Chem paper “the product of intentional, knowing, or reckless falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism”

rsc-advancesA journal has retracted a study after an institutional investigation concluded that it was riddled with misconduct.

According to the retraction notice in RSC Advances, the first author submitted the paper without the knowledge of the other two co-authors, and the paper was falsified, fabricated, and plagiarized. The notice cites a probe at the University of Tennessee (UT) at Knoxville — where all three listed authors are based — that concluded the study’s findings were invalid.

We asked a UT spokesperson if the first author, Sammy Eni Eni, was still based at the institution, and received this response:

According to our registrar, Sammy Eni Eni first enrolled at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in fall 2010. Sammy had regular enrollment through summer 2015. Summer 2015 was the last semester of enrollment. Sammy did not graduate from UT.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Synthesis of diacylglycerol analogs bearing photoaffinity tags for labelling mammalian diacylglycerol kinase:”

The Royal Society of Chemistry hereby wholly retracts this RSC Advances article with the agreement of the authors, following a misconduct investigation carried out by the University of Tennessee. The Research Integrity Officer has informed us that the University concluded (based on the findings of a full research misconduct investigation) that Sammy Eni Eni’s submission of the RSC Advances manuscript was the product of intentional, knowing, or reckless falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism. Michael D. Best and Meng Rowland were unaware of the submission. The findings reported in the article are invalid and should therefore be disregarded. Signed: Sammy Eni Eni, Meng Rowland and Michael D. Best 23rd June 2016. Retraction endorsed by Andrew Shore, Executive Editor, RSC Advances.

Last author of the study, Michael Best, referred us to Robert Nobles, associate vice chancellor for research for responsible conduct of research and institutional research integrity at UT, who said:

For this particular case, I am unable to provide you any additional information. Beyond my requests for retraction, we uphold the principles of confidentiality as it relates to our allegations and investigations of research misconduct.

We were unable to find current contact details for Eni Eni. 

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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