Caught Our Notice: Don’t count your chicken (genes) before they’re hatched

Via Wikimedia

Title: Molecular Characterization and Biological Activity of Interferon-α in Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

What Caught Our Attention: Soon after the paper appeared, the journal was alerted to the fact its findings were at odds with others in the field. When the editor approached the authors, everything fell apart: The authors couldn’t repeat the experiments, and “were also unsure of the molecular probes that were used in the study.” While it isn’t unusual to have doubts about data — since since research is a process of experimentation — it is odd not to know how your experiment was conducted. The paper was retracted less than two months after it was published. The manuscript was accepted two months after it was submitted in early May, theoretically giving reviewers enough time to catch these issues (along with the authors’ failure to cite relevant papers).  

Journal: DNA and Cell Biology

Authors: Hongjing Zhao, Yu Wang, Juanjuan Liu, Yizhi Shao, Jinglun Li, Hongliang Chai, and Mingwei Xing

Affiliations: Northeast Forestry University, People’s Republic of China

The Notice:

The Editor-in-Chief of DNA&CB, Dr. Carol Shoshkes Reiss, was alerted to a discrepancy between the findings in the article by Zhao et al. and those of others, about the absence of expression of ISG15 in chickens. Dr. Reiss requested from the authors a clarification in their observations and inquired about the failure to include relevant citations in the reference section of the paper.

Based on the response from the authors, it appeared that they did not have the confidence in the data as they were not able to repeat the experiments, and were also unsure of the molecular probes that were used in the study. Therefore, the Editor has determined that the paper should be officially retracted from DNA and Cell Biology.

Date of Article: August 2017

Times Cited, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science: Article not indexed

Date of Notice: September 22, 2017

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 daily digest. Click here to review our Comments Policy. For a sneak peek at what we’re working on, click here. If you have comments or feedback, you can reach us at retractionwatchteam@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.