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

Caught Our Notice: 4th retraction for prominent physicist (with new funding) cites falsification

Via Wikimedia

Title: Improved Cellular Specificity of Plasmonic Nanobubbles versus Nanoparticles in Heterogeneous Cell Systems

What Caught Our Attention: Nanotechnology researcher Dmitri Lapotko, whose work with lasers continues to catch media attention, has earned his fourth retraction.  As with the other three, the latest notice mentions an investigation at Rice University, but provides no specific information other than “data falsification” for images, and no indication as to the offending researcher(s). (In the past, Rice hasn’t even confirmed to us the presence of an investigation.) Only Laptoko and Ekaterina Lukianova-Hleb are common authors to all retractions. Despite these recent setbacks, Lapotko has not fared too badly in research funding.  Continue reading Caught Our Notice: 4th retraction for prominent physicist (with new funding) cites falsification

Researcher dismissed from university for suspected misconduct denies responsibility

Masashi Emoto

A university in Japan dismissed a researcher earlier this month after a probe uncovered evidence of image falsification in several of his papers.

The immunology researcher, Masashi Emoto, denied any wrongdoing. He has said that the experiments in question were performed by another researcher and “he was not responsible” for the falsification.

In 2013, Emoto filed a suit against Gunma University, in which he claimed another researcher possessed the raw data for the experiments in question. Emoto requested those documents be returned to him. However, the court determined that Emoto possessed the raw data.

According to the report released by Gunma University on October 11 — without the raw data, the university could not prove Emoto committed the misconduct. However, the university determined that, as the corresponding author on the four papers, Emoto was responsible for the work.

According to our English version of the report, which we translated from Japanese using One Hour Translation, the committee concluded: Continue reading Researcher dismissed from university for suspected misconduct denies responsibility

Singapore university revokes second researcher’s PhD in misconduct fallout

Last year, the fallout from a misconduct investigation at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore resulted in the university revoking the PhD of a Harvard research fellow, and a senior researcher losing his job. In July 2016, NTU told us another researcher who could not be named at the time had also come forward and confessed to making up data.

Now, Retraction Watch has learned that Sabeera Bonala — the researcher who couldn’t be named due to ongoing disciplinary procedures last year — has also had her doctorate degree revoked by the NTU. Continue reading Singapore university revokes second researcher’s PhD in misconduct fallout

Caught Our Notice: An “absolutely perfect retraction”

Via Wikimedia

When Retraction Watch began in 2010, our co-founders Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus quickly realized they couldn’t keep up with the hundreds of retractions that appeared each year.  And the problem has only gotten worse — although we’ve added staff, the number of retractions issued each year has increased dramatically. According to our growing database, more than 1300 retractions were issued last year (and that doesn’t include expressions of concern and errata). So to get new notices in front of readers more quickly, we’ve started a new feature called “Caught our Notice,” where we highlight a recent notice that stood out from the others. If you have any information about what happened, feel free to contact us at retractionwatchteam@gmail.com.

Title: Skeletal muscle-specific CPT1 deficiency elevates lipotoxic intermediates but preserves insulin sensitivity

What caught our attention:  Continue reading Caught Our Notice: An “absolutely perfect retraction”

Society recommends 9 retractions for co-author of researcher with record number of retractions

The Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists (JSA) has requested the retraction of nine additional papers by a co-author of fraudster Yoshitaka Fujii, after investigating allegations of fraud in dozens of papers.

According to the report, a committee investigated approximately 40 publications by Yuhji Saitoh of Yachiyo Medical Center and Tokyo Women’s Medical University and “identified ten publications with clear ethics violations, one of which has already been retracted.”

Saitoh has collaborated on many papers with Fujii, an anesthesia researcher with more than 180 retractions. As we reported, Saitoh resigned from the JSA when the investigation began, and the society permanently banned him. Continue reading Society recommends 9 retractions for co-author of researcher with record number of retractions

Second retraction for psychologist reveals clues about culprit behind misconduct

A social psychologist has retracted a second paper that contains “fabricated or manipulated data.”

The first retraction for William Hart at the University of Alabama — also due to data manipulation — appeared earlier this year. The notice raised some questions over authorship: Hart was the sole author, but he blamed the retraction on a graduate student who supplied the problematic data. The questions continued when Hart’s colleagues posted blogs about the problems that occurred in Hart’s lab, using a pseudonym to describe the student, who apparently admitted to fabricating data.  

The author of one of those blogs, Hart’s colleague Alexa Tullett, told us in March that she was retracting another paper she wrote with Hart and the unnamed graduate student. Recently, she confirmed this latest retraction is that paper.

Looking at the author list of the newest retraction, by process of elimination, we now have a lead on the identity of the graduate student who allegedly took responsibility for the misconduct.

Tullett told us:

Continue reading Second retraction for psychologist reveals clues about culprit behind misconduct

Author blamed for misconduct in Cell paper declines to sign retraction notice  

Researchers have retracted a 2015 paper in Cell after an investigation revealed the first author committed misconduct.

According to the retraction notice, which first author Ozgur Tataroglu declined to sign, the researchers realized there was an issue with the 2015 paper when they were unable to replicate the findings. Corresponding author Patrick Emery and his team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester reviewed the data and found “clear evidence” that Tataroglu  — who had been a postdoc in Emery’s lab — “had repeatedly misrepresented and altered primary data,” the notice states.

UMass subsequently conducted an investigation in which it “concluded that the first author committed scientific misconduct.”  

Here’s the retraction notice for “Calcium and SOL Protease Mediate Temperature Resetting of Circadian Clocks:” Continue reading Author blamed for misconduct in Cell paper declines to sign retraction notice  

Two more retractions for former US prof who altered dozens of images

Two journals have retracted papers by a biologist who was recently found guilty of misconduct by his former employer, the University of Colorado Denver, bringing the total to five.

The investigation report by UC Denver, which we obtained earlier this year via a public records request, had recommended one of the two newest retractions, which appears in the journal Hepatology. The other retraction, in the Journal of Immunology, was not flagged by the report — which found, among other conclusions, that Almut Grenz had altered multiple values in research that had already been submitted for peer review.

Here’s the notice for the Journal of Immunology paper:

Continue reading Two more retractions for former US prof who altered dozens of images

UCSF, VA investigations find “clear evidence” of misconduct in cancer papers

Earlier this year, the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center teamed up to write a letter.

Addressed to the editorial office at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the letter, parts of which have been published in a retraction notice, contained information concerning two papers on genetic risk factors for a type of kidney cancer and a type of uterine cancer, respectively, published in different AACR journals over a decade ago by researchers affiliated with the institutions.

The papers had been at the center of research misconduct investigations at both UCSF and the VA and the investigations came to the conclusion that both papers contained:

fabrication or falsification of data that constitutes Research Misconduct.

Though one of the papers has been retracted, it’s unclear what will happen to the other. [Note: See update at the bottom of the post.] Continue reading UCSF, VA investigations find “clear evidence” of misconduct in cancer papers