More duplications for researcher accused of misconduct in lawsuit

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 CaoMarshall’s former mentee and the first author of that 2013 paper.

Mallon has since contacted journals to raise concerns about papers by Cao, and two journals have taken action. The most recent move: On Aug. 10, the Biochemical Journal did something we don’t see very often — it issued both a correction and an expression of concern (EoC) for one of Cao’s papers: “EGFR-mediated expression of aquaporin-3 is involved in human skin fibroblast migration,” originally published Nov. 14, 2006. Continue reading More duplications for researcher accused of misconduct in lawsuit

Software glitch — not intentional manipulation — sunk immunology paper, says author

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A black box appears over the control lane on the left

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

Singapore investigation leads to another retraction, correction for Harvard research fellow

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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.

The newly retracted paper is “Myostatin is a novel tumoral factor that induces cancer cachexia,” published in Biochemical Journal and cited 40 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Here’s the retraction note:

Singapore investigation leads to two retractions, two more on the way

cov150hAuthors 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.

According to a notice from the NTU, the “investigation found a number of instances of alterations to data” in three papers on which Lokireddy is first author. One of those was retracted December 1 by Cell Metabolism: Continue reading Singapore investigation leads to two retractions, two more on the way

Mystery box sinks immunology paper

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 12.30.32 PMBiochemical Journal 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.

Here’s the notice: for “Phosphorylation of Ser158 regulates inflammatory redox-dependent hepatocyte nuclear factor-4a transcriptional activity”: Continue reading Mystery box sinks immunology paper

Failure to reproduce result leads to disputed retraction

BJ_logoA research group in Scotland has retracted a paper in the Biochemical Journal after failed attempts to reproduce a key finding of the study.

Here’s the notice: Continue reading Failure to reproduce result leads to disputed retraction

And the winner for longest time on record between publication and retraction is…

Photo by didbygraham via Flickr

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.

Today, we’ll take a stab at another record, longest time between publication and retraction. The apparent record holders, at 25 years, are I.E. Swift and V. E. Milborrow, who were at the University of New South Wales in Australia when they published “Retention of the 4-pro-R hydrogen atom of mevalonate at C-2,2′ of bacterioruberin in Halobacterium halobium” in the Biochemical Journal in 1980. Here’s the retraction notice from 2005 (hat tip Jeffrey Furman and colleagues, who noted the retraction in a paper earlier this year): Continue reading And the winner for longest time on record between publication and retraction is…

Two more retractions for Mori make 16 — but not a record

Biochemical Journal has retracted two articles by Naoki Mori, bringing the total number of pulled papers by the Japanese cancer researcher to sixteen.

As with the previous Mori retractions, the latest ones — of papers published in 2007 and 2010 — involve unreliable images. Mori, you’ll recall, had recycled control blots from study to study over the years, and was dismissed from his academic post in August.

The 2007 paper, “Activation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 in human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1-infected cell lines and primary adult T-cell leukaemia cells,” also included a frequent co-author Mariko Tomita, who has been implicated in the deception. It has been cited 15 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The 2010 article, “Inhibition of Akt/GSK3β signalling pathway by Legionella pneumophila is involved in induction of T-cell apoptosis,” has not yet been cited.

In each case, the retraction notice is the same: Continue reading Two more retractions for Mori make 16 — but not a record