Despite losing a lawsuit against his former mentor, a researcher hasn’t stopped his efforts to discredit his mentor’s work. These efforts have led to new editorial notices — including, most recently, a correction and expression of concern for one paper by a former colleague, who wasn’t even the subject of the lawsuit.
In the 2014 suit, former Brown University postdoc Andrew Mallon said research misconduct by John Marshall — his lab director and former business partner– tainted a 2013 paper published in PLoS Biology. Though the case failed to trigger the retraction Mallon sought, it put his concerns into the public record; the text of the lawsuit includes an accusation of misconduct against Cong Cao — Marshall’s former mentee and the first author of that 2013 paper.
New evidence suggests a retracted paper was felled not by intentional manipulation — as it first appeared — but by a software glitch.
In 2014, we reported that Biochemical Journal had retracted a paper on suspicion it contained “shoddy Photoshopping” — someone appeared to have blacked out a control lane in one figure. Now there’s evidence that it wasn’t done on purpose: An investigation at Duke into eight papers, including the Biochemical Journal paper, did not find evidence of misconduct; lead author Paul Kuo, currently chair of surgery at Loyola Medicine, told us that a glitch in the software caused the black box. Nevertheless, the journal does not plan to un-retract the paper. Continue reading Software glitch — not intentional manipulation — sunk immunology paper, says author
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.
Authors have retracted papers from Cell Metabolism and the Journal of Biological Chemistry after an investigation in Singapore found issues, including falsified data. The investigation is ongoing, and two additional retractions, along with two corrections, are on the horizon.
The investigation looked into papers by first authors Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, now a postdoc at Harvard, and Sandhya Sriram, a postdoc at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore. Led by the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where some of the work was done, the investigation concluded that there were issues with six papers on which either Sriram or Lokireddy was first author.
All authors but Lokireddy have agreed to retractions or corrections. Ravi Kambadur of NTU, and Mridula Sharma at the National University of Singapore, are the last two authors on all the papers.
BiochemicalJournal has pulled a 2006 paper for an undisclosed “background subtraction box” in an image –which, if you take a not-particularly-close look at the figure to the right, means somebody added a black rectangle over the control lane.
We’ve had a few unofficial record-holders here at Retraction Watch. The current leader in the retraction column, for example, is Yoshitaka Fujii, who will likely retract 172 papers. He took that record from Joachim Boldt, with just shy of 90.