Retraction for iffy data as authors of chicken enzyme paper lay an egg

IntjrnbiolmacroThe authors of an article in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules have pulled the paper in what appears to be an authorship dispute sparked by premature submission.

The paper, “Renaturation and one step purification of the chicken GIIA secreted phospholipase A2 from inclusion bodies,” came from a group of researchers in Tunisia and Marseille, France, and was published online last May. It has yet to be cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. As the abstract states:

The cDNA coding for a mature protein of 123 amino acids, containing all of the structural features of catalytically active group II sPLA2, has been amplified. The gene has been cloned into the bacterial expression vector pET-21a(+), which allows protein over-expression as inclusion bodies and enables about 3mg per litre of pure refolded fully active enzyme to be obtained. Recombinant expression of chPLA2-IIA in Escherichia coli shows that the enzyme is Ca(2+) dependent, maximally active at pH 8-9, and hydrolyses phosphatidylglycerol versus phosphatidylcholine with a 15-fold preference. The ability to express reasonably large amounts of the sPLA2 Group IIA, compared to that obtained with the classical purification will provide a basis for future site directed mutagenesis studies of this important enzyme.

Here’s the retraction notice:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Author.

The authors wish to withdraw this paper as some of the results presented have not been confirmed, and may be inaccurate. In addition not all of the authors agreed to the submission of the paper at this time. The authors apologise for any inconvenience this might have caused.

We’re guessing the first part of the statement is something of a red herring. After all, the point of publishing a paper in the scientific literature is to offer it up for other researchers to confirm (and to give the tenure committee some red meat). So yet again we’re somewhat baffled by how a journal can manage to publish an article without attestations from all the listed authors.

In fact, it’s not the first time we’ve seen a similar notice from the IJBM. Back then (last month), we wrote:

It strikes us that a policy of including all the “authors” on an email from the publisher — which some journals do — might head off some of these misfires.

It still strikes us that such a policy would be a good idea.

0 thoughts on “Retraction for iffy data as authors of chicken enzyme paper lay an egg”

    1. At some point in evolution, some animal that was not a chicken (similar to one) laid an egg, fertilised by another animal that was also not a chicken (but also similar). Out of this egg the first chicken was hatched. So the egg came first.

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