Fazlul Sarkar, who sued PubPeer commenters for criticizing his work, has logged two more retractions, bringing his total to seven.
The two retractions appear in the Journal of Cellular Physiology, and follow five others released last week by another Wiley journal, Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. All notices mention an investigation at Wayne State University, where Sarkar is on the faculty.
The above article, published online on November 23, 2012 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief, Gary S. Stein, and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The retraction has been agreed following an investigation from Wayne State University involving the first author and the corresponding author that found Figure 4B and C to be inappropriately manipulated and re-labeled.
In the 2013 paper — cited 22 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science — Sarkar is listed as the corresponding author. The first author, Zhiwei Wang, is also listed at Wayne State University, and was named in some of the five retractions released last week, as well.
Here’s the notice for the other retracted paper, “Inactivation of Ink4a/Arf Leads to Deregulated Expression of miRNAs in K-Ras Transgenic Mouse Model of Pancreatic Cancer:”
The above article, published online on June 21, 2012 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief, Gary S. Stein, and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The retraction has been agreed following an investigation from Wayne State University involving the first author and the corresponding author that found Figure 5A to be inappropriately manipulated.
In that 2012 paper — cited 27 times — Sarkar is the corresponding author, and the first author is Shadan Ali, also listed at Wayne State. Ali was the first author on another of Sarkar’s retractions listed last week.
As we mentioned in 2014, “Activated K-Ras and INK4a/Arf Deficiency Promote Aggressiveness of Pancreatic Cancer by Induction of EMT Consistent With Cancer Stem Cell Phenotype” was already corrected that year for an “inadvertent error” in a figure.
Last year, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Sarkar against the University of Mississippi after it rescinded a job offer upon reviewing concerns raised about his research on PubPeer. Sarkar has also taken the site to court to force it to reveal the identity of some anonymous commenters, whom he has accused of costing him the position. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief on behalf of PubPeer’s appeal of the court’s ruling that the site must disclose an anonymous commenter’s identity.
Update 6/20/16 9:21 p.m. eastern: According to this document from Wayne State, Sarkar has retired.
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, sign up on our homepage for an email every time there’s a new post, or subscribe to our new daily digest. Click here to review our Comments Policy. For a sneak peek at what we’re working on, click here.