Renewable energy researcher with troubled record loses another paper

renewable-sustainable-energy-reviewsA renewable energy researcher who recycled material in several papers — and has already agreed to withdraw 10 studies — has lost another paper.

In January, we reported that six of 10 papers flagged by an investigation into author Shyi-Min Lu have either been retracted or withdrawn. Now, Lu has lost another paper that was not among the previous ten — again, for reproducing figures from earlier works without seeking permission from original authors. This paper was on a hot topic: gas hydrates, considered to be a potential new energy source to replace oil in the 21st century.

The investigations into Lu’s work took place at the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Hsinchu, Taiwan, where he was formerly based, and the National Taiwan University, in Taipei, Taiwan, which fired Lu from his position at the university’s energy research center.

Here’s the retraction notice in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, issued last month: Continue reading Renewable energy researcher with troubled record loses another paper

Is it possible (or ethical) to have six first authors on a scientific paper?

sci-eng-ethcIn many fields, first authors on scientific papers represent the person who’s performed the bulk of the research. Sometimes, that determination can be difficult to make, so we’ve seen many papers that list multiple first authors, noting that each contributed equally to the work. But is it possible — or ethical — to claim six authors all deserve top billing on a paper?

In a recent letter in Science and Engineering Ethics, Govindasamy Agoramoorthy — at Sengamala Thayaar Educational Trust Women’s College in India and Tajen University in Taiwan — flags a 2014 paper in The Plant Journal that lists six first authors, noting all “contributed equally to this work.”

As Agoramoorthy notes in “Multiple First Authors as Equal Contributors: Is It Ethical?“:  Continue reading Is it possible (or ethical) to have six first authors on a scientific paper?

You’ve been dupe’d: Results so nice, journals published them twice

With so many retraction notices pouring in, from time to time we compile a handful of straight-forward retractions.

Once again, this list focuses on duplications — but unlike other duplications, these authors were not at fault. Rather, these retractions occurred because the publishers mistakenly published the same paper twice — the result of a transfer between publishers, for instance, or accidentally publishing the unedited version of the paper. We’re forced to wonder, as we have before, whether saddling researchers’ CVs with a retraction is really the most fair way to handle these cases.

So without further ado, here’s five cases where the journal mistakenly duplicated a paper, and had to retract one version: Continue reading You’ve been dupe’d: Results so nice, journals published them twice

Four more retractions for biomaterials researcher brings total to 7

Journal of Controlled ReleaseA biomaterials researcher has lost four more papers for figure-related issues such as duplications, bringing his total to seven retractions.

We previously reported on three retractions two by the Journal of Controlled Release (JCR) of papers co-authored by Hossein Hosseinkhani, who is currently based at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei. Now, the JCR is pulling four more studies that list Hosseinkhani as a co-author.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Enhanced expression of plasmid dna – cationized gelatin complex by ultrasound in murine muscle:” Continue reading Four more retractions for biomaterials researcher brings total to 7

Author “committed serious mistakes,” finds Taipei investigation

Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular BiologyAn investigation at Taipei Medical University found that an author made “serious mistakes” when preparing a manuscript.

The journal prompted the university to investigate the paper, which looks at the role of a protein in repairing arteries after an injury.

The retraction notice explains:

Continue reading Author “committed serious mistakes,” finds Taipei investigation

Now this is transparent: Retraction for plagiarism earns 4-page editor’s note

The Photogrammetric Record

A journal has retracted a paper about 3D imaging after concluding the authors used equations from another researcher without attribution — and has conveniently included a detailed editorial explaining exactly what happened.

It’s rare for us to see a journal be so transparent in explaining what went wrong with one of its papers, so we’re thanking Stuart Granshaw, from Denbighshire in Wales, UK, the editor of The Photogrammetric Record, for doing the right thing.”

Even the retraction note is reasonably forthcoming: Continue reading Now this is transparent: Retraction for plagiarism earns 4-page editor’s note

“I am really sorry:” Peer reviewer stole text for own paper

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We’re sharing a relatively old retraction notice with you today, because it’s of a nature we don’t often see: A chemist apparently stole text from a manuscript he was reviewing.

In spring of 2009, Yi-Chou Tsai, a chemist at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, was reviewing a paper for Nature Chemistry. At the time, he’d asked a colleague to write a review article with him, so forwarded him the Nature Chemistry manuscript for reference. But some of that text ended up in their review paper,”Recent Progress in the Chemistry of Quintuple Bonds,” published in Chemistry Letters. 

Both papers were published in 2009; Chemistry Letters retracted the review the next year.

The retraction includes a statement from Tsai, who puts the blame on his co-author, Chih-Chieh Chang, also listed as affiliated with NTHU (we couldn’t find a webpage for him):

Continue reading “I am really sorry:” Peer reviewer stole text for own paper

Journals retracts three bone papers for duplication by same author

1-s2.0-S0168365907X02700-cov150hA journal is Journals are retracting three papers after a biomaterials researcher duplicated his own work, sometimes using the same figures to describe different experiments.

Two of the papers are on bone regeneration; one is about targeting tumors. In addition to issues with figures, two one of the retraction notes explain that the papers contain “widespread plagiarism of text” from other papers by the researcher, Hossein Hosseinkhani.

Hosseinkhani is currently affiliated with the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology; when he did the work in the now retracted papers, published in 2004 and 2007, he was based at Kyoto University Hospital and then National Institute for Materials Science in Japan.

The Journal of Controlled Release published all three two of the papers. Here’s the retraction note for “Bone regeneration through controlled release of bone morphogenetic protein-2 from 3-D tissue engineered nano-scaffold,” which has been cited 118 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Continue reading Journals retracts three bone papers for duplication by same author

Paper on plant immunity can’t fight off manipulation

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A paper on how plants respond to bacteria has an invader of its own — data manipulation.

The “irregularities and inappropriate data manipulation” were found in a figure produced by the first author, Ching-Wei Chen, whose LinkedIn page lists him as a student at the National Taiwan University. The authors were unable to replicate the results in the figure, according to the note.

The authors are doing more experiments to verify the main conclusion of the 2014 paper, “The Arabidopsis Malectin-Like Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor-Like Kinase IOS1 Associates with the Pattern Recognition Receptors FLS2 and EFR and Is Critical for Priming of Pattern-Triggered Immunity,” published in The Plant Cell.

The retraction note explains the what happened in more detail:

Continue reading Paper on plant immunity can’t fight off manipulation

Renewable energy researcher recycled material, agrees to withdraw 10 papers

S13640321Investigations at two institutions at Taiwan determined in 2013 that a renewable energy researcher duplicated his own work; the researcher agreed to pull 10 papers. A total of six have been withdrawn or retracted, two in November, 2015.

Shyi-Min Lu is the corresponding author on the two newly retracted papers, from Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. The retractions follow investigations at the Industrial Technology Research Institute, where Lu used to work, and National Taiwan University, his former employer. Lu admitted to committing offenses in 10 papers. He was fired from NTU, where he was a research assistant at the university’s Energy Research Center.

First author Falin Chen — also a co-author on the paper duplicated by the retractions — was not aware that the papers bearing his name had been submitted. He told us how he found out:  Continue reading Renewable energy researcher recycled material, agrees to withdraw 10 papers