A researcher whose work has been heavily questioned on PubPeer has corrected a figure on a 2015 paper in Talanta — but the text of the correction doesn’t match the actual changes.
Recently, Rashmi Madhuri at the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) in Dhanbad corrected a 2015 paper about a diagnostic sensor that uses nanoparticles, noting that there was a “small error” in the legend describing figure 1. But the corrected image bears the same legend it had before, and instead swapped a panel of the figure that had been questioned on PubPeer.
I suspect the authors simply submitted it to Elsevier who published it.
A spokesperson for Elsevier confirmed to us that the correction was issued without the editor’s approval due to a misunderstanding:
…there had been prior correspondence between the editor and Elsevier’s production staff about the corrigendum, which was misunderstood to mean approval from the Editor.
The publisher added that they are investigating the other issues raised about the paper.
Madhuri’s name may be familiar to some readers — last year, readers raised an outcry over one of her 2017 papers, which was also corrected. According to one scientist, the authors replaced “an obviously fabricated” figure with a “slightly better photo-shopped one.” The same four authors are listed on both the 2017 paper and the newly corrected 2015 paper; Madhuri is the corresponding author on both. Some of her other papers have also been questioned on PubPeer.
One month ago, a reader on PubPeer suggested that panel D of figure 1 in the 2015 paper looked similar to another panel in a later paper by the same authors. A correction included in the March 2018 issue of the journal Talanta says:
Meanwhile, the same PubPeer reader has also raised questions about another figure in the paper, alleging that portions of the spectra appear manipulated.
We’ve contacted Madhuri, and will update if she responds.
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