Authors retract two papers for “severe conflicts of author sequences”

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 5.33.20 PM

A group of authors has earned two retractions for a pair of papers on which they had “severe conflicts of author sequences,” according to the retraction note.

All of the authors were involved in a recent spate of compromised peer review that hit Springer journals back in August. Among the 64 retracted papers this summer, one included all of the authors on the two recently retracted papers, including first author Yan-Zhi Chen. Besides authorship issues, the latest two retractions also contain a “striking similarity to other publications,” according to the retraction notices.

The notes for the two papers are the same, except for the title of the paper. (They are also paywalled, tsk tsk!)

Here’s what the notes say:

All of the authors of two articles published in DNA and Cell Biology have requested the retraction of this meta-analysis article. The reason they state is ‘‘severe conflicts of author sequences.’’

The notes provide the name of the papers — “Diagnostic Performance of Serum Macrophage Inhibitory Cytokine 1 in Pancreatic Cancer: A Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression Analysis” and “Relationships Between p16 Gene Promoter Methylation and Clinicopathologic Features of Colorectal Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of 27 Cohort Studies,” which have been cited once and not at all, respectively, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The notes continue:

On, the abstract is accompanied by a comment from Guillaume Filion indicating that the paper bears striking similarity to other publications.

These authors have also recently retracted three papers, one from Molecular Biology Reports and two from Tumor Biology.

DNA and Cell Biology is dedicated to upholding the strictest standards of scientific publishing, and will not tolerate any improprieties.

Here’s that comment, posted a little over a year ago on both publications:

This article is one of the “CISCOM meta-analyses”, which are very similar papers written by different authors. For more information about the CISCOM meta-analyses, check the blog post “A flurry of copycast [sic] on PubMed” at the following link

It looks like the papers referred to in the note are “Genetic polymorphisms in the CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 genes and susceptibility to bladder cancer: a meta-analysis,” published in Molecular Biology Reports, as well as “Relationships between genetic polymorphisms in inflammation-related factor gene and the pathogenesis of nasopharyngeal cancer” and “Single-nucleotide polymorphisms of LIG1 associated with risk of lung cancer” in Tumor Biology. All six authors from the group  — Chen, Dan Liu, Ya Gao, He-Tong Wang, Yu-Xia Zhao, and Ying Chen — are on the Molecular Biology Reports paper. Wang is an author on one Tumor Biology paper; Chen, Zhao, and Liu are authors on both. 

We’ve reached out to Yan-Zhi Chen, who works at The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, for more information. We’ve also contacted the editor in chief of the journal, and we’ll update this post with anything else we learn.

Like Retraction Watch? Consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support our growth. You can also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, and sign up on our homepage for an email every time there’s a new post. Click here to review our Comments Policy.

2 thoughts on “Authors retract two papers for “severe conflicts of author sequences””

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.