Infamous case of fraud by protein crystallographer ends in 10-year funding ban

In 2009, a university announced a prominent researcher in the field of protein crystallography had likely fabricated nearly a dozen protein structures. Nine years later, the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has upheld the results — and announced a relatively long sanction, by the agency’s standards.

Today, the ORI placed a 10-year ban on Federal funding for H.M. Krishna Murthy, a former research associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), noting he “falsified and/or fabricated” research in nine papers and multiple structures added to a widely used database. Four of the papers have already been retracted; two others have been flagged with an expression of concern by the journal. Three remain otherwise intact.

The announcement was a long time coming — after the ORI provided Murthy with its initial finding and proposed sanctions, he appealed. On January 19, 2018, and Administrative Law Judge declined to move forward with the appeal, allowing the agency to proceed. Today’s finding was accompanied by a rare message from the interim office of the director, Wanda Jones, in which she notes today’s announcement:

Continue reading Infamous case of fraud by protein crystallographer ends in 10-year funding ban

Caught Our Notice: Researcher who sued PubPeer commenter up to 21 retractions

Titles: 1) Notch-1 induces Epithelial-mesenchymal transition consistent with cancer stem cell phenotype in pancreatic cancer cells

2) Sensitization of squamous cell carcinoma to cisplatin induced killing by natural agents

What Caught Our Attention: Regular readers will be familiar with the saga involving Fazlul Sarkar and PubPeer: In 2014, Sarkar sued anonymous commenters on the site, claiming defamation (and that damaging comments may have cost him a new job). Although Sarkar won an initial ruling, it was overturned by an appeals court. In the midst of that, the ACLU (which represented PubPeer in the case) released a copy of a misconduct investigation report compiled by Sarkar’s institution, Wayne State University, which concluded that he had committed enough misconduct to warrant retracting 40 papers. The two latest notices, both of which cite Wayne State’s investigation, bring Sarkar’s total to 21.   Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Researcher who sued PubPeer commenter up to 21 retractions

Management researcher admits to falsification, resigns

David DeGeest

A business journal has retracted two papers after the corresponding author admitted he falsified his results.

David DeGeest, an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Marketing, has also resigned from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a university spokesperson told Retraction Watch.

Last month, DeGeest confessed to the Journal of Management (JOM) that he had falsified the results in two papers in the journalone from 2015 and one from 2016.

The papers explored strategies startups can use to increase their odds of survival. The 2015 work was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, among other outlets; one story in Business News Daily is no longer on the site.

David Allen, the editor-in-chief of the journal, told us: Continue reading Management researcher admits to falsification, resigns

Former NYU researcher falsified data in 3 papers, 7 grants: ORI

A former researcher at New York University falsified and/or fabricated data in multiple papers and grant applications, according to the U.S. Office of Research Integrity.

Bhagavathi Narayanan has already retracted three papers, the result of missing original data. Among the three papers flagged by the ORI, only one remains intact: A 2011 paper in Anticancer Research.

According to the ORI:

Continue reading Former NYU researcher falsified data in 3 papers, 7 grants: ORI

Florida investigation can’t ID culprit who falsified data in retracted PNAS paper

When the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences retracted a gene therapy paper in December, it declared that some of the data had been falsified and mentioned a research misconduct investigation. But the notice said nothing about who was responsible.

Via a public records request, Retraction Watch has obtained investigation documents from the University of Florida, which show the focus had been narrowed down to two of the paper’s three co-first authors. But the investigation committee didn’t assign blame to either one. According to their final report, dated Oct. 24, 2016:

there was not enough direct evidence to either implicate or exonerate either of these individuals.

Over the course of the formal investigation, which lasted from early August to late October 2016,  the committee was able to determine that data in the PNAS paper had been falsified. However, it said: Continue reading Florida investigation can’t ID culprit who falsified data in retracted PNAS paper

Researcher at Japan stem cell institute falsified nearly all images in 2017 paper

Shinya Yamanaka

An investigation by Kyoto University in Japan has found a researcher guilty of falsifying all but one of the figures in a 2017 stem cell paper.

Yesterday, Kyoto University announced that the paper’s first author, Kohei Yamamizu, had fabricated and falsified data in the Stem Cell Reports paper. According to the investigation report, none of the other authors were involved in the data manipulation.

Yamamizu works at the Center for iPS cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University, directed by Shinya Yamanaka, a Nobel Prize winner for his pioneering work in stem cell biology.

A spokesperson for the journal told us that the authors disclosed the problems last week and Stem Cell Reports will be retracting the paper, published last February.

In the university’s official statement, Yamanaka said: Continue reading Researcher at Japan stem cell institute falsified nearly all images in 2017 paper

Author retracts 2009 chemistry paper with “heavily doctored” images

A researcher has retracted a 2009 chemistry paper after discovering that a figure had been “inappropriately edited.”

According to the journal, a reader brought the images in question in Figure 1 to the editors’ attention last September. Timothy P. Lodge, distinguished professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis — and editor of Macromolecules through December 2017 — told Retraction Watch:

Continue reading Author retracts 2009 chemistry paper with “heavily doctored” images

University finds falsified data in PNAS gene therapy paper, authors retract

A university investigation has found falsified data in a 2011 paper about the side effects of a virus commonly used in gene therapy.

The authors are retracting the paper, but one co-author told Retraction Watch they stand by their main conclusions. According to Roland Herzog, a professor at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine and a co-author of the paper, the falsified data were related to a minor part of the paper.

The paper, “Activation of the NF-κB pathway by adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors and its implications in immune response and gene therapy,” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in March 2011. All authors were affiliated with UF at the time; the handling editor, Kenneth Berns, is an emeritus professor at UF. The paper has been cited 50 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science. Continue reading University finds falsified data in PNAS gene therapy paper, authors retract

Author of controversial Science fish-microplastics paper committed “intentional” misconduct, says Uppsala

An investigation at Uppsala University has found the authors of a retracted Science paper — which explored the threat of human pollution on fish — guilty of misconduct.  

The decision, published yesterday, states that both authorsPeter Eklöv and Oona Lönnstedt“violated the regulations on ethical approval for animal experimentation,” and Lönnstedt, the paper’s corresponding author, “fabricated the results.”

Eklöv told us: Continue reading Author of controversial Science fish-microplastics paper committed “intentional” misconduct, says Uppsala

University investigation finds misconduct by bone researcher with 23 retractions

Hirosaki University

As a bone researcher continues to accrue retractions, an investigation at his former university has found misconduct in more than a dozen papers.

On Nov. 15, Japan’s Hirosaki University announced it had identified fabrication and authorship issues in 13 papers by Yoshihiro Sato, and plagiarism in another.

Sato, a professor at Hirosaki University Medical School from 2000 to 2003, died in January. He was last affiliated with Mitate Hospital. Multiple retractions in recent months have pushed Sato higher up our leaderboard; by our count, he now has 23 retractions and the university said there are likely more to come. Continue reading University investigation finds misconduct by bone researcher with 23 retractions