Last year, chemist Marcus Tius at the University of Hawaii saw a paper describing the synthesis of some organic compounds, and was “struck by the implausibility” of the reported structures. So he joined up with some colleagues to try to replicate the data.
While Tius and his team were trying to repeat the experiment, however, in December 2017 the journal — Organic Letters — retracted the paper. The journal, published by the American Chemical Society, noted that the authors had not been able to produce crystal structures that confirm they had synthesized those compounds in particular. So Tius and his colleagues knew they couldn’t replicate the findings — but carried on their experiment anyway:
Continue reading Now-retracted chem paper’s problems “should have been noticed by the referees,” group says
A chemist is suing the University of Texas a second time in an effort to keep the PhD she earned in 2008.
In 2014, school officials revoked Suvi Orr‘s degree after finding it was based, in part, on falsified data. Some of the data were also included in a paper in Organic Letters that was retracted in 2011 after some steps in the chemical synthesis the authors described were not reproducible. Orr, currently working at Pfizer, sued UT, and the school reinstated her degree.
Now, the school is trying to remove it again, according to the lawsuit, filed last week. The lawsuit says the school has scheduled a “hearing” on March 4, during which three undergraduate students and two faculty members will deliberate — “none of whom are qualified to evaluate the scientific evidence being used against S.O.,” the suit says.
Orr has requested a temporary injunction to halt the proceedings, and a hearing has been scheduled for next week, according to the Austin-American Statesman.
The suit argues the school does not have the right to strip Orr’s degree from her: Continue reading Chemist sues University of Texas (again) to keep PhD
The authors of a letter describing the synthesis of ketonitrones have retracted it, after new data showed that they incorrectly reported the product structures and the reaction mechanism.
We’re not sure what exactly went wrong with the original data in the letter, “Transition-Metal-Catalyzed Ring Expansion of Diazocarbonylated Cyclic N-Hydroxylamines: A New Approach to Cyclic Ketonitrones,” published in Organic Letters.
Here’s the reaction that the paper reported, from the abstract:
And here’s the very short note: Continue reading Authors retract chemistry letter after new data reveal problems in reaction, structure
In August 2012, the authors of “Novel Approach to the Lundurine Alkaloids: Synthesis of the Tetracyclic Core,” a paper in Organic Letters, retracted it:
The authors retract this Organic Letters communication on the basis that the RCM of 24 to give 25 (Scheme 6) is not reproducible; thus, the reduction of 25 to give 26 (Scheme 7) is also not reproducible.
The case was covered in some detail by The Heterocyclist blog, and also by Derek Lowe at In The Pipeline, who called it “an odd retraction.” Lowe recently picked up the story with an update: The first author, Suvi Orr, is suing the University of Texas-Austin, where she earned her PhD and did the work, to stop them from taking away her degree.
The Austin American-Statesman reported last month: Continue reading Scientist found to have falsified data in thesis sues to keep her PhD