A vociferous advocate for correcting the literature — who has been banned by two publishers for his persistent communications — has asked journals to retract one paper and correct three others for duplications.
After a reader flagged his 2004 paper on PubPeer last month, author Jaime Teixeira da Silva “immediately” contacted the journal to alert it that the paper had been duplicated, as he noted on a recent comment on our site:
It is with great shock and sadness that I wish to report errors in my own literature. I was alerted to comments and observations made at PubPeer about work conducted almost 2 decades ago, and to be
consistent with my message to other plant scientists about correcting their literature when errors are known, I have immediately taken the following steps, on the same day that I received these reports (i.e., today).
Teixeira da Silva noted that he has requested that the New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science (NZJCHS) retract “Evaluation of carbon sources as positive selection agents for chrysanthemum (Dendranthema × grandiflorum) transformation,” which has been cited four times since it was published in 2004, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. That paper, according to da Silva, is a duplicate of another 2004 paper in Bragantia, “The effect of carbon source on the in vitro organogenesis of chrysanthemum thin cell layers,” which has also been cited four times.
In his comment, Teixeira da Silva said:
In this case, I sent an email to the EIC, Prof. Kevin Davies, offered an explanation, a sincere apology, and the request to immediately retract this paper.
We’ve contacted Teixeira da Silva to ask if he could share the explanation for how the duplication occurred; he declined to comment.
Teixeira da Silva is well known to many in the publishing world for tirelessly railing against perceived misconduct by other researchers — often for duplications — and exasperating editors who don’t meet all his requests.
He’s also requested corrections to three additional papers, also for duplication; Teixeira da Silva said in the comment on our site that he wanted to set a good example:
I wish to offer my apologies to any readers or chrysanthemum scientists who may be hurt by this fact. I have disappointed myself and this has been a very terrible and painful day, over and above the so many other conflicts that I am involved with, and that many of my critics at PubPeer and Retraction Watch are aware of.
No matter how disgraceful or painful, I hope that setting my own publishing record straight will spur other plant scientists, those listed above and others, to do the right thing, and to act immediately to correct the literature when errors are reported, or detected. Although this shocking experience for me will no doubt involve a phase of serious introspection, and most likely a reflection on what science means to me after a lifetime of painful struggles to do the right thing, it will not prevent me from continuing to highlight what I believe to be a field of science in crisis, namely plant science, especially horticulture.
I promise today that I will also be publishing a post-publication peer review of the chrysanthemum literature, in which I will be critical both of my own papers, and of other papers that have still not been corrected, even 2 or 3 years after alerting authors, editors and publishers to these issues.
In regards to the three corrections, Teixeira da Silva noted in the comment:
In addition, most likely the same astute reader reported figure duplication in three papers, all published in 2003, one of which was a review. All were published at the same time and it would have been impossible to cross reference the figures since the papers themselves had not been published. Fortunately, I have been given this opportunity to correct the affected papers.
First, “Chrysanthemum organogenesis through thin cell layer technology and plant growth regulator control,” published by the Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, which doesn’t yet appear to be indexed by Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Here is thread about the paper on PubPeer.
Next, “Thin Cell Layer technology in ornamental plant micropropagation and biotechnology,” published by the African Journal of Biotechnology, and cited 27 times. (We’ve been unable to find an entry for the paper on PubPeer.)
And finally “Thin cell layer technology for induced response and control of rhizogenesis in chrysanthemum, published by Plant Growth Regulation; it’s been cited 19 times.
Update 8/5/16 9:12 a.m. eastern: The retraction notice for “Evaluation of carbon sources as positive selection agents for chrysanthemum (Dendranthema × grandiflorum) transformation” has been posted. See it here:
The editors of the New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science, acting on behalf of the Royal Society of New Zealand, have been advised by the author of the article:
Evaluation of carbon sources as positive selection agents for chrysanthemum (Dendranthema × grandiflorum) transformation, by Jaime A. Teixeira Da Silva, New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 32 (March 2004), 55–67. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01140671.2004.9514280that due to an omission of oversight on his part, the article contains figures and data which are duplicated in, but not attributed by another article authored by him, viz., Teixeira da Silva, J.A. (2004) The effect of carbon source on the in vitro organogenesis of chrysanthemum thin cell layers. Bragantia 63 (2): 165–177. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0006-87052004000200002
Dr Teixeira da Silva offers apologies to the editors and readers of the Journal. As requested by Dr Teixeira da Silva, we are now retracting the article. We note we received, peer reviewed, accepted, and published the article in good faith.
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.