What Caught Our Attention: Regular readers will be familiar with the saga involving Fazlul Sarkar and PubPeer: In 2014, Sarkar sued anonymous commenters on the site, claiming defamation (and that damaging comments may have cost him a new job). Although Sarkar won an initial ruling, it was overturned by an appeals court. In the midst of that, the ACLU (which represented PubPeer in the case) released a copy of a misconduct investigation report compiled by Sarkar’s institution, Wayne State University, which concluded that he had committed enough misconduct to warrant retracting 40 papers. The two latest notices, both of which cite Wayne State’s investigation, bring Sarkar’s total to 21. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Researcher who sued PubPeer commenter up to 21 retractions
What Caught Our Attention: We’ve been following cancer scientist Fazlul Sarkar for years, as he (unsuccessfully) sought to expose the identity of a PubPeer commenter who he believes cost him a job offer. In November 2016, the ACLU released a copy of a misconduct investigation report compiled by Wayne State University, which concluded Sarkar ran a laboratory “culture” of “fabrication, falsification and/or plagiarism of data,” and recommended the retraction of 42 papers and correction of 10 papers. He’s now lodged his 19th retraction. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Researcher who sued PubPeer commenter draws 19th retraction
PubPeer is having a good day.
In a new ruling, a trio of judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a 2015 decision mandating the site reveal the identity of anonymous commenters after a scientist sued them, claiming they cost him a job offer.
The judges stated that Fazlul Sarkar, the scientist suing the commenters, can continue pursuing a defamation case, but: Continue reading PubPeer wins appeal of court ruling to unmask commenters
PubPeer has suffered a setback in an ongoing lawsuit filed by a scientist who alleges the site’s anonymous commenters cost him a job.
This week, judges in the Court of Appeals in Michigan denied the request of the American Civil Liberties Union — which is representing PubPeer — to include an investigative report as part of evidence in the case. The report, by Wayne State University, found the plaintiff — Fazlul Sarkar — had committed widespread misconduct, and should retract scores of papers.
Alexander Abdo of the ACLU told us: Continue reading PubPeer dealt blow in lawsuit against anonymous commenters
We knew that Wayne State University had investigated allegations of misconduct against Fazlul Sarkar, the scientist who is suing PubPeer commenters over criticisms of his work. We knew The Scientist had obtained a copy of the report, which concluded he had engaged in widespread misconduct, and he should retract more than 40 papers.
And now, thanks to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing PubPeer in court and has filed a motion to include the report as evidence in the case, we have a copy.
It’s a long read, but here are some highlights:
An investigation into a scientist suing PubPeer commenters over criticisms of his work has concluded that the researcher engaged in widespread misconduct and should retract 42 papers.
The investigation report by Wayne State University, obtained by The Scientist, reveals that Fazlul Sarkar created a research environment that encouraged productivity but cut corners when it came to integrity: Continue reading Scientist embroiled with PubPeer engaged in “widespread research misconduct,” investigation finds
On Tuesday, lawyers representing both sides of the ongoing suit filed by a scientist against PubPeer commenters appeared in court, alleging their criticisms of his work cost him a new job at the University of Mississippi.
In the case described as “FAZLUL SARKAR V JOHN DOE,” lawyers representing PubPeer, Sarkar, and the anonymous commenter at the heart of the case spoke before two judges (one was absent). As the case now stands, a judge has ruled that all but one of the commenters can remain anonymous, and PubPeer has filed an appeal, earning the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), as well as Google and Twitter.
According to one of the attorneys representing PubPeer, Alex Abdo at the ACLU, things proceeded as expected. Their main argument, he said, was: Continue reading Sarkar vs. John Doe: What happened at this week’s hearing involving PubPeer
On Tuesday, a Detroit courtroom will hear arguments in a case against PubPeer commenters, in which a scientist alleges their criticisms of his work cost him a new job at the University of Mississippi.
This isn’t the first time both sides have met in court: Fazlul Sarkar first gained attention in 2014 when he sued anonymous commenters of PubPeer for defamation; in 2015, a judge ruled that all but one of the commenters should be allowed to remain anonymous. PubPeer has filed an appeal, earning the support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), as well as Google and Twitter.
Meanwhile, Sarkar has earned 18 retractions, many citing an institutional investigation at Wayne State University.
We spoke with attorney Alex Abdo at the ACLU, who is representing the PubPeer commenters in this case, about what to expect at next week’s hearing.
Retraction Watch: What will happen at this hearing? Continue reading Scientist faces off with PubPeer commenters in new hearing next week
A cancer researcher who tried to sue PubPeer commenters for criticizing his work has earned five more retractions, bringing his total to 18.
All of the new retractions for Fazlul Sarkar, formerly based at Wayne State University in Michigan, appear in the International Journal of Cancer. All cite an institutional investigation, and relate to issues with images.
With 18 retractions, Sarkar has now earned a spot on our leaderboard.
We first encountered Sarkar when he subpoenaed PubPeer to reveal the names of anonymous commenters that potentially cost him a job at the University of Mississippi. Earlier this month, a Wayne State spokesperson confirmed to us that Sarkar has now retired from the university. (To get up to speed, check out our timeline on the major events in this case.)
Here’s the first of the retraction notices, issued today: Continue reading Five more retractions for researcher who sued PubPeer commenters brings tally to 18
Fazlul Sarkar has not had a good month: In the last few weeks, he has earned 13 retractions across four journals, the latest in the fallout from a string of legal cases that have pitted him against one of science publishing’s major players.
Sarkar gained attention in 2014 when he sued anonymous commenters of PubPeer for defamation, and for potentially costing him a new gig at the University of Mississippi. But before all that, he was a respected researcher with hundreds of published papers, 38 of which were cited at least 100 times each. He’d also received $12.8 million in NIH funding for his research. So how did it all fall apart?
With the involvement multiple lawsuits, multiple institutions, and multiple people — some of whom are anonymous — it can get complex trying to keep track of it all. So for your convenience, we’ve compiled a timeline of recent events in the case: Continue reading Meet the researcher with 13 retractions who’s trying to sue PubPeer commenters: Fazlul Sarkar