A diabetes journal has issued two notices of concern for papers co-authored by a researcher who took another publisher to court after it did the same thing — but ultimately lost.
The notices are for two papers co-authored by Mario Saad — who, after losing his legal battle with the American Diabetes Association, has since accumulated 12 retractions. Both notices — from the journal Diabetologia, published by Springer and the the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) — say they have alerted Saad to their concerns about some of the images in the papers, and the university where he is based was asked to investigate more than one year ago. Since the journal has not yet received any information from the University of Campinas in Brazil, however, it decided to issue expressions of concern for the two papers.
Earlier this year, authors retracted a meeting abstract about a diabetes drug, following the revelation that the biotech that funded the trial committed misconduct.
The retraction was initiated by corresponding author Itamar Raz, at Hadassah Medical Center in Israel. The journal didn’t receive a response from any co-authors who were affiliated with the biotech company, Andromeda, so they were not included in the retraction process.
A few months after Hyperion Therapeutics acquired Andromeda’s diabetes drug DiaPep277, Hyperion announced it had evidence that some employees of Andromeda had “engaged in serious misconduct,” such as using un-blinded data and manipulating the analyses. Two relevant studies on the drug, designed to block the immune response that leads to type 1 diabetes, were retracted last year.
Here’s the retraction note for the abstract “Abstracts of the 50th Annual Meeting of the EASD, Vienna 2014. ‘Evaluation of DiaPep277® treatment in type 1 diabetes by integrated analysis,’” published in the May issue of the journal:
Diabetologia has retracted a 2011 meeting abstract from a group in Sweden, indicating that the second author has been found guilty of research misconduct — a charge the scientist denies.
The abstract, “Reduced syntaxin-5 in skeletal muscle of patients with type 2 diabetes is linked to increased diacylglycerol, activation of PKCtheta and impaired insulin signalling,” was presented at the annual meeting of the European Association of the Study of Diabetes. The first author was Kurt Højlund, who now is at the University of Southern Denmark. The second author was Pontus Boström, of the Karolinska Institutet.
A diabetes paper that received quite a bit of media attention when it was published in June 2013 was retracted and reissued to fix data errors shortly after publication.
The paper, which showed a steep decline in mortality rates for diabetics in Ontario, Canada, and the UK between 1996 and 2009, was republished in December 2013, with the same conclusion and the errors corrected.
At least four retractions have appeared involving the work of a group of Japanese researchers who appear to have reused figures — and doctored them — in multiple manuscripts.
The authors, led by Yoshiyuki Hattori, of Dokkyo University School of Medicine in Mibu (whose motto, by the way, is “where character is developed through learning” a reader points out that we had the wrong Dokkyo initially), published the same figure twice, and in the same year, in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.