Singapore university revokes second researcher’s PhD in misconduct fallout

Last year, the fallout from a misconduct investigation at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore resulted in the university revoking the PhD of a Harvard research fellow, and a senior researcher losing his job. In July 2016, NTU told us another researcher who could not be named at the time had also come forward and confessed to making up data.

Now, Retraction Watch has learned that Sabeera Bonala — the researcher who couldn’t be named due to ongoing disciplinary procedures last year — has also had her doctorate degree revoked by the NTU. Continue reading Singapore university revokes second researcher’s PhD in misconduct fallout

Researchers disagree over how to explain doubts over physics findings

After an international group of physicists agreed that the findings of their 2015 paper were in doubt, they simply couldn’t agree on how to explain what went wrong. Apparently tired of waiting, the journal retracted the paper anyway.

The resulting notice doesn’t say much, for obvious reasons. Apparently, some additional information came to light which caused the researchers to question the results and model. Although the five authors thought a retraction was the right call, they could not agree on the language in the notice.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Atomistic simulation of damage accumulation and amorphization in Ge,” published online February 2015 in the Journal of Applied Physics (JAP) and retracted two years later in January 2017: Continue reading Researchers disagree over how to explain doubts over physics findings

Geoscience paper pulled over apparent lack of company consent

A 2016 paper has been retracted at the request of a company that provides geoscience solutions because the authors—who are employees of the company—included proprietary information and didn’t obtain proper permission.

Often in extenuating circumstances such as publishing something without permission, the article is taken offline. But this article, which according to the retraction notice “contains information, data and intellectual property belonging to the company and its client,” remains available. What’s more, the authors seem to think they had the company’s okay to publish.

Here’s the complete retraction notice for “High resolution seismic imaging of complex structures: a case study of the South China Sea data” published by Marine Geophysical Research:

Continue reading Geoscience paper pulled over apparent lack of company consent

Journal retracts all papers by education researcher, bringing his total to 21

jaasepA journal has followed through on its promise to retract all articles by an education researcher, after an investigation raised questions about the validity of the data in some of his work with children with special needs.

The latest notice — which includes a list of 11 papers — brings the total number of retractions for Noel Kok Hwee Chia to 21.

Last spring, The Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP) pulled nine articles by Chia that were the subject of an investigation at the National Institute of Education in Singapore, part of Nanyang Technological University, where he worked until April. As we reported in June, editors explained in a 3,000-word notice that they planned to pull every article that Chia had published in JAASEP.

The new retraction notice quotes from the reasoning presented in the previous one, from last spring:

Continue reading Journal retracts all papers by education researcher, bringing his total to 21

Where was chem research conducted? Not here, say two of three listed author affiliations

ChemosphereA researcher has retracted two 2016 papers after discovering problems with the data that negated the findings — and after one of his three listed affiliations denied the research was conducted there.

According to the retraction notices issued by Chemosphere, Hong-Wei Luo incorrectly claimed to be affiliated with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee in one of his three affiliations. His other institutions listed on the papers include universities in Singapore and China.

However, an official from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, told us the work in the now-retracted papers was not carried out at the NTU either.

Here’s the first of the retraction notices, issued on August 8: Continue reading Where was chem research conducted? Not here, say two of three listed author affiliations

Researcher whose PhD was revoked is no longer at Harvard lab

mend.2016.30.issue-8.coverA research fellow at Harvard Medical School whose PhD was revoked last month is no longer working in his former lab, Retraction Watch has learned. 

An archived version of the lab site for Alfred Goldberg from December, 2015, lists Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy as a postdoctoral fellow; however, Goldberg’s current lab site doesn’t include Lokireddy as a lab member.

We contacted Goldberg’s lab, and he was unavailable for comment. We were told all of his lab members are on the current website.

Lokireddy has also logged his sixth retraction. But this case isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

Continue reading Researcher whose PhD was revoked is no longer at Harvard lab

Harvard researcher’s PhD revoked, former group earns three more retractions

Journal of Biological ChemistryA research fellow at Harvard has lost his PhD from a university in Singapore after being found guilty of falsifying data, and his former group leader’s contract has been terminated by his institution.

But that’s not the whole story. This tangled mess involves not only the Harvard researcher, Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, and his former boss, Ravi Kambadur at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, but an as-yet unnamed colleague of theirs who, we’re told, has admitted making up data in three papers, on which Lokireddy and Kambadur are co-authors. Bear with us as we walk you through this tale.

Two of those papers have been retracted by The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC); one in Molecular Endocrinology has yet to be pulled. Kambadur, who held joint appointments at the NTU and the Agency for Science, Research and Technology (A*STAR) in Singapore, has now had his contract terminated at both institutions.  Continue reading Harvard researcher’s PhD revoked, former group earns three more retractions

Journal retracting at least nine articles by education researcher

JAASEPA investigation in Singapore has failed to turn up primary data that formed the basis for 11 papers from one author about special education.

In addition, a forensic investigation at Noel Chia’s institution — the National Institute of Education in Singapore, part of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) — suggested that some signatures providing parental consent might not be authentic. The investigation was also unable to authenticate the Malaysia-based organization Chia said collected the data on his behalf.

Nine of the papers appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP), which has declared it plans to retract every article Chia has ever published with them (we’ve counted an additional nine papers).

Much of the information we know about the case stems from the unusually detailed — 3,000 word — retraction notice from JAASEP:

Continue reading Journal retracting at least nine articles by education researcher

Physics journal pulls two papers for data shortcuts

New Journal of PhysicsA publisher is retracting two papers today by a team of physicists who took a short cut in reporting their data.

The papers present a method for imaging very small things — like biological processes on a molecular scale — that could be an alternative to electron microscopy, as the authors explain in a video. But after the papers were published in the New Journal of Physics, last author Ulf Leonhardt, now based at the Weizmann Institute of Science, found out that some of the data

 were pixel-by-pixel mirror-symmetric, which is impossible for genuine experimental data.

One of the researchers co-authored a subsequent paper that acknowledges one of the papers incorrectly assumed the data were symmetrical, and could therefore be extrapolated from one side to the other. A representative of the publisher told us they have not seen any signs of misconduct, and the problem seemed to result from a “series of apparent miscommunications between the authors.”

Here’s the retraction notice for “Evidence for subwavelength imaging with positive refraction:” Continue reading Physics journal pulls two papers for data shortcuts

Singapore investigation leads to another retraction, correction for Harvard research fellow

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After an investigation found evidence of misconduct, a biologist has issued a third retraction.

Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy — now a research fellow at Harvard Medical School — “admitted falsification,” a Research Integrity Officer at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore told us in December. According to The Scientist, another journal has also published a correction that the authors had requested earlier.

The newly retracted paper is “Myostatin is a novel tumoral factor that induces cancer cachexia,” published in Biochemical Journal and cited 40 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Here’s the retraction note: