A group of researchers from India and China has lost a 2012 article in the Biochemical Engineering Journal for lifting a figure from a previously published article from another team of investigators. Evidently, caught red-handed, they haven’t copped to the caper.
The article was titled “Purification and characterization of organic solvent and detergent stable protease isolated from marine Saccharopolyspora sp. A9: Application of protease for wound healing.” According to the retraction notice:
This article has been retracted at the request of the Editors. The Editors recognized that Fig. 3 in this article was taken from Fig. 2 of the following paper without attribution or permission from the Authors or Publisher: Shakilanishi Sundararajan, Chandrababu Narasimhan Kannan, Shanthi Chittibabu: Alkaline protease from Bacillus cereus VITSN04: Potential application as a dehairing agent, Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Vol.111, pp.128–133, 2011 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiosc.2010.09.009). Despite the Editors’ request, the authors failed to present sufficient evidence clarifying that these two figures are different from each other. We regret that this misconduct was not detected prior to publication.
The study has yet to be cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
We couldn’t find Figure 3 in the retracted paper, but we did locate Figure 2 in the earlier article:
Here are the two figures side-by-side. On the left, Figure 2 in the earlier article. On the right, Figure 3 of the retracted paper:
Who knew wound healing and dehairing were so similar?
Updated 5 p.m. Eastern, 6/7/13, with Figure 3 of the now-retracted paper.