Sultans of swap: List of plagiarized papers grows to include BMJ

Although some readers evidently have yawned at revelations that Vahdettin Bayazit, of Alparslan University in Turkey (and, we are tempted to assume, at least a few of his co-authors) appears to have plagiarized wantonly in numerous published articles, one follower of Retraction Watch was on to this case even before we were.

In an e-mail, the tipster laid out a picture of intellectual dishonesty audacious for both its scope and ham-handedness. The researcher, who wanted to remain anonymous, used Google to detect instances of plagiarism, just as we had, coming up with “more than 10” papers with passages stolen from the scientific literature and even Wikipedia, including not only lifted text but figures, too. And, just as in our case, the editors our source contacted about the misconduct have essentially ignored it.

We confess that we’re puzzled by the attitude that a little plagiarism is no big deal. As physician Andrew Burd writes in the BMJ today: Continue reading Sultans of swap: List of plagiarized papers grows to include BMJ

ORI comes down (hard) on Bengu Sezen, Columbia chemist accused of fraud

The Office of Research Integrity has thrown a heavy book at Bengu Sezen, a former chemist at Columbia University, alleging that school and agency investigators turned up 21 instances of research misconduct by the disgraced scientist.

According to the agency: Continue reading ORI comes down (hard) on Bengu Sezen, Columbia chemist accused of fraud

Sultans of swap: Turkish researchers plagiarized electromagnetic fields-cancer paper, apparently others

The Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences has retracted a paper it published in August by Turkish researchers on the potential cancer risks associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields, or EMFs.

The reason: Other people wrote nearly all of it.

According to an editor’s notice: Continue reading Sultans of swap: Turkish researchers plagiarized electromagnetic fields-cancer paper, apparently others

Best of Retractions Part III: Whatever can go wrong …

Paging Dr. Murphy.

In July, the editors of Cancer Biology & Therapy published a retraction remarkable for its scope. Apparently, nearly everything dishonest authors can do to doctor a manuscript, these authors did.

The paper, “Overexpression of transketolase protein TKTL1 is associated with occurrence and progression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma,” initially appeared on the journal’s website in January 2008. It came out in print three months later, in the April issue, and has been cited 8 times since, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The authors were Song Zhang, Jian Xin Yue,  Ju Hong Yang, Peng Cheng Cai and Wei Jia Kong, of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Hubei, China. It will be quite clear why we listed all those authors in a moment. Continue reading Best of Retractions Part III: Whatever can go wrong …

More on the latest Cell retraction: PI says a graduate student was at fault

Carsten Carlberg

This morning we reported on a new retraction in Cell involving fraud from a lab in Finland, which led us to a second retraction of a paper by the same group in the Journal of Molecular Biology. The first author on both papers was Tatjana Degenhardt, who at the time was a graduate student in the lab of Carsten Carlberg, professor of biochemistry at the University of Kuopio.

A few minutes ago Retraction Watch spoke with Carlberg, who had this to say about Degenhardt: Continue reading More on the latest Cell retraction: PI says a graduate student was at fault

Cell retraction for bogus images in genetics paper reveals another, in Journal of Molecular Biology

Call it bad luck, but the journal Cell has been victimized again by image manipulation. For the second time this month, the publication has retracted a paper whose authors acknowledged that one of them had played around with the figures.

Published in August 2009, the paper, “Population-Level Transcription Cycles Derive from Stochastic Timing of Single-Cell Transcription,” has been cited 16 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. It purported to show using computer modeling that

transcriptional cycling, i.e., periodic assembly of transcription factors and their cofactors and the resulting cyclical accumulation of mRNA, may stem from stochastic timing and sequential activation of transcription in individual cells.

The authors, from several European institutions, presented experimental data to back up their computer model, including multiple figures. Some of those, they now admit, were fabricated — to the point where the whole paper collapsed: Continue reading Cell retraction for bogus images in genetics paper reveals another, in Journal of Molecular Biology

Science plays two — a retraction, and concern issued about genetics papers

It’s a busy week at Science. The journal is retracting a controversial paper about which it had previously expressed doubts, and has published an “Expression of Concern” about another article that looks like it might be headed for the same fate.

First, the retraction.

The move involves an October 2009 paper, on which we’ve previously posted, by European researchers who claimed to have made a major advance in the ability to watch how enzymes behave in cells — thereby giving scientists a new tool for monitoring the function of genes.

But back in December, Science editor Bruce Alberts issued this “Expression of Concern” about the research: Continue reading Science plays two — a retraction, and concern issued about genetics papers

Cell pulls fruit fly article, citing image manipulation

The journal Cell has retracted a paper on fruit fly genetics over concerns that the first author, a postdoc in a German laboratory, might have manipulated dozens of electron micrographs in the manuscript.

The article, published in November 2009, was titled “Assembly of Endogenous oskar mRNA Particles for Motor-Dependent Transport in the Drosophila Oocyte.” It has been cited six times since then, according to the Thomson Scientific Web of Knowledge.

Not having the foggiest notion of what those words might mean, other than that the paper was about fruit flies, we called in a ringer, Jeff Perkel, who explained as patiently as he could that the gist of the research involved Continue reading Cell pulls fruit fly article, citing image manipulation

Top German anesthesiologist’s cardiac surgery paper retracted over “very serious misrepresentations”

Self-plagiarism alert: A very similar version of this post is being published online in Anesthesiology News, where one of us (AM) is managing editor.

A leading German anesthesiologist with more than 200 papers to his name has been accused of misrepresenting critical aspects of a paper  — possibly including the data itself — published late last year in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia.

In a retraction notice published online today, Steven L. Shafer, editor-in-chief of the journal, writes that Joachim Boldt and his coauthors failed to obtain approval from an institutional review board, did not get patient consent and did not follow up as promised with volunteers in their study, reported in the December 2009 article, “Cardiopulmonary Bypass Priming Using a High Dose of a Balanced Hydroxyethyl Starch Versus an Albumin-Based Priming System.”

In addition, the journal said, it has reason to suspect that data in the paper were fabricated, a possibility that is being investigated by German authorities. As the notice states: Continue reading Top German anesthesiologist’s cardiac surgery paper retracted over “very serious misrepresentations”

Warts and all: Derm pub retracts plantar paper after author cries foul

Both Retraction Watch bloggers are all too familiar with the artwork in dermatology journals. One of us, AM, used to write for Skin & Aging, while the other, IO, waited eagerly for issues of Cutis sent to his pediatrician father to show up on the coffee table. And IO recently broke the incredibly important story of “Mexican beer dermatitis.”

But we always trusted that the images we were looking at were real. A group of Egyptian dermatologists seems to have hit on a novel solution to the problem of uncooperative images: Continue reading Warts and all: Derm pub retracts plantar paper after author cries foul