University recommends researcher be fired after misconduct finding

Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson

The University of Gothenburg has requested the dismissal of a researcher who has been found guilty of scientific misconduct in seven articles.

The researcher, Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson, is “guilty of research misconduct through intentional fabrication, falsification or suppression of basic material and deliberately abandoning good scientific practice in seven of the reviewed articles,” according to a press release from the University of Gothenburg (GU). Sumitran-Holgersson continues to insist any issues were the result of “unfortunate errors,” not misconduct.

As a consequence, GU vice-chancellor Eva Wiberg has:

Continue reading University recommends researcher be fired after misconduct finding

Karolinska finds Macchiarini, six other researchers guilty of misconduct

Paolo Macchiarini

Former super-star surgeon Paolo Macchiarini is guilty of misconduct, along with six of his co-authors — including one who initially help alert authorities to problems with Macchiarini’s work, according to an announcement today by his former institution, the Karolinska Institute.

KI is also calling to retract six articles co-authored by Macchiarini and his colleagues, including two highly cited papers in The Lancet. The papers described the procedure and outcomes of transplanting synthetic tracheas into three patients between 2011 and 2013.

KI’s investigation uncovered “serious inaccuracies and misleading information in the reviewed articles:”

Continue reading Karolinska finds Macchiarini, six other researchers guilty of misconduct

Author who lied to journals about his identity slated to have four articles on vaccines retracted

An author who has published four articles about the alleged risks of vaccines — but who lied about his name and claimed an affiliation with the Karolinska Institutet — has lost one of the papers. He will also lose three more, Retraction Watch has learned.

Earlier this month, a paper in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics claiming that the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine is linked to a higher rate of cervical cancer — the very disease it is intended to prevent — by “Lars Andersson” sparked a bit of a firestorm when a Swedish newspaper reported that Andersson was not who he said he was. The journal responded by adding a line to the paper — first published on April 30 of this year — about the subterfuge, and with an editorial about the issues the incident raised, but leaving the paper intact.

Yesterday, the journal retracted the paper, “Increased incidence of cervical cancer in Sweden: Possible link with HPV vaccination,” writing that Continue reading Author who lied to journals about his identity slated to have four articles on vaccines retracted

Author of a study on HPV vaccines hoodwinked journal with a fake name

The author of an article that claimed to link HPV vaccines to a higher rate of cervical cancer — the disease the vaccine is designed to prevent — deceived the journal about his real identity, according to the journal.

But the journal will leave the paper intact, simply adding a line about the author to the paper and publishing an editorial about the incident.

The subterfuge — in which the author claimed an affiliation with the Karolinska Institutet — was noted earlier this week by the Swedish medical newspaper Läkartidningen. After that, the journal added this to the author’s information on the article: Continue reading Author of a study on HPV vaccines hoodwinked journal with a fake name

Probe finds misconduct in eight papers by researcher in Sweden

Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson, via the University of Gothenburg

An external probe has concluded that a researcher based at the University of Gothenburg committed misconduct in multiple papers, all of which should be withdrawn.

Among 10 papers by Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson at the University of Gothenburg, an Expert Group concluded that eight contained signs of scientific misconduct. The Expert Group, part of Sweden’s Central Ethical Review Board, also found evidence of problems within her laboratory environment.

In an email to Retraction Watch, Sumitran-Holgersson denied any “willful manipulation of data.”

According to the report (in Swedish, which we translated using Google):

Continue reading Probe finds misconduct in eight papers by researcher in Sweden

Journal investigating earlier work by author of discredited fish-microplastics paper 

A biology journal is investigating concerns about a 2014 paper by a marine biologist who was found guilty of misconduct last year.

In December, Uppsala University concluded that Oona Lönnstedt had fabricated the results” of a controversial 2016 Science paper (now retracted), which examined the harms of human pollution on fish. (Lönnstedt’s supervisor Peter Eklöv was also found guilty of misconduct and had a four-year government grant terminated.) Continue reading Journal investigating earlier work by author of discredited fish-microplastics paper 

Macchiarini, 3 co-authors found guilty of misconduct in 2015 paper

The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has declared that once-lauded surgeon Paolo Macchiarini and three co-authors committed misconduct in a 2015 paper.

The decision by KI’s vice chancellor will be followed by a request to retract the paper, published by the journal Respiration.

In the paper, the researchers described the case of a man with an acute lung disorder, in which he received an experimental treatment involving the use of his own blood-derived cells and the drug erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells. The patient “demonstrated an immediate, albeit temporary, clinical improvement,” according to the authors. However, he ultimately died of multisystem organ failure.

Continue reading Macchiarini, 3 co-authors found guilty of misconduct in 2015 paper

Swedish gov’t rescinds grant for fish-plastics researcher

Peter Eklöv

The Swedish government has terminated a four-year grant to a researcher at Uppsala University recently found guilty of misconduct — and, in a first, has also banned him from applying for grants for another two years.

A representative of the Swedish Research Council told us that it is “very rare” for the body to rescind a grant — and it has never simultaneously rescinded a grant and temporarily banned the researcher from applying for funding.

The researcher is Peter Eklöv, who co-authored a now-retracted Science paper which suggested fish larvae prefer to eat tiny particles of plastic over their own natural prey.  As soon as it appeared in 2016, the paper earned both media attention  and controversy, as critics alleged it contained missing data and used a problematic methodology. Late last year, the Swedish Research Council announced that Eklöv  was among more than 300 recipients of new grants; his totalled 3,300,000 ($355,440 USD).

At the time, a representative of the Swedish Research Council told us it knew Eklöv was under investigation by Uppsala, and was awaiting that decision.

Continue reading Swedish gov’t rescinds grant for fish-plastics researcher

Author of controversial Science fish-microplastics paper committed “intentional” misconduct, says Uppsala

An investigation at Uppsala University has found the authors of a retracted Science paper — which explored the threat of human pollution on fish — guilty of misconduct.  

The decision, published yesterday, states that both authorsPeter Eklöv and Oona Lönnstedt“violated the regulations on ethical approval for animal experimentation,” and Lönnstedt, the paper’s corresponding author, “fabricated the results.”

Eklöv told us: Continue reading Author of controversial Science fish-microplastics paper committed “intentional” misconduct, says Uppsala

Caught Our Notice: Forgot to make your article open access? It’ll cost you (with a correction)

Via Wikimedia

Title: Industrial antifoam agents impair ethanol fermentation and induce stress responses in yeast cells

What Caught Our Attention: When authors decide they want to make their articles freely available after they’ve already been published, how should publishers indicate the change, if at all? Recently, Ross Mounce (@rmounce) thought it was odd a Springer journal issued a formal correction notice when the authors wanted to make their paper freely available, and we can’t say we disagree.  As he posted on Twitter:

Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Forgot to make your article open access? It’ll cost you (with a correction)