This latest correction, to a paper on the mechanisms behind RNA silencing in Arabidopsis, was published in RNA. The 2007 paper has been cited 101 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The corrigendum modifies three figures in total.
Olivier Voinnet, a well-known plant scientist at the ETH in Zurich, has notched his 7th retraction for a highly cited paper. The 2003 paper was pulled when “additional image manipulations” came to light after The Plant Journal issued a correction earlier this year.
The retraction follows an investigation into — and then retraction of — several other papers co-authored by Voinnet. The authors originally corrected the paper after they learned one image had been duplicated, and repeating the experiment found the “same interpretation and conclusions” held true. But when the corresponding author learned of additional “data manipulation,” they decided to retract the paper altogether.
Here’s the retraction notice for “An enhanced transient expression system in plants based on suppression of gene silencing by the p19 protein of tomato bushy stunt virus:”
A sixth paper co-authored by plant researcher Olivier Voinnet has been retracted by PLOS Pathogens “following an investigation into concerns.”
The investigation found “several band duplications” in one figure provided by fifth author, Patrice Dunoyer, who took it from “the Master thesis of a former student working under his supervision, without the prior consultation or consent of this student,” according to the notice. There was also an incorrect “loading control” in another figure, attributed to first author Raphael Sansregret and last author Kamal Bouarab.
Voinnet and Bouarab, the study’s corresponding authors, took full responsibility for “the publication of this erroneous paper.”
Although investigators found that the raw data in the duplicated figure backed up its conclusions, “given the nature and extent of data manipulation,” the authors asked the journal to retract the paper .
After correcting a paper due to problematic figure panels, researchers led by high-profile biologist Olivier Voinnet have now retracted it, after “further analysis of the paper revealed flaws in the interpretation of” another figure.
PLOS Genetics published the retraction notice September 3 for the 2013 paper on the molecular details of embryonic stem cells in mice. First author Constance Ciaudo and Voinnet assume “full responsibility for the mistakes on this paper,” according to the note.
According to the authors, Voinnet was responsible for some of the errors; all papers have been questioned on PubPeer.
The EMBO J, the flagship publication of the European Molecular Biology Organization, posted four notices earlier today and told Retraction Watch that the notice for the fifth paper would be posted by tomorrow.
Olivier Voinnet — a plant researcher who was recently suspended for two years from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) after an investigation by ETH Zurich and CNRS found evidence of misconduct — has issued his second retraction and two more corrections.
PNAS posted the retraction earlier this week for a 2006 article after an inspection of the raw data revealed “errors” in study images. Authors confirmed the issues in some figures and revealed “additional mounting mistakes” in others.
High-profile plant biologist Olivier Voinnet has been suspended for two years from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) following the results of two investigations that revealed a number of issues in his publication record.
An investigation at ETH Zurich found that the scientist “breached his duty of care in the handling of figures as well as in his supervisory duties as a research director.”
Another investigation at CNRS, where Voinnet also works as a researcher, also found “the existence of deliberate chart/diagram manipulations” — while not “fabrication,” these breaches “amount to scientific misconduct,” according to a press release about the report.
The ETH committee uncovered multiple errors, from the “mere confusion of correct and incorrect figures” to “the ‘beautification’ of figures,” but said that it was not scientific misconduct, according to ETH guidelines:
One of the recent corrections we found is for a 2003 article in The Plant Journal, “An enhanced transient expression system in plants based on suppression of gene silencing by the p19 protein of tomato bushy stunt virus,” which details using proteins from a tomato virus to help alter gene expression. The study has been cited 862 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the correction notice, posted June 8:
The story about Olivier Voinnet, a high-profile plant biologist whose work has fallen under scrutiny, continues to build momentum. Late last week, Voinnet’s employer and one of his funders announced they were investigating his work, and one of the peer reviewers of a soon-to-be-retracted paper has made her original report public.