It was one of the most difficult posts we’ve ever written: A researcher’s eagerness to publish a paper before asking all co-authors for their permission forced him to retract the article, wasting a postdoc’s time and destroying a professional relationship in the process.
This 2011 post wasn’t difficult to write because the facts were complex; they weren’t particularly (although the science involved was intricate). Rather, the man responsible for the incident, Graham Ellis-Davies, was so clearly and sincerely distressed by the mistake he’d made, it was impossible not to feel sorry for the him.
Well, we’re delighted to report that the tale has a happy ending. Ellis-Davies and his former postdoc have recently republished their once-retracted work with a new set of co-authors — and in the same journal that previous retracted it. What’s more, they have turned what initially was a proof-of-concept study into a much more robust article with exciting implications for the field. Continue reading After painful retraction, authors republish replicated findings five years later