A group of researchers based in Italy has had three papers retracted for likely using the same images to represent different experimental conditions.
The retractions, in Diabetes, published by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), follow expressions of concern for the papers in early 2018 and the launch of an investigation by the authors’ institution into the work. The status of that investigation by Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, however, is unclear, as the university has stopped responding to the journal’s inquiries.
After a publisher learned there may be issues with a 2008 diabetes paper, it asked the author’s university to investigate. The university found evidence of image duplication, and asked the journal to consider correcting the paper.
Instead, the journal has retracted it.
The backstory involves diabetes researcher Kathrin Maedler, who has one previous retraction, as well as multiple corrections. Even the paper in question, published in Diabetes, received an erratum in 2014 regarding a duplicated image, as well as an expression of concern last August after the American Diabetes Association questioned “the reliability of the data” in both the article and erratum.
To resolve the issues, the university’s rector recommended that the authors publish a second erratum with corrected figures. But after conducting its own review, the ADA overruled the university, opting instead to retract the paper:
A department chair of a Swedish university asked to retract a 2010 study in Diabetes after none of the authors could explain image-related ambiguities.
The matter prompted particular attention because the paper’s first author, Pontus Almer Boström, had been found guilty of scientific misconduct by the University of Gothenburg in 2012, after Jan Borén noted some irregularities in data calculated by Boström. At that point, the research group combed the data to identify further issues arising from Boström’s work, and didn’t find any.
But last summer, when a user on PubPeer raised questions about some of the images in the 2010 paper, the matter was brought back into focus. According to Borén, they found “no evidence of scientific misconduct in this study.” But Boström had left the university in 2009 and could not be reached, the corresponding author had passed away, and the remaining co-authors hadn’t stayed in the field. So Borén decided it would be best to retract the study to avoid any “lingering questions.”
The notices keep coming for diabetes researcher Mario Saad.
Diabetes has just retracted two more of his papers, both of which had been flagged by expressions of concern, citing problems with duplications. What’s more, the journal added another expression of concern to a 2009 paper on which Saad — based at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil — is listed as last author, again over concerns of duplication.
The latest articles flagged by Diabetes appear to be part of an intricate publishing web, as the journal suggests all papers have used features of previous papers, and also include elements that have been republished by subsequent articles.
A researcher has retracted a paper from Diabetes after re-using some Western blots in one of the figures from other papers.
According to the retraction notice, the first and corresponding author — Eric Berglund, formerly at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee — contacted the journal himself to report the error, for which he takes full responsibility.
Researchers have corrected three studies published in the journal Diabetes after users flagged issues with the images on PubPeer.
All three papers share a number of authors, including the same last and corresponding author, Aimin Xu, from The University of Hong Kong.
Since the corrections appear relatively extensive, we asked the journal if retractions were ever on the table. According to Chris Kohler, associate publisher, scholarly journals at American Diabetes Association, which publishes Diabetes, an ethical panel reviewed the papers before allowing the authors to issue the errata, all of which were published online this month: Continue reading Authors fix three Diabetes papers flagged for image issues
A paper linking the fecal microbiome to obesity has been retracted after it became clear that one of the co-authors faked some of the data.
The 2014 paper in Diabetes — which found that rats given fecal transplants from obese mice were more likely to become obese themselves if given a particular diet — was pulled after after aninstitutional investigation found a co-author guilty of falsifying data underlying one figure and fabricating the data of two others.
Co-author Yassine Sakar— formerly based at the French National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) in Paris, France — was found responsible for the misconduct. But an official from the institution said that some responsibility must also be shared by the corresponding author Mihai Covosa, who has since resigned from the institution.
Four expressions of concern in the journal Diabetes have turned into retractions for Mario Saad, a move which he had tried to stop with a lawsuit.
Last August, a judge dismissed Saad’s suit against the American Diabetes Association, which publishes Diabetes, concluding that the expressions of concerns on the papers were not defamation, but part of an “ongoing scientific discourse.” Now, after an investigation at the University of Campinas in Brazil, where Saad is based, and an assessment from an ADA ethics panel (which overturned some of Unicamp’s recommendations), the journal has added to that discourse by turning the EOCs into retractions — and flagging two more of Saad’s papers with EOCs.
Together, the retracted papers have been cited more than 600 times.