Penkowa notches fourth retraction, in Experimental Neurology

exp neuroMilena Penkowa, the Danish neuroscientist who resigned from the University of Copenhagen in December 2010 amid suspicions of misconduct, has had another paper retracted.

The new retraction appears in Experimental Neurology. Here’s the notice for “M-CSF deficiency leads to reduced metallothioneins I and II expression and increased tissue damage in the brain stem after 6-aminonicotinamide treatment”:

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (

This article has been retracted at the request of the Drs Hidalgo, Carrasco and Poulsen.

This follows an investigation by the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD) into scientific misconduct by Dr Milena Penkowa. This statement ( — in Danish only) from the DCSD is final. Although we as co-investigators were not contacted officially during the investigation, nor in the hearing process, we find it plausible that misleading or incorrect information and data regarding the mice were used in the article, and as such that there is sufficient doubt as to the veracity of the data to warrant this paper’s retraction.

The paper has been cited 14 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

It is Penkowa’s fourth retraction, and she also has two papers subject to Expressions of Concern. (Two of the retractions were former Expressions of Concern.) Earlier this summer, her co-author on several papers, Bente Klarlund Pedersen, was found by the DCSD to have acted in a “scientifically dishonest” and “grossly negligent” manner.

5 thoughts on “Penkowa notches fourth retraction, in Experimental Neurology”

  1. The link from doesn’t work. Perhaps one day we will think of scientific papers like statistical sampling: N=1 is insufficient to draw a conclusion? Of course, no grant-paying agency is willing to pay for “duplicate” work at the moment.

  2. It is simply not true that BKP is found to have acted in a “scientifically dishonest” and “grossly negligent” manner. Nothing is decided yet. The report ivanorovsky refers to is a confidential draft report and not a final decision. In Denmark, also unintentional errors in scientific publications are considered as scientific dishonest. Those rules are thoroughly discussed in DK in the moment because it most likely will lead to a scientific society where everyone accuses each other constantly.
    The DCSD rules cannot be compared with any other scientific dishonesty rules in the world where scientific dishonesty is defined as deliberately committed irregularities. In this case, we talk about missing cross references and an error with amount of observations (not the same in figure legends as in the method section). Both unfortunate errors that should be corrected with errata. Calling it “scientific dishonest” is exaggerated. The draft decision from DCSD also criticise BKP for not spotting Milena Penkowas IHC manipulations. This is about trusting a collaborator that mastered a technique that wasn’t established in BKP´s laboratory. No one, including BKP, could have predicted the proportions of Penkowas fraud.

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