It takes a lot of work to clean up the scientific literature, and some researchers and organizations deserve special recognition. That’s why we’ve established a “doing the right thing” category when we see praise-worthy progress in individual retractions, and have now gone a step further: We’ve created the DiRT Award, a new annual prize to recognize particularly note-worthy behavior.
After a publisher learned there may be issues with a 2008 diabetes paper, it asked the author’s university to investigate. The university found evidence of image duplication, and asked the journal to consider correcting the paper.
Instead, the journal has retracted it.
The backstory involves diabetes researcher Kathrin Maedler, who has one previous retraction, as well as multiple corrections. Even the paper in question, published in Diabetes, received an erratum in 2014 regarding a duplicated image, as well as an expression of concern last August after the American Diabetes Association questioned “the reliability of the data” in both the article and erratum.
To resolve the issues, the university’s rector recommended that the authors publish a second erratum with corrected figures. But after conducting its own review, the ADA overruled the university, opting instead to retract the paper:
The notices keep coming for diabetes researcher Mario Saad.
Diabetes has just retracted two more of his papers, both of which had been flagged by expressions of concern, citing problems with duplications. What’s more, the journal added another expression of concern to a 2009 paper on which Saad — based at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil — is listed as last author, again over concerns of duplication.
The latest articles flagged by Diabetes appear to be part of an intricate publishing web, as the journal suggests all papers have used features of previous papers, and also include elements that have been republished by subsequent articles.
A researcher who received a lifetime funding ban for misconduct from a Canadian agency has logged her third retraction, after a re-analysis of her work unveiled “serious inconsistencies.”
In July, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) released a report about Sophie Jamal, following an investigation by her former employer, The Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Canada. The probe concluded that Jamal had manipulated data, which resulted in her being banned from CIHR funding for life, and the retraction of a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
After that retraction, researchers that made up the the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study Group (CaMos) decided to take a second look at Jamal’s work. In August, we reported on a retraction that came out of that examination, in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD). At the time, a senior researcher from the group told us the group had also requested another journal retract a CaMos paper.
A researcher has retracted a paper from Diabetes after re-using some Western blots in one of the figures from other papers.
According to the retraction notice, the first and corresponding author — Eric Berglund, formerly at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee — contacted the journal himself to report the error, for which he takes full responsibility.
Researchers have corrected three studies published in the journal Diabetes after users flagged issues with the images on PubPeer.
All three papers share a number of authors, including the same last and corresponding author, Aimin Xu, from The University of Hong Kong.
Since the corrections appear relatively extensive, we asked the journal if retractions were ever on the table. According to Chris Kohler, associate publisher, scholarly journals at American Diabetes Association, which publishes Diabetes, an ethical panel reviewed the papers before allowing the authors to issue the errata, all of which were published online this month: Continue reading Authors fix three Diabetes papers flagged for image issues
A paper linking the fecal microbiome to obesity has been retracted after it became clear that one of the co-authors faked some of the data.
The 2014 paper in Diabetes — which found that rats given fecal transplants from obese mice were more likely to become obese themselves if given a particular diet — was pulled after after aninstitutional investigation found a co-author guilty of falsifying data underlying one figure and fabricating the data of two others.
Co-author Yassine Sakar— formerly based at the French National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) in Paris, France — was found responsible for the misconduct. But an official from the institution said that some responsibility must also be shared by the corresponding author Mihai Covosa, who has since resigned from the institution.
Four expressions of concern in the journal Diabetes have turned into retractions for Mario Saad, a move which he had tried to stop with a lawsuit.
Last August, a judge dismissed Saad’s suit against the American Diabetes Association, which publishes Diabetes, concluding that the expressions of concerns on the papers were not defamation, but part of an “ongoing scientific discourse.” Now, after an investigation at the University of Campinas in Brazil, where Saad is based, and an assessment from an ADA ethics panel (which overturned some of Unicamp’s recommendations), the journal has added to that discourse by turning the EOCs into retractions — and flagging two more of Saad’s papers with EOCs.
Together, the retracted papers have been cited more than 600 times.