The retractions, in Diabetes, published by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), follow expressions of concern for the papers in early 2018 and the launch of an investigation by the authors’ institution into the work. The status of that investigation by Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, however, is unclear, as the university has stopped responding to the journal’s inquiries.
Here are the three now-retracted papers:
- “The IR1152 mutant insulin receptor selectively impairs insulin action in skeletal muscle but not in liver,” cited 10 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science
- “Prep1 Controls Insulin Glucoregulatory Function in Liver by Transcriptional Targeting of SHP1 Tyrosine Phosphatase,” cited 25 times
- “Protein kinase C (PKC)-alpha activation inhibits PKC-zeta and mediates the action of PED/PEA-15 on glucose transport in the L6 skeletal muscle cells,” cited 54 times
The ADA requested an investigation by Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in November 2017. In February 2018, they issued expressions of concern for the three now-retracted papers.
All three of the new notices contain a paragraph like this one:
In March 2018, the University informed ADA that a three-person committee had been appointed to investigate the issues cited above, but since then the University has not responded to requests for information on the status of the investigation. Therefore, ADA’s Panel on Ethical Scientific Programs (ESP) has independently reviewed these issues. The ESP determined that the concerns cited above are valid and that these and other instances of potential image duplication compromise the overall reliability of the study. ADA has chosen to retract this publication on the basis of the ESP’s assessment.
The corresponding author of the three papers, Francesco Beguinot of Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, had another paper retracted in September 2016, this one from the Journal of Cell Science, also for potential duplication. At least two of his papers have been corrected for figure errors.
Beguinot did not respond to a request for comment.
Retraction Watch readers may recall that the ADA earned the first-ever Doing The Right Thing Award, presented by Retraction Watch and STAT, for, among other things, standing up to Mario Saad, a researcher in Brazil who sued them for stamping four of his articles with expressions of concern. Those papers and 14 others of Saad’s have now been retracted.
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