What Caught Our Attention: After losing three articles for data manipulation, Michael Sinnreich has retracted another paper in PLoS ONE. All four retractions share some of the same authors, including Bilal Azakir and Sabrina Di Fulvio, who is listed as the first author on the latest retraction. None of the notices have identified a person responsible for the data manipulation. Three years ago, PubPeer user had flagged some of the figures mentioned in the notice — noting that he was “led to this paper by a story on Retraction Watch” — most likely, a 2014 post that flagged an ongoing discussion about one of Sinnreich’s papers on PubPeer. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Swiss group loses 4th paper for data manipulation
A university in Switzerland has come to the defense of a communications researcher found guilty of plagiarism — and sanctioned after facing additional allegations, including plagiarizing a former Pope.
On Jan. 18, the Swiss newspaper, Ticinonline, published a statement from the University of Lugano in response to recent allegations that Peter J. Schulz had plagiarized from Pope John Paul II (who died in 2005) and the English philosopher, Sir Anthony Kenny, in a 2001 book chapter. The university told the Swiss paper that it will not be opening a new investigation into Schulz.
In response to allegations of plagiarism in 2016, the university investigated and, in August 2016, temporarily suspended Schulz for the 2017 fall semester for misappropriating the work of others. (So far, Schulz has lost three book chapters—including the chapter where he plagiarized from the former Pope—and two papers. He’s also received three errata for plagiarism and failing to properly cite others’ work.)
A communications researcher in Switzerland found guilty of plagiarism and sanctioned is facing more allegations—including that he plagiarized work by a former Pope.
Peter J. Schulz, who works at the University of Lugano, has already lost two book chapters. He also has retracted two papers and issued three errata; the errata note failing to properly cite other authors and plagiarism. In 2016, he was temporarily suspended by his university for misappropriating the work of others.
Most recently, Schulz has been accused of plagiarizing Pope John Paul II (who
resigned died in 2005) and the English philosopher, Sir Anthony Kenny, in a 2001 book chapter. Continue reading A Cardinal sin? Communications researcher accused of plagiarizing former Pope
In December of last year, Chris Surridge found himself in a situation not uncommon to journal editors: A researcher who had been found to have committed misconduct had submitted a manuscript to the journal Surridge edits, Nature Plants. Retraction Watch readers may recall the name of the corresponding author, Patrice Dunoyer, who has had five papers retracted and five corrected following an investigation into work out of the Olivier Voinnet lab.
So what to do? The journal accepted the paper in May, and published it in June, along with a thoughtful editorial likening prizes and cheating in science to those phenomena in sports. The editors, according to the editorial, “treated the study we received as we would any other.” We asked Surridge to answer a few questions about the episode.
Retraction Watch (RW): Was there some internal debate about whether to consider publishing a paper by Dr. Dunoyer? Did you personally hesitate? Why or why not? Continue reading What should a journal do when a scientist who committed misconduct submits a new paper?
A biologist at the University of Basel is retracting two papers, citing data manipulation uncovered during an institutional investigation. That investigation has already led to the retraction of a paper in Science Translational Medicine by some of the same authors earlier this year.
The two latest retractions, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), share the same corresponding author — Michael Sinnreich, based at University of Basel — and first author, Bilal Azakir, who is now an assistant professor at Beirut Arab University. The retraction notices cite an investigation at the University of Basel.
Here’s the retraction notice for “Proteasomal inhibition restores biological function of mis-sense mutated dysferlin in patient-derived muscle cells:” Continue reading “Data had been manipulated,” again: Swiss probe prompts two more retractions
The 2010 paper, which explored how various iron-based molecules interact with water and ethanol, was withdrawn after the authors uncovered possible duplication in two images.
According to the retraction notice, the authors could not provide the raw data to confirm their findings and could not reproduce the figures because the experimental set-up had been dismantled. The authors subsequently requested the paper be retracted because the issues undermined “our full confidence in the integrity of the study.”
In March 2016, researchers in Switzerland and Canada published a meta-analysis in The Lancet, exploring the optimal painkiller and dose for treating pain in knee and hip osteoarthritis. Soon after, the authors were informed of an error that would change “all numbers” in a paper that may influence clinical practice.
The authors contacted The Lancet immediately, in July 2016, to inform them of the issue. Sven Trelle, the paper’s corresponding author, also told us: Continue reading Lancet retracts (and replaces) paper a year after authors report error that changes “all numbers”
Science Translational Medicine has retracted a paper by researchers based in Switzerland, after an investigation concluded two figures had been manipulated.
The investigation occurred at the University of Basel. It’s not clear what prompted it, but the paper has been discussed at length on PubPeer. After the investigation concluded two figure panels included manipulated data, the last author asked to retract the paper.
Here’s the notice:
A researcher has lost his position as a Chief Scientific Officer at a DNA sequencing company after he reportedly confessed to fabricating data in a 2015 paper, now retracted by the Journal of Cell Biology.
According to the CEO of Karmagenes, when the company learned about the retraction, the staff “immediately” conferred and decided the researcher — Pranav Ullal — should no longer serve as one of the company’s two CSOs.
Karmagenes CEO Kyriakos Kokkoris told us:
A researcher in Switzerland has retracted her 2015 paper in the Journal of Cell Biology, saying the first author — her former postdoc — admitted to fabricating multiple aspects of the paper.
After Sophie Martin of the University of Lausanne couldn’t reproduce the data from another manuscript she was preparing to submit, she contacted her former student, Pranav Ullal, who admitted he had fabricated the data, along with two figures in the JCB paper.
A spokesperson for the University of Lausanne told us that Ullal left Switzerland after his contract was over, and is now in India.
Martin told us the whole experience has been upsetting: