We reached out to many of the corresponding authors on papers in the January 26 issue, the seventh issue published in 2018. Many are based at leading institutions around the world; all had submitted their manuscripts months ago. Some noted that they were surprised by the decision, as the review process appeared quite rigorous; some told us that if they’d known the journal was going to be delisted, they would not have submitted their papers there.
Researchers in China have retracted a 2016 cancer imaging paper because they introduced “a plethora of data errors” while preparing the article for submission.
Although the retraction notice provides no details on what these errors are or how exactly they occurred, it does point the finger at the researchers, explaining that the data errors happened as a result of their “negligence.”
A federal investigation into a paper on prostate cancer has now led to a retraction. In an unusual twist, it happened following a request from the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
In January, the Office of Research Integrity reported that corresponding author Dong Xiao “intentionally fabricated data” in an Oncotarget study of how a steroid inhibits the growth of prostate cancer. Xiao, a former cancer researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, claimed that he had tumor data from more mice than he did, and falsified several figures.
In July, after no sign of the retraction, a researcher at PETA followed up with the journal, Oncotarget, on behalf of the organization “and our more than 3 million members and supporters to request the immediate retraction.”
Last month, they received a reply from the publisher, which they forwarded to us:
A former researcher at the University of Pittsburgh inflated the number of mice used in his experiments, and faked data in a number of images in a paper reporting the results, according to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).