Unintended consequences: How authorship guidelines destroyed a relationship

It started as a simple email exchange over authorship. But it angered one researcher so much that it ended a 20-year collaboration.

In January 2017, a chemist based in Mexico had finished writing a paper describing the structure of a molecule. Sylvain Bernès, at the Instituto de Física Luis Rivera Terrazas, asked his co-author—the head of the lab where the molecule had been synthesized 10 years ago—to review the draft and include any co-authors involved in the initial work.

The researcher added three co-authors to the paper. Bernès became concerned. He wanted to follow the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship recommendations as strictly as possible. As far as Bernès could tell, none of the new authors had actually contributed to the work, potentially violating the recommendation about authorship contributions. Continue reading Unintended consequences: How authorship guidelines destroyed a relationship

Rats! Snake mistake sinks paper

Senticolis_triaspis_by_abikeOdyssey
Senticolis triapsis by A Bike Odyssey, under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Check List, the “journal of species lists and distribution,” retracted a paper in February after the authors realized they hadn’t spotted a yellow-red rat snake in a strange range, but rather a green rat snake in its known home.

Here’s the notice for “New distribution and elevation records for the snake Pseudelaphe flavirufa Cope, 1867 (Squamata: Colubridae) in Oaxaca, Mexico,” as written by the authors: Continue reading Rats! Snake mistake sinks paper

Another correction appears for husband-wife team found to have manipulated images

insectAlejandra Bravo and Mario Soberon, a wife-husband research team at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) who received sanctions — later lifted — for manipulating images in a number of papers have corrected another article.

The paper, “The mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 is involved in insect defense against Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis,” appeared in Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2010 and has been cited 23 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the correction notice: Continue reading Another correction appears for husband-wife team found to have manipulated images

“Not exoneration”: University reverses sanctions on husband-wife team found to have manipulated images

Maria Bravo, via UNAM
Alejandra Bravo, via UNAM

A complicated case involving two microbiology researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) appears to have come to some conclusion.

In November of last year, we reported that Continue reading “Not exoneration”: University reverses sanctions on husband-wife team found to have manipulated images

Lacking “scientific and analytical rigor,” 8-year-old lymphoma paper falls to retraction

leuklympjuly13Leukemia & Lymphoma has retracted 2004 paper by a group of authors in Mexico after concluding that, well, the article never should have been accepted to begin with.

The article, “Adjuvant radiotherapy in stage IV diffuse large cell lymphoma improves outcome,” came from oncologists at the National Medical Center. Its abstract (still available on Medline) states: Continue reading Lacking “scientific and analytical rigor,” 8-year-old lymphoma paper falls to retraction

Hefty correction in JBC for GMO researchers in image tampering case

jbcmarch13coverLast November we wrote about the case of Alejandra Bravo and Mario Soberón, a wife-husband team of microbiologists studying genetically modified crops, who had been disciplined by the National Autonomous University of Mexico for having manipulated images in 11 papers.

The tinkering did not rise to the level of fraud, according to the university — which perhaps helps explain why it didn’t lead to requests for retractions, according to Soberón.  Instead, he said at the time, at least seven journals would be issuing corrections. We now have what appears to be the first of these, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Continue reading Hefty correction in JBC for GMO researchers in image tampering case

“Extensive” errors force retraction of lymphoma radiation paper

IJROBPcoverA group of researchers from Mexico has been forced to retract their July 2012 paper in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology *Biology*Physics after a reader noticed cracks in the data that proved to be signs of fatal instability.

Here’s the retraction notice for the article, titled, “Randomized Clinical Trial to Assess the Efficacy of Radiotherapy in Primary Mediastinal Large B-Lymphoma”: Continue reading “Extensive” errors force retraction of lymphoma radiation paper

University disciplines researchers who study toxins used in GMO crops; at least seven corrections to follow

Two biotechnology researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico have been disciplined for manipulating images in 11 papers.

La Jornada, one of Mexico City’s largest newspapers, reports that Alejandra Bravo and Mario Soberon, a wife and husband team who study the Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) bacteria toxins used in GMO crops to fight pests,were found guilty of “manipulaciones inapropiadas y categóricamente reprobables” — which translates roughly, according to Google Translate, as “inappropriate and categorically reprehensible manipulation.” Continue reading University disciplines researchers who study toxins used in GMO crops; at least seven corrections to follow