Yesterday we reported on a retraction in a European liver journal involving post-acceptance shenanigans by a group of German researchers including a father and son, Axel and Olav Gressner. Well, it turns out there’s a bit more there there.
Didier Samuel, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Hepatology, where the team’s letter to the editor was retracted, tells Retraction Watch he was contacted earlier this year by the University of Aachen. The university was investigating potential misconduct by Olav Gressner. The journal launched its own inquiry, leading to the retracted letter, Samuel says.
Samuel’s journal has not pulled any other papers from the Gressners. However, the group “is not encouraged to submit to our journal” in the future, he says. Although the lab has claimed that “typewritten errors” were to blame for the alerted manuscript, Samuels says, “the editors were not convinced” of this explanation.
Greg Bologna, managing editor of Hepatology—which sometimes publishes unedited manuscripts online within a day or so of receiving them—says that in February of this year his journal briefly posted an article by Olav Gressner, titled “Identification of Connective Tissue Growth Factor as a Hepatic Negative Acute Phase Protein,” but withdrew it days later after learning about the fraud investigation into the researcher.
“Out conclusion was that sufficient concerns were raised during the investigation about fraudulent data” in the manuscript, Bologna says.
Olav Gressner has received grant money for his research from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, a government funding agency.
Update: The University of Aachen tells Retraction Watch that Dr. Olav Gressner, a liver researcher alleged to fabricated data, is no longer employed by the school.
Please see an update along with all of our posts on this subject.