What Caught Our Attention: We haven’t heard much about Bharat Aggarwal since his seven retractions in 2016 propelled him onto our leaderboard (and long after he threatened to sue Retraction Watch for our reporting). There was a whisper of a mention, when his name was listed as one of the organizers of a cancer conference from which MD Anderson (his former employer) had to publicly distance themselves as a co-sponsor. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Researcher who once threatened to sue Retraction Watch now up to 19 retractions
The problem of fake reviews has been on the research community’s radar since at least 2014, and several major publishers—including Springer, SAGE and BioMed Central—have retracted hundreds of papers accepted via fake peer reviews. But Gearóid Ó Faoleán, the ethics and integrity manager at Frontiers, told us this is the first time Frontiers had had to issue retractions for this reason.
The papers, published between 2015 and 2017, are from researchers based at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)–National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) in Thiruvananthapuram, India. S. Nishanth Kumar is the only author in common to all four paper and a corresponding on two of them; Dileep Kumar, a scientist at CSIR, is a corresponding author on three of the papers.
The journal, Frontiers in Pharmacology, has issued an expression of concern (EOC) for the 2017 paper while it investigates. The notice does not specify the nature of the allegations. Meanwhile, several other papers by the three researchers, based at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, have also come under scrutiny. Late last month, Frontiers in Pharmacology retracted a 2015 paper by Kislay Roy, Rupinder Kanwar, and Jagat R Kanwar, citing image duplication. A 2015 paper in Biomaterials received a correction in May 2017, again flagging image duplication.
Roy, the first author on the papers, is a postdoctoral research fellow; Rupinder Kanwar, a middle author, is a senior lecturer; and Jagat R Kanwar, the corresponding author on all three, is head of the Nanomedicine-Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research.
Gearóid Ó Faoleán, the ethics and integrity manager at Frontiers in Pharmacology, explained that the investigation into the flagged article is ongoing and the EOC “must serve as the extent of our public statement for the present.”
A spokesperson for Deakin University declined to comment on the allegations: Continue reading Work by group at Australian university faces scrutiny
Many figures in four papers by a research team in Malaysia contain duplication or manipulation, a university committee has found, calling for multiple retractions.
We learned about issues with three of the papers, including one in Scientific Reports, earlier this week when they were the talk of Twitter. As journals issued expressions of concern, and an expert wondered how the papers passed peer review at all, the first author, a researcher at the University of Malaya (UM), denied allegations of duplication.
UM was alerted to allegations of misconduct in the Scientific Reports paper last Saturday, and according to a statement published today:
Last week, users alleged on Twitter that three papers by the same team included pictures of cells that were copied and pasted. First author Nima Samie, affiliated with University of Malaya in Malaysia, denied the accusations — but both the Malaysian government and now two journals sees cause for further investigation.
Frontiers in Pharmacology published an expression of concern this morning:
The editors of the journal, Frontiers in Pharmacology, issued an expression of concern about the paper in April 2016, and investigated it following the allegations. According to the retraction notice, the authors disagree with the retraction.
Frontiers in Pharmacology has retracted a paper on baicalin, an antioxidant sold in health food stores, because it had both “incorrect data and invalid statistical analyses.”
A comment on PubPeer notes that one of the figures (see image to the right) contains two similar-looking flow cytometry images labeled with different values, which could be what the retraction is hinting at.
Here’s the notice for “Baicalin induced dendritic cell apoptosis in vitro”: Continue reading “Incorrect data” kills apoptosis paper