Schlüter at the University of Luxembourg, where Schwamborn now works:

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