And that’s just in the last week.
However, we’ve identified a new reported reason: carelessness. A paper in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry claimed to show how a tiny RNA causes fat cells to die.
Instead, the paper died.
Turned out that rather than describe previously published data, the authors say they inadvertently included a figure that had already appeared in another paper.
The retraction for “miR-598 induces replicative senescence in human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells via silent information regulator 1,” reads, in full:
This article is being retracted at the request of the author due to carelessness in including some of the figures, which were published elsewhere.
We contacted the principal investigator on the paper, Jin Sup Jung, a physiology professor at the Pusan National University School of Medicine, and he emailed us the following response:
As described in the retraction notice, I used the same data that were published in a previous paper of my lab. The data represented the changes in a molecule during adsc senescence. We found that MiR-598 target the same molecule during adsc senescence. Therefore, it was necessary to describe the previous data in the 598 paper. Technically, we should have described the data by text with the citation of the previous paper instead of using the real data. No matter how it happens, I am responsible for it as the corresponding author.
So why throw out the entire study if one figure was repeated?
Irrespective of the significance of the remaining data, I thought the request of correction could not be accepted. There is also the copyright issue. Therefore, I thought that the retraction by myself is a better way than the retraction after the refusal of correction request.