A diabetes researcher who sued a publisher to protect several papers from being retracted recently received his 13th, in a prestigious gastroenterology journal.
Mario Saad, based at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil, has had a string of retractions over the past few years, including four in Diabetes after he lost a legal battle with the American Diabetes Association.
The latest retraction appears in Gastroenterology, citing possible image duplication. Saad is second-to-last author on the 2012 paper.
According to the retraction notice, the journal investigated data in several figures, and believes some were duplicated. The authors explained that the duplications resulted from inadvertently using wrong blots; still, the editors chose to retract the paper after determining they no longer had confidence in its conclusions.
A diabetes journal has issued two notices of concern for papers co-authored by a researcher who took another publisher to court after it did the same thing — but ultimately lost.
The notices are for two papers co-authored by Mario Saad — who, after losing his legal battle with the American Diabetes Association, has since accumulated 12 retractions. Both notices — from the journal Diabetologia, published by Springer and the the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) — say they have alerted Saad to their concerns about some of the images in the papers, and the university where he is based was asked to investigate more than one year ago. Since the journal has not yet received any information from the University of Campinas in Brazil, however, it decided to issue expressions of concern for the two papers.
It would seem that resorting to legal means to avoid editorial notices doesn’t always work.
We’re coming to that conclusion after seeing yet another notice for Mario Saad, based at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil. In this case, it’s an expression of concern from the Journal of Endocrinology, on a 2005 paper that lists Saad as the second-to-last author. According to the notice, the journal is concerned the paper contains spliced and duplicated images; although the authors offered to repeat the experiments, the journal considered that potential delay “unacceptable.”
The notices keep coming for diabetes researcher Mario Saad.
Diabetes has just retracted two more of his papers, both of which had been flagged by expressions of concern, citing problems with duplications. What’s more, the journal added another expression of concern to a 2009 paper on which Saad — based at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil — is listed as last author, again over concerns of duplication.
The latest articles flagged by Diabetes appear to be part of an intricate publishing web, as the journal suggests all papers have used features of previous papers, and also include elements that have been republished by subsequent articles.
A researcher in Brazil is taking responsibility for accidentally mixing up images in three papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
The corresponding author on the three papers told us the mistake happened because the studies were conducted simultaneously, and relied on one computer.
There’s a side note to these retractions: The co-author list on two papers includes names that should be fairly well-known to our readers — Mario Saad, the researcher who unsuccessfully sued the American Diabetes Association to stop retractions of his papers, and Rui Curi, a researcher whose legal threats assisted in the shutdown of Science-Fraud.org. This makes Saad’s ninth retraction.
A diabetes researcher who sued to stop a publisher from retracting his papers has just received his seventh retraction.
The latest retraction for Mario Saad, who is based at the University of Campinas (Unicamp) in São Paulo,Brazil, is for a PLOS ONE paper (which was altered last year by a mega-correction). Although an institutional investigation found no evidence of research misconduct, the notice states:
the preparation of the figures falls below the standard of publication and therefore the authors and the editors have agreed that the correct action is to retract the article.
A sixth retraction has appeared for a diabetes researcher who previously sued a publisher to try to stop his papers from being retracted.
Mario Saad‘s latest retraction, in PLOS Biology, stems from inadvertent duplications, according to the authors. Though an investigation at Saad’s institution — the University of Campinas in Brazil — found no evidence of misconduct, a critic of the paper told The Scientist he does not believe that the issues with blots were inadvertent.
Previously, Saad sued the American Diabetes Association to remove four expressions of concern from his papers; they were later retracted, even though Unicamp recommended keeping three of them published.