Cancer researchers: We took data from another lab


Authors have admitted to using material from another lab for their paper on neuroblastoma.

A spokesperson for Springer told us that the theft came to light when:

The scientists, from whom the data originated, contacted the journal.

The editor in chief of the journal investigated the case, the spokesperson told us, and then issued this retraction notice:

The paper was published in 2014 and has not been cited, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

The article was retracted in January, and removed from the journal entirely — which is no longer the journal’s policy, a spokesperson for Springer told us:

The article was retracted according to the former procedure which is: The scientific content of the article published online is cleared and the article metadata are kept, plus inclusion of a retraction note (“This article has been retracted by… due to…”).  In the meantime, there is a new procedure we use where the original scientific content is kept. It is added as Electronic Supplementary Material to the original article and marked as retracted on every page.

The new policy is in line with the guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics.

We’ve contacted last author Zhongfa Xu and first author Xiangshan Yang — both based at the Affiliated Hospital of Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences in China — for comment, and will update this post if we hear back. 

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