A model retraction notice in Retrovirology

A retraction appeared earlier this month in Retrovirology that we think could be a model for other scientists and journals facing similar situations. The paper by Canadian and Chinese authors, “The cellular source for APOBEC3G’s incorporation into HIV-1,” was originally published in January 2011 and cited just once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the notice:

The authors would like to retract the article “The cellular source for APOBEC3G’s    incorporation into HIV-1”[1]. After publication of the article, the authors realized that the electrophoretic    images in Figure 4D/E, showing a reproducible result of their previous publication    [2] (cited as reference 6 [1]), was mistakenly taken from the same images used in [2]. In addition, Figure 2B is an unintended duplicate image of Figure 1B. This should    have been avoided by the authors’ careful proofreading of the manuscript. The authors    apologize to the readers, reviewers, and editors of Retrovirology for publishing these erroneous data.

We asked Retrovirology editor Kuan-Teh Jeang how the errors had come to the journal’s attention:

A couple of colleagues read the paper and noticed the problems.  They contacted me.  I queried the senior author.  He looked into the matter and found that errors were made.  He didn’t make any excuses and was very straightforward.

Refreshing! We’ve contacted the lead author for comment, and will update with anything we hear back.

Hat tip: “Clare Francis”

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