Third retraction appears for Leiden researcher fired in 2013

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A researcher who was fired from Leiden University Medical Center in 2013 for fraud has notched a third retraction, following an investigation by her former workplace.

When Leiden fired Annemie Schuerwegh, they announced two retractions of papers that contained manipulated data. This third retraction — the last, according to a spokesperson for the center  — is for “a discrepancy between the data reported in the article and the original collected data,” per the note.

The 2011 paper, “Mast cells are the main interleukin 17-positive cells in anticitrullinated protein antibody-positive and -negative rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis synovium” published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, suggests the source of a protein involved in rheumatoid arthritis. It has been cited 51 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the retraction note:

The authors retract this article [1] following an investigation by Leiden University Medical Centre into the research activities of the last author. The investigation identified a discrepancy between the data reported in the article and the original collected data. The investigation committee concluded that this undermined the scientific basis of the publication and advised that the publication should be retracted.

The online version of this article contains the full text of the retracted article as electronic supplementary material (Additional file 1).

A spokesperson for LUMC told us that the institution requested the retraction last year:

The LUMC asked for the retraction ever since 2014. It is the magazine itself that has to retract, so the timing is not in our hands.

We reached out to the editor in chief of the journal, Christopher Buckley, for more information; our questions were forwarded to the publisher, then a spokesperson for Nature Publishing Group/Springer, who declined to comment.

We’ve reached out to first author Jolien Suurmond, who is currently a postdoc at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in New York, for comment. We’ll update this post with anything else we learn.

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