Want to be a first author on a scholarly paper? A Russian company has you covered — starting at about $500. The company claims to have added the names of more than 10,000 researchers to more than 2,000 published articles in scholarly journals over the past three years. Think eBay — or perhaps StubHub — for unscrupulous scientists.
Although we can’t verify the numbers, at least one major journal indexer, from whom we recently learned of the scheme, is concerned enough about the site that it has demanded that it stop doing business.
According to the Russian outfit’s site (through Google Translate):
A week after news that the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) would have a new interim director shortly comes news that the agency will also have a new director of its investigative division as of early next month.
Starting August 4, Alexander Runko will be the director of the ORI’s Division of Investigative Oversight (DIO). He is already working at the agency as an investigator.
On Sunday, May 5 of this year, Justin Pickett received an email from a “John Smith” with the subject line “Data irregularities and request for data.”
“There seem to be irregularities in the data and findings in five articles that you published together with two surveys,” the anonymous correspondent wrote. “This document outlines those irregularities.”
A surgeon in Turkey has won a court case in which he argued that he deserved to be named in a list of authors from his institution who’d published a paper. But even that doesn’t appear to have satisfied the aggrieved medic, as you’ll see.
The article, “Late onset traumatic diaphragmatic herniation leading to intestinal obstruction and pancreatitis: two separate cases,” was written by a group from the Department of General Surgery at Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital. The list of authors comprised Tolga Dinc, Selami Ilgaz Kayilioglu and Faruk Coskun … but not Baris Yildiz, a colleague in the department.
Blood has retracted a 2011 article by a now-deceased Stanford researcher, Holbrook Kohrt, who earlier this month lost two other papers over concerns about the whereabouts of the data.
The journal’s move comes about a week after Retraction Watch posted a story on the previous retractions, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), of Kohrt’s work. As we noted then, Kohrt was a superstar young faculty member who died in 2016 of complications of hemophilia. He was the subject of this 2013 profile in the New York Times, which also wrote an obituary of him.
The Blood paper was titled “CD137 stimulation enhances the antilymphoma activity of anti-CD20 antibodies.” The paper has been cited 148 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.
A group of cancer researchers in Mexico has lost their third paper over concerns about the integrity of their data.
Neither the new retraction, in the journal Hematology, nor the previous two, cite misconduct as the reason for the removals. However, the statements do refer to lack of reliability of results, “ambiguities and inconsistencies” in the findings and other serious issues.
The first author on each paper is Agustin Avilés, whom the Hematology article listed as being with the National Medical Center in Mexico City.
A chemistry researcher in India is up to seven retractions and one correction for problematic images and other issues.
The researcher, Mahendra Yadav, was the first author on an article titled “Corrosion inhibition of tubing steel during acidization of oil and gas wells,” which appeared in 2013 in the Journal of Petroleum Engineering (JPE). Yadav, who also has a correction for similar concerns, and who has a fairly extensive entry in PubPeer, is listed as being affiliated with the Department of Applied Chemistry at the Indian School of Mines, in Dhanbad.