Duke researcher with 7 retractions earns two Expressions of Concern

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care MedicineData issues continue to plague pulmonary papers co-authored by Duke University professor William Foster and former Duke researcher Erin Potts-Kant. Yesterday, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine posted an Expression of Concern for two articles from the pair while the findings are “under review.”

The notice was published after the paper’s corresponding author, John Hollingsworth (also at Duke), told the journal that “some of the data published in these articles may be unreliable,” a term that we’ve gotten used to seeing from previous retractions.

Another Expression of Concern from the journal published earlier this year for another paper co-authored by Foster and Potts-Kant turned into a retraction months later. Hollingsworth was a co-author on that paper and another paper retracted from Environmental Health Perspectives in July.

As we reported last week, the retraction count is now up to 8.5 for Potts-Kant and 7.5 for Foster (counting a partial retraction as 1/2), along with a correction and this latest Expression of Concern.

Here’s the full EoC notice:

The corresponding author of two articles published in the Journal in 2010 (1) and in 2011 (2) has alerted the Journal that some of the data published in these articles may be unreliable. Therefore, this expression of concern is being published while the findings presented in the articles are under review.

The first paper in the notice, “TLR4 is necessary for hyaluronan-mediated airway hyperresponsiveness after ozone inhalation,” was published in 2010 and explored the relationship between toll-like receptor 4 and hyaluronan in the airway response to ozone in mice.

It has been cited 40 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The other study, “c-Kit Is Essential for Alveolar Maintenance and Protection from Emphysema-like Disease in Mice” was published in 2011 and has been cited 14 times. The authors found that the receptor c-Kit plays an important role in maintaining the alveolar lung structure of mice.

We’ve reached out to the journal’s editor-in-chief Jadwiga Wedzicha, Hollingsworth and Foster. We’ll update the story if we hear back.

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