Streisand Effect meets tough editors as journal retracts already-corrected paper by Rui Curi

curiRui Curi — the Brazilian scientist who threatened to sue the now-shuttered site for criticizing his work — has rung up his second retraction, this one for a paper that he corrected earlier this year.

Here’s the Journal of Endocrinology notice, whose headers and language are a bit confusing, understandably, because it is retracting two things, a correction and the original paper:


Erratum: Non-esterified fatty acids and human lymphocyte death: a mechanism that involves calcium release and oxidative stress

Rosemari Otton, Danielly Oliveira da Silva, Thais Regina Campoio, Leonardo R Silveira, Maria Oliveira de Souza, Elaine Hatanaka and Rui Curi

Journal of Endocrinology March 2013 216:3.

The above erratum has been retracted by the journal.

The erratum has been retracted for the following reasons:

Figure 7C of the above published article contains a blot labeled as showing Bid immunoreactivity in the middle lane that is substantially similar to the 24 h fasting blot (also middle lane) from Fig. 5B in Juliana PIRES, Rui CURI and Rosemari OTTON Induction of apoptosis in rat lymphocytes by starvation. Clinical Science (2007) 112, 59–67 (doi:10.1042/CS20060212), where it is labeled as Bax immunostaining.

The journal’s ethical guidelines state that authors must ‘not submit the same or substantially similar material (data or text) as contained in any article, including review articles, that the author(s) have published previously’.

The authors have responded to these concerns. The journal has reviewed the response supplied by the authors but has decided that, as the data concerned cannot be substantiated and in view of the breach of the journal’s ethical guidelines, the article should be retracted.

We apologise to the editors of Clinical Science and to our readers.

The study has been cited 14 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. It’s not the first retracted correction we’ve seen.

We applaud the editors of the JOE taking a tough stance instead of just passing along whatever the authors wanted to say. Unfortunately, that kind of toughness still requires praise, since it’s not always practiced. So we’d urge the editors to remove the paywall — which is what COPE guidelines recommend anyway.

In the meantime, we’ll refer Professor Curi to the Wikipedia entry for the Streisand Effect.

Hat tip: Buster

10 thoughts on “Streisand Effect meets tough editors as journal retracts already-corrected paper by Rui Curi”

  1. A small victory for scientific integrity – because in the end Curi, despite the use of lawyers, is a small player internationally.

    It would be more impressive if Nature or one of the other top journals insisted on retraction of an article authored by a bigshot e.g. the ongoing McGill case (what is happening there?)

  2. Refreshing indeed, and JoE are to be congratulated. As AMW states, it would be nice if this was a more common outcome, but unfortunately it is the exception not the rule across many journals, not just those of the Nature group.

  3. Transparency Index would show that JoE is Doing_the_Right_Thing, while other journals do not Do_the_Right_Thing, although that they got the evidence for misconduct.
    As I have mentioned several times, having nice frameworks/guidelines/procedures to deal with misconduct (as most journals/institutions pretend) is meaningless or even deceiving if these are not applied and cover up takes place.
    Transparency Index is a way for a CHANGE IN THE SYSTEM !!!

  4. It is amazing to see how the case was quickly forgotten in Brazil. The newspapers were hushed, and now this retraction is received with general apathy. As commented here in RW, the case is being investigated locally yet in great slow pace as to allow people to forget… and thus forgive.

  5. Are they going to retract que Clinical Science (2007) 112, 59–67 (doi:10.1042/CS20060212) paper?
    I will fwd this to some groups in Brazil, but I must assure that we didn’t forget. Unfortunately we can’t make it move faster at the CNPq…

  6. does anyone knows the results from Elsevier own investigation about Curi’s publications there?

    1. Finally a verdict. As expected, a long-delayed local committee found that Curi had no intention to deceive and was thus found innocent.

      “Curiously”, the newspaper note added the investigation started based on anonymous accusation from Science Fraud, a “a website that was put down for being unable to cover legal expenses of several prosections”. I think it did not go quite like this. Well.

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