Diabetes researcher who says he will no longer publish now up to five retractions

Cory Toth, via U Calgary

Cory Toth, the University of Calgary diabetes researcher who told us last month he would stop publishing in science following a string of inappropriate manipulations, has retracted another paper.

Here’s the notice in Brain for “Intranasal insulin prevents cognitive decline, cerebral atrophy and white matter changes in murine type I diabetic encephalopathy:”

Since publication we, the authors, have become aware that portions of the data obtained at the University of Calgary and presented in this manuscript were manipulated and not represented properly, in particular, the immunohistochemistry images from Figs 4, 5 and 8, and the western blot and EMSA data in Fig. 8.

We regret our failure to detect these faulty data before the original manuscript was published, and apologize for any inconvenience that may have arisen as a result of our report.

This retraction is agreed by Cory Toth, George J. Francis, Jose A. Martinez, Jared Fine, Ursula I. Tuor, Leah R. Hanson and William H. Frey II. Unfortunately the following co-authors could not be contacted: Wei Q. Liu, Kevin Xu, Amit Ayer and Gordon Glazner.

The paper has been cited 64 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. This is Toth‘s fifth retraction. Three have appeared in Diabetes, and one in Molecular Pain.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

3 thoughts on “Diabetes researcher who says he will no longer publish now up to five retractions”

  1. Kudos to the Dr (MD, FRCPC) for agreeing to withdraw from scientific publications. Has there been a admittance of science fraud or just a few inappropriate manipulations by the Dr? (http://www.ucalgary.ca/dcns/neurology/members/toth)

    Or was it others who are responsible for the errors?
    “The results of a University of Calgary investigation committee into my work found the following:
    1) I insufficiently supervised two junior technicians.
    2) I failed to identify red flags with their behaviors.
    3) My laboratory failed to keep sufficient records on data obtained.
    4) I incorrectly upregulated low resolution subimages into high resolution images for journal submission”

    What I fail to understand is why the Dr is still a practising physician, no less than Director of the Neuropathic Pain Clinic, University of Calgary.

    1. The answer to your last question: corrupted and crony capitalism. We are seeing far too many cases where people who commit fraud, other crimes or dishonesty are rewarded, while those who fight the honest fight are often trolled. One need only to compare the NSA vs Snowden as a nice practical example of how the system truly works. One doesn’t need much imagination to see the parallels between science and its capitalistic offshoots, including publishing, and the military-industrial complex. Toth would be to neuropathology what and JP Morgan CEO “Jamie” Dimon is to banking*.

      * http://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/1421368/jp-morgan-pay-us614m-mortgage-fraud-case

      1. One of things that is making retractions so painful in science is that it leaves a visible scar. There are real wounded in this war, the scientists whose papers are retracted (and science itself), even if the blame is theirs. Unlike a fraudulent banker, money lender, racketeering or other scores of dishonest or fraudulent cases in other parts of society, in science, the retraction represents a visible and tangible consequence, with repurcussions because that retraction note or PDF file – which might not appear like much for a member of the public – serves as a damning piece of evidence forever, at least while Google and the internet stay open and free. A scandal in the banking sector, for example, might generate a fine, which is paid off, and without any serious legal consequences, effectvely serving as a bribe.

        Take, for example, how HSBC was serving as the bank of choice for Mexican drug money, having to pay only 1.9 billion US$ in fines [1]. No civil suit, so no “criminal” label. So, that petty fine serves simply to fill US Government coffers (via the SEC) in times of economic hardship, the real criminals (the drug cartels) continue to operate, and the middle-men, HSBC, continue to be allowed to operate legally, with a little slap on the wrist. Just a few days ago, Bank of America was being investigated for similar cronyism [2].

        This is why capitalism has become corrupted and crony and why the Marxist movement has the real opportunity of making a come back. My fear is that science (+ science publishing) is following the same path and trend as the banking and he military-industrial complex.

        Retractions serve as a barometer, indicating the true rot, weaknesses, fallibilities and problems in science. That is why publishers do not want to make retraction notices more comprehensive and transparent.

        [1] http://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-u-anti-money-laundering-authority-faces-hiring-050511915–sector.html;_ylt=AwrTWVUggodTBSEAiz_QtDMD
        [2] http://nypost.com/2014/05/22/sec-probes-bank-of-america-schwab-for-cartel-ties/

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