Author: “The retractions were about bureaucracy, not science”

A researcher has retracted two 2014 papers, after discovering they had not gone through the proper approval process before being submitted.

The papers were part of a collaboration funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which focused on solving protein structures. Adam Godzik, the senior author, told Retraction Watch that all papers had to be approved by a special committee before being submitted to a journal. Given the scale of the collaboration, the committee for the Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG) would assess whether researchers who had made a previous contribution to the work should be added as authors.

Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics retracted both papers after Godzik informed the editor in August 2014 that neither article had undergone the required review before being submitted to the journal. Although Wiley agreed to the retractions in an email to Godzik in September 2014,  the papers were only pulled in January—more than three years later. Continue reading Author: “The retractions were about bureaucracy, not science”

Journal retracts protein paper from scientist who misused deceased mentor’s data

It seemed like a touching tribute when Jiasheng Diao dedicated his 2009 article, “Crystal Structure of Butyrate Kinase 2 from Thermotoga maritima, a Member of the ASKHA Superfamily of Phosphotransferases,” in the Journal of Bacteriology to a deceased mentor, Miriam Hasson.

Before her death in January 2006, of a brain tumor, Hasson and her husband, David Sanders, made up a power-team of protein researchers at Purdue.

Hasson was an X-ray crystallographer while Sanders is a biochemist, and together they would map out the structure and function of proteins. One of their projects  was a  collaboration funded by a grant to Sanders from the National Science Foundation. By the time Diao joined, the effort had already led to butyrate-kinase crystals — albeit of poor quality, Sanders said.

When Hasson died, Sanders — with his institution’s blessing — took control of her data. That made sense, since their labs had collaborated closely. Indeed, they occasionally shared post-docs, including Diao, who had started with Hasson on a project looking at a protein called butyrate kinase but then moved over to Sanders’ lab as the work evolved. Continue reading Journal retracts protein paper from scientist who misused deceased mentor’s data