Olivier Voinnet, a researcher at ETH in Zurich and the winner of the 2013 Rössler Prize, is correcting a number of papers following critiques of more than a dozen of his studies on PubPeer.
This response is from David Baulcombe – corresponding author on this paper. I first became aware of the problem with this paper just before Christmas when I received an anonymous email. Since then I have been investigating the problem and have now notified the editor. I recognize that I should have detected the error before the article was submitted and I apologise for the error.
Voinnet gave a similar statement to Retraction Watch:
I have become aware of potential problems with several papers just before Christmas when I received an anonymous email. Since then, I have been investigating the problems with the main co-authors of these papers and have now taken action with the respective journal editors. I apologise for not seeing these errors earlier.
The two researchers left a more detailed joint comment on one entry, for a Cell paper cited 462 times:
This response is from David Baulcombe – corresponding author on this paper and Olivier Voinnet who carried out the experiment and drafted the figure. We accept that the figure legends were incomplete because they did not point out that Figure 3 (panel D, right hand panel lane 4) and Figure 5 (panel D lane 1) are the same image. This duplication is not an error because the Northern experiments for these figures were carried out at the same time, exposed on the same autoradiograph and both used the same negative control sample (Mock: M). Neither of these images was spliced but the two figures show parts of the same autoradiograph, with the overlap across the negative control track (M). We have the original autoradiograph.
We apologise for the lack of clarity and have asked the journal editor for the opportunity to publish a clarification statement.