Wait, how did my name end up on that paper?

There’s an “us” in lupus, but no “we” — at least in the case of a 2020 paper whose list of authors was a fabrication. 

Published in the journal Lupus, the article, “Antibodies to cellular prion protein and its cognate ligand stress-inducible protein 1 in systemic lupus erythematosus,” was written by a group led by Jozélio F Carvalho, a rheumatologist at the University of São Paulo. Or rather, by Carvalho himself. 

According to the notice

At the request of the authors, and with the agreement of the Journal Editor and SAGE Publishing, the following article has been retracted on the basis that the co-authors of the paper had no knowledge of the corresponding author’s submission of the research to the journal and the co-authors did not consent to its publication, as they believe it to be too preliminary for publication.

Vilma Martins, of the A.C.Camargo Cancer Center in São Paulo, is listed as the senior author of the paper — which very much surprised her to learn: 

I received an alert from ResearchGate about a new publication. Since I was not informed about it and never participate[d] in the writing of the publication and [did] not see the data before I looked for the corresponding author’s email and wrote him. He told me that it was an honor to have me as an author and I asked him to remove my name from the paper. After that I email[ed] the chief of the Department at the University of São Paulo Medical School and told her that I didn’t want to be an author of the article, she was also surprised because she didn’t know about the publication and never authorized it. Together we wrote to the Journal and explained the situation. They were very open and prepared the retraction immediately.

Indeed, the publication date for the paper was June 26, while the retraction is dated August 25 — a pretty short interval, as these things go. 

Carvalho did not respond to a request for comment.

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2 thoughts on “Wait, how did my name end up on that paper?”

  1. A worrisome thought is this: how many other papers did he author in this fashion? Some of the “authors” may be to unscrupulous themselves to protest.

  2. There are more and more people have same experience on that. Because some people want a journal to be published easily by using the repute of celebrity.

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