Following a journal probe and questions on PubPeer about their work, authors in Spain have issued four corrections, citing missing raw data for experiments conducted more than 10 years ago.
All papers include the same last two authors, Mireia Duñach at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Antonio García de Herreros at the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques.
Three of the corrections were issued by the Journal of Biological Chemistry, from which the authors retracted three papers earlier this year after a journal investigation concluded they contain reused images, designed to represent different experiments.
Duñach told us the latest corrections are the result of her own initiation:
As with most court cases, this one had a long backstory: An earlier version of the paper had listed Mallon as a co-author, but was rejected by Neuron in 2011; after the authors had a dispute over the data, a different version of the manuscript was submitted to PLOS Biology in 2012, leaving Mallon off the co-author list. So Mallon had sued to have the paper retracted.
In communications with Retraction Watch and other media, as well as during depositions of the plaintiffs, Mallon referred frequently to allegations of scientific misconduct, including the fact that the first author of the PLOS Biology paper had an unrelated paper retracted in 2010 for duplicated data. However, this case was brought under the Copyright Act, which focused on the authorship dispute.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced it plans to retract five papers by a former employee, after an investigation found duplicated images.
As first reported today by Leonid Schneider, Pfizer has asked to retract five papers from the lab of Min-Jean Yin, a cancer researcher. A spokesperson for the company confirmed to us that Yin had been fired:
…Min-Jean Yin’s employment has been terminated as a result of our investigation.
Consider this: Fragments of a PLOS ONE paper overlap with pieces of other publications. The authors used them without credit and without quotation marks.
This sounds an awful lot like plagiarism — using PLOS‘s own standards, even. But the journal isn’t calling it plagiarism. They’ve labeled this an instance of “text overlap,” a spokesperson told us, based on the amount of material that the paper shares with others.
The last author — Carlo Croce, who has two retractions under his belt — denies that he plagiarized, and says that his university has cleared him of a plagiarism charge from an anonymous whistleblower.
PLOS fixed this case last year with a correction notice — not the common course of action for a case of confirmed plagiarism. Take a look at the notice for yourself:
PLOS ONE has retracted three papers after the first author admitted to submitting the manuscripts without co-authors’ consent, and an investigation suggested that two out of the three papers had received faked reviews.
Last August, the same author — Lishan Wang of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University — lost two more papers (one in Tumor Biology and the other in Gene), also after the peer review process was found to be compromised. All five papers — which share other authors in common — were originally published in 2013, and four list Wang as the first author. The retractions follow an investigation by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
So she contacted the journal to find out what had gone wrong, especially since checking the page proofs would have spotted the problem immediately. The authors were surprised to learn that it was against the journal’s policy to provide authors page proofs. Could this partly explain PLOS ONE’s high rate of corrections?
PLOS ONE has issued an expression of concern (EOC) for a 2014 math paper after readers raised concerns with its algorithm.
According to the first author of the paper — Hafsa Athar Jafree from the University of Karachi in Pakistan — none of the authors agreed to the EOC notice. She told us the paper contains a few typos, which may have made it unclear to some readers, but said the authors had provided all of the necessary information to “justify the presented algorithms.”
A PLOS ONE spokesperson told us the journal decided to issue an EOC after consulting the editorial board, which raised significant concerns about the study.
In 2014, the journal issued a correction to the study to fix several equations in the original article.
A PhD student has been expelled from a university in China after publishing a paper in PLOS ONE without the permission of her co-authors, and using an external company to complete some of the work.
PLOS ONE has now retracted the paper, noting that they were tipped off to the problems by a reader who raised concerns about some of the figures. The notice states that the study’s first author, Zhenni Zhang, takes full responsibility.
The last author of the paper — Zongfang Li from the Xi’an Jiaotong University in China — told us Zhang was his PhD student who was close to completing her PhD, but has now been expelled.
A diabetes researcher who sued to stop a publisher from retracting his papers has just received his seventh retraction.
The latest retraction for Mario Saad, who is based at the University of Campinas (Unicamp) in São Paulo,Brazil, is for a PLOS ONE paper (which was altered last year by a mega-correction). Although an institutional investigation found no evidence of research misconduct, the notice states:
the preparation of the figures falls below the standard of publication and therefore the authors and the editors have agreed that the correct action is to retract the article.