Journal corrects paper by researcher sanctioned for misconduct

A biology journal has issued a correction to a 2014 paper by a researcher with 11 retractions, citing “inadvertent errors” that don’t affect the conclusions.

The researcher, Rony Seger, was recently sanctioned by his institution (The Weizmann Institute in Israel) following a finding of “serious misconduct” involving data manipulation. Specifically, the institute barred him from supervising graduate students, even future ones; his lab is now dedicated to replicating his previous work, with the help of a technician.

Last month, Michal Neeman, vice president of The Weizmann Institute of Science, told us she wasn’t sure how many additional papers by Seger would need to be retracted or corrected.

Recently, one more was revealed — in the August issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology, the following correction notice appears:

Due to inadvertent errors in transferring images from Photoshop to Illustrator, there are five mistakes in four figures. We apologize for these mistakes and provide corrections below. The conclusions of the study remain unchanged by these corrections.

The rest of the notice lists corrections to four images, including duplications and an instance where one image in a figure “does not correlate with” another image in the same figure.

Beta-Like Importins Mediate the Nuclear Translocation of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases” has been cited 13 times since it was published in 2014, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.

We asked a representative of the publisher, American Society for Microbiology, if the journal considered retracting the paper, given that so much of Seger’s work has been called into question. She told us:

MCB is analyzing each manuscript individually and determining the most appropriate corrective action to take in each case.

Hat tip: Kerry Grens

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