Two Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Advances retractions, for unreliable results, surprised author

Authors of two separate studies in RSC Advances — RSC is the Royal Society of Chemistry — have retracted their papers.

Here’s one notice, for “Laser-induced gold/chitosan nanocomposites with tailored wettability applied to multi-irradiated microfluidic channels:”

We, the named authors, hereby wholly retract this RSC Advances article. This article was submitted for publication without the knowledge and approval of all the authors listed.

Signed: Fabrizio Spano, Alessandro Massaro, Roberto Cingolani and Athanassia Athanassiou, Italy, October 2012.

Retraction endorsed by Sarah Ruthven, Managing Editor, RSC Advances. Retraction published 2nd October 2012.

The surprised author would appear to be Laura Blasi of Italy’s National Nanotechnology Laboratory, who is on the original author list but did not sign the retraction.

The other retraction is of “Aligned nanoporous PtNi nanorod-like structures for electrocatalysis and biosensing:”

We, the named authors, hereby wholly retract this RSC Advances article, due to unreliable experimental results which cannot be repeated.

Signed: Huajun Qiu, Liang Li, Qiaolin Lang, Feixue Zou and Xirong Huang, China, September 2012.

Retraction endorsed by Sarah Ruthven, Managing Editor. Retraction published 26 September 2012.

We’ve contacted the corresponding authors of the papers, as well as Ruthven, for more information about the reasons for the retractions, and will update with anything we learn.

Update, 8:50 p.m. Eastern, 10/15/12: Huajun Qiu, corresponding author of the second paper, tells Retraction Watch:

The unreliable result came to our attention because the ternary alloy we used contains many different alloy phases. After dealloying, by detailed analysis, we found the dealloyed sample had nonuniform morphology. These porous metals may be very useful for catalysis; however, for sensing application, uniform structure is necessary.

Right now, we are focusing on the fabrication of uniform structures by dealloying single-phase alloy.

Please see an update on this post, with a publisher correction to the retraction notice.

2 thoughts on “Two Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Advances retractions, for unreliable results, surprised author”

  1. Laura was none too pleased with the unwelcome Advances.
    But I wonder what is the proper way of getting something published when one person who should be a co-author rejects the idea. This person can prevent other potential co-authors from getting credit for their work.

    1. I’ve had a similar issue with RSC Advances publishing work of mine not ready for publication that was submitted without my knowledge by a visitor to my lab. The situation was made more bizarre by the fact that we were still working on the project and keeping the visitor (who had since returned to their home institution) updated on our progress. We had promised to send a draft manuscript for their comments within the next few weeks when I discovered they’d already published an appallingly error-riddled version of the work. We also succeeded in having the paper retracted, after nearly a year of battling with the journal. I believe they have now changed their editorial policy such that all authors are now contacted to make sure they have given permission for a manuscript to be submitted before proceeding any further with the refereeing and publication process.

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