Persistence pays off for plagiarized author: emails spur retraction, sanctions against researcher

Here’s an object lesson for scientists who find out they’ve been ripped off by other researchers: Taking matters into your own hands can produce results.  

An aggrieved author’s doggedness led to the retraction of a 2013 paper that plagiarized his work, along with the revocation of a doctoral degree by one of the scientists responsible for the theft and sanctions against another.

We don’t often get the blow-by-blow, but in this case we have the details to share. The story begins in early 2017, when Andrew Boyle, a professor of cardiac medicine at the University of Newcastle, in Australia, noticed something fishy in an article, “Cathepsin B inhibition attenuates cardiac dysfunction and remodeling following myocardial infarction by inhibiting the NLRP3 pathway.” The paper had appeared in a journal called Molecular Medicine Reports, from Spandidos.

The article, published by a group from Shandong Provincial Hospital, contained a pair of figures that Boyle recognized from his 2005 article in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. One of the images had been altered, but the other was a patent duplication.

Boyle explained that: Continue reading Persistence pays off for plagiarized author: emails spur retraction, sanctions against researcher

Does dose matter? Tumor killer paper thought so, now must retract

Molecular Medicine ReportsAfter questions from a reader, researchers took a second look at their data about the effects of a vitamin A metabolite on tumor cells, and realized their key finding was inaccurate.

They’re now retracting the paper, from Molecular Medicine Reports, because it originally reported that higher concentrations of retinoic acid (RA) were more effective in curbing the proliferation of brain tumor cells. But it seems that the RA dose made less of a difference than they originally believed, according to the retraction notice:

Continue reading Does dose matter? Tumor killer paper thought so, now must retract

Upon discovering several errors, authors retract gastric cancer paper

mmr_12_4After finding several errors in their paper about the molecular activity underlying gastric cancer, the authors unanimously decided to retract it.

According to the retraction note, three figures in the paper had β‑actin bands that were omitted, interchanged, or both.

The retraction note provides the details:

Continue reading Upon discovering several errors, authors retract gastric cancer paper

Plagiarized figure hurts arthritis paper

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A paper on a way to inhibit arthritis has been retracted following an investigation confirming that it plagiarizes a figure from another paper on the same topic.

The paper, “Blockade of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 enzyme inhibits experimental collagenase-induced osteoarthritis,” was published in Molecular Medicine Reports. A figure claims to show cartilage treated with a specific inhibitor:

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The retraction note tells us that the authors reproduced the figure from another paper in Inflammation — which describes a different inhibitor:

Continue reading Plagiarized figure hurts arthritis paper

“Immorally” affecting the literature: Authors blame sloppy work from an outside lab for retraction

SpandidosA group of Chinese researchers has retracted a paper, saying that an outside lab switched their immunofluorescent stains with another research group’s.

The group has decided to repeat the experiments on their own next time.

Here’s the notice in Molecular Medicine Reports for “Protective role of Klotho on cardiomyocytes upon hypoxia/reoxygenation via downregulation of Akt and FOXO1 phosphorylation”: Continue reading “Immorally” affecting the literature: Authors blame sloppy work from an outside lab for retraction

If only more retractions could be like this: Authors of cardiac stem cell paper show the way

Researchers at Qingdao University have fully retracted a paper originally published in Molecular Medicine Reports with a clear, detailed outline of what went wrong and how they discovered the error.

Here’s the notice for “Generation of induced pluripotent stem cells using skin fibroblasts from patients with myocardial infarction under feeder-free conditions:”

Continue reading If only more retractions could be like this: Authors of cardiac stem cell paper show the way