Neuroscientist in Serbia earns 8th retraction amid investigation

RadenovicA neurobiologist has notched her eight retraction in the midst of an ongoing investigation into her work by her institution, the University of Belgrade in Serbia.

As we reported previously, a mass clean-up by the Archives of Biological Sciences (ABS), the official journal of the Serbian Biological Society resulted in six retractions of papers co-authored by Lidija Radenović. (Radenović served as vice president of the Serbian Biological Society until July 2014.)

In April, we reported that Radenović was about to notch her seventh retraction in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica; that paper has now been pulled, and ABS has retracted another one of her papers.

Here’s the retraction notice by ABS:

The article: 7-Nitroindazole, a selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitor in vivo prevents kainate-induced intrahippocampal neurotoxicity. Radenović L, Selaković V, Božić B. Arch Biol Sci. 2005;57(2)75-81, repeats data already published in: 7-Nitroindazole reduces nitrite concentration in rat brain after intrahippocampal kainate-induced seizure. Radenović L, Vasiljević I, Selaković V, Jovanović M. Comp Biochem Physiol Pt. C. 2003;135:443-50, without any referencing.

The now-retracted 2005 paper is yet to be indexed by Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Its twin paper, which was published in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology in 2003, has been cited 14 times.

In April, we learned that Acta Neurologica Scandinavica was planning on pulling one of her papers (her seventh, by our count), but the journal didn’t specify which one. The notice was officially released earlier this month for “Dynamics of cytochrome c oxidase activity in acute ischemic stroke:”

The above article from Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, published online on 7 April 2005 in Wiley Online Library ( and in Volume 111, pp. 329-332, has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief, Professor Elinor Ben-Menachem, and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. The article has been retracted because a similar article had previously been published in the Jugoslovenska medicinska biohemija in 2003. The authors presumed that since the journal was no longer existing, they felt the need to re-publish their work in Acta Neuorologica Scandinavica. However, in the consideration of the Journal, this constitutes dual publication.

Earlier this year, Radenović forwarded us email correspondence with J. Regino Perez-Polo, the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, which confirmed our previous report that Radenović is also due to issue an erratum for one of her papers published in the journal in 2011. We haven’t seen it yet, however, so have contacted Perez-Polo to confirm its status. 

The first paper that Perez-Polo refers to in the following comments is: “L. MK-801 effect on regional cerebral oxidative stress rate induced by different duration of global ischemia in gerbils,” a 2010 paper published in Molecular and Cellular Biology, which has been cited eight times. The second is a 2011 paper in the International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, titled: “Spatial and temporal patterns of oxidative stress in the brain of gerbils submitted to different duration of global cerebral ischemia.” This paper has been cited 10 times.

Perez-Polo, from the University of Texas at Galveston, told Radenović in the email:

In the first paper, you published the effect of MK801, a glutamate antagonist, on animals suffering ischemia for one time duration. While in the second paper, you published the validation of the model by looking at two times of ischemia relevant to developmental models. Clearly, these two papers should have been published in reverse order and they should have labelled the diagram as “adapted from x” in the second paper but they didn’t. In my opinion as the UTMB Research Integrity Officer and Liason to NIH, this does not require a retraction of the papers as they address two topics: the model and the treatment of animals (gerbils) using that model.

He goes on to add:

Obviously, this was a large experiment split into two papers. You and your colleagues should have done the proper referencing. We could publish an erratum to correct this and that in my opinion is what we should do. If you agree, please proceed to submit such a[n] erratum to me for approval and it will be published in a future issue.

Željko Tomanović, dean of the faculty of biology at the University of Belgrade, told us in April that the investigation into Radenovićs work has been ongoing for almost two and a half years. He confirmed in a more recent email to Retraction Watch that the professional ethics committee of the University of Belgrade has still not reached a decision on the case.

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