These latest notices move the count up to 8.5 retractions for Potts-Kant and 7.5 for Foster (counting the partial retraction as 1/2), along with the correction for both. In both cases and in a familiar note from previous retractions, authors found “potential discrepancies” between two sets of data (partial retraction) and study figures that weren’t “reliable” (retraction).
The retraction comes after the authors discovered problems with three of the study figures. In the corrected paper, the authors were able to validate some of their findings after repeating the experiments, but retracted two of the study figures that they were “unable to verify.”
More journals have pulled papers co-authored by researchers Erin Potts-Kant and Michael Foster, at Duke University, bringing the total up to seven for Potts-Kant and six for Foster.
Authors were unable to replicate the experiments after “concerns about the initial data from the animal physiology laboratory” led them to reanalyze source data, according to the note in Environmental Health Perspectives. The comparison showed “potential inconsistencies in the data,” which “significantly impact the overall conclusions of the manuscript.” Similar issues appear to have felled the pair’s other papers, including the other two recent retractions in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology — but in the latter case, the discrepancies don’t affect the conclusion.
Potts-Kant was arrested on embezzlement charges in 2013. Authorities alleged that she stole almost $15,000 from Duke University.
Environmental Health Perspectives posted a retraction in July, for a 2012 paper that looked at the molecular underpinnings in airways that react to ozone.
Terry S. Elton, a researcher at Ohio State University in Columbus who studies genetic expression in various heart conditions and Down syndrome, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity for fabricating and/or falsifying data in a number of NIH grants and resulting papers.
ShouWei Han, who has been forced to retract six papers from various physiology journals following an investigation into his work by his former employer, the University of Louisville, has added another one to his tally.
In late January, we wrote a post about a retraction in the journal Molecular Endocrinology involving work from the lab of Stephen M. Black, of the Vascular Biology Center at at the Medical College of Georgia.
At the time, we didn’t know much. The notice was pretty thin sauce, although it hinted at “significant concerns with the data,” and we were led to believe that the first author of the article, Neetu Sud, a post-doc in Black’s lab, might have been implicated in those concerns. Because Black’s lab was working with substantial amounts of NIH funding, the prospect of an investigation by the Office of Research Integrity seemed likely.
There’s parsing a-plenty in the American Journal of Physiology Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology this month. The journal has retracted a 2010 paper by researchers at Chiba University in Japan, who lifted much of their manuscript from an article by other scientists in a different publication.