Proof that organic chemistry is hard for everyone, not just pre-meds: A paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society was retracted after the structures of compounds being studied were “misassigned.”
Another study by author Doo Ok Jang, also in JACS, was retracted in 2013 for the same reason; you can read our coverage here. Jang and Sang Yoon Kim published that one in 2008; the paper we’re talking about today was published in 2010 by Jang and Sung Jun Kim.
Here’s the notice for “Indium-Mediated Catalytic Enantioselective Allylation of N-Benzoylhydrazones Using a Protonated Chiral Amine:”
The structures of the major compounds in this study, [1aH]+ and [1bH]+, were misassigned, and hence the reaction mechanism reported in the Communication is incorrect. Accordingly, the main conclusions of the work no longer stand, and the authors retract this publication.
The paper has been cited 21 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
We reached out to ACS, the publisher, and were told it is against journal policy to comment on retractions. We’ve also emailed the corresponding author, and will report back with any new information.
Hat tip: Rolf Degen