The report flagged eight published papers (and an unpublished one), six of which had already received expressions of concern (EOCs). Nataly Shulga was a co-author on all eight papers. With these two new retractions in Biology Open and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Bioenergetics, all of the flagged papers have now been retracted.
A researcher has agreed to a five-year ban on Federal U.S. funding for research after the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) determined that he had falsified or fabricated more than 40 images in nine papers.
Two journals have published six expressions of concern for a pair of biologists at Rowan University, and are asking the university to undertake an investigation.
We contacted the editors of the two journals — Journal of Cell Science and Biology Open — who both said they decided to flag the papers after a reader raised concerns about potential re-use of blot images. The six papers are co-authored by John G. Pastorino, a molecular biologist at Rowan University in New Jersey and Nataly Shulga, whose LinkedIn identifies her as a research specialist at the same institution. According to the nearly identical notes, the journals (which share a publisher) undertook a review of the original data, but “felt unable to resolve this matter.”
The expressions of concern — five from the Journal of Cell Science and one from Biology Open — include pretty much the same text. Here’s the note that appeared in JCS:
In June, we reported on a retraction in Current Biology that came after a number of PubPeer commenters suggested that the authors had engaged in figure manipulation, memorably comparing watching the published videos to playing the old-school arcade game “Space Invaders.”
Now a second paper from the same team has been retracted from Biology Open after the authors “were unable to repeat the results.” The journal was unable to get in touch with first author Livana Soetedio, whom the University of Illinois at Chicago found had fabricated the data and images in both publications.