How often do authors with retractions for misconduct continue to publish?

via Anna Creech/Flickr

How does retraction change publishing behavior? Mark Bolland and Andrew Grey, who were two members of a team whose work led to dozens of retractions for Yoshihiro Sato, now third on the Retraction Watch leaderboard, joined forces with Vyoma Mistry to find out. We asked Bolland to answer several questions about the new University of Auckland team’s paper, which appeared in Accountability in Research.

Retraction Watch (RW): You “undertook a survey of publication rates, for authors with multiple retractions in the biomedical literature, to determine whether they changed after authors’ first retractions.” What did you find?

Continue reading How often do authors with retractions for misconduct continue to publish?

New study finds “important deficiencies” in university reports of misconduct

via NASA

Retraction Watch readers may recall the name Yoshihiro Sato. The late researcher’s retraction total — now at 51 — gives him the number four spot on our leaderboard. He’s there because of the work of four researchers, Andrew Grey, Mark Bolland, and Greg Gamble, all of the University of Auckland, and Alison Avenell, of the University of Aberdeen, who have spent years analyzing Sato’s papers and found a staggering number of issues.
Those issues included fabricated data, falsified data, plagiarism, and implausible productivity, among others. In 2017, Grey and colleagues contacted four institutions where Sato or his co-authors had worked, and all four started investigations. In a new paper in Research Integrity and Peer Review, they describe some of what happened next:

Continue reading New study finds “important deficiencies” in university reports of misconduct

Researcher found to have committed misconduct using federal grants is publishing again — and cites those very grants

Michael Miller

A researcher who was found guilty of committing misconduct while using three federal grants has published new findings that cite those grants.

In 2012, the U.S. Office of Research Integrity determined that Michael Miller, a former department chair at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, had committed misconduct by falsifying and/or fabricating data. The affected research was funded by three grants issued by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

As a result, Miller agreed to not seek federal funding for one year, and then have his research supervised for two years following the debarment. (He ended up getting a gig as a grant services consultant, but lost it in 2013 after he failed to disclose his ORI sanctions to his new employer.)

Recently, Miller published two new papers — both of which cite the three grants, collectively worth millions.

Continue reading Researcher found to have committed misconduct using federal grants is publishing again — and cites those very grants

Star researcher in health policy plagiarized a colleague, probe says

Gilbert Welch

Gilbert Welch, one of the most prominent health care policy researchers in the U.S., has been found guilty of research misconduct following an investigation by Dartmouth College, his employer.

According to documents obtained by Retraction Watch, the material was included as part of a high-profile 2016 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine that reported mammograms were more likely to prompt unnecessary treatment for harmless tumors than save lives. Continue reading Star researcher in health policy plagiarized a colleague, probe says

Glasgow professor leaves post amidst multiple retractions

A professor specializing in the health of children and pregnant women has left her post at the University of Glasgow, and issued three retractions in recent months.

All three notices — issued by PLOS ONE — mention an investigation at the university, which found signs of data manipulation and falsification. Fiona Lyall, the last author on all three papers, is also the only author in common to all three papers; she did not respond to the journal’s inquiries.

According to the University of Glasgow, the affiliation listed for Lyall, she is no longer based at the university. When we asked about the circumstances of her departure, the spokesperson told us the university has a “commitment to confidentiality,” but noted:

Continue reading Glasgow professor leaves post amidst multiple retractions

A medical school put a scientist found guilty of misconduct in charge of an NIH grant

Santosh Katiyar

After a scientist was found guilty of misconduct at one university, a new institution asked to take over his grant and put him in charge of it.

But the new institution — the Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta, Georgia — denies they ever employed him. Continue reading A medical school put a scientist found guilty of misconduct in charge of an NIH grant

How institutions gaslight whistleblowers — and what can be done

We’ve covered a number of stories about scientific whistleblowers here at Retraction Watch, so readers will likely be familiar with what often happens to them: Their motives are questioned, they are ostracized or pushed out of labs, or even accused of misconduct themselves. But there’s more to it, says Kathy Ahern in a recent paper in the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing. Ahern writes that “although whistle-blowers suffer reprisals, they are traumatized by the emotional manipulation many employers routinely use to discredit and punish employees who report misconduct.” Another way to put it is that “whistleblower gaslighting” — evoking the 1944 film of the same name — “creates a situation where the whistle-blower doubts her perceptions, competence, and mental state.” We asked Ahern some questions about the phenomenon.

How is gaslighting typically used against whistleblowers? What are some examples of what perpetrators (including institutions) do? Continue reading How institutions gaslight whistleblowers — and what can be done

University of Liverpool reverses course, names researcher guilty of misconduct

Daniel Antoine

A few weeks ago, we received a press release that gave us pause: The University of Liverpool said it had found one of its researchers guilty of research misconduct — but did not say who, nor which papers might be involved.

Now, less than one month later, the university is naming the researcher, and identifying a paper that it has asked the journal to retract.

After we covered the opaque release, we received some tips that the scientist might be Daniel Antoine, who studies liver damage. Last week, Liverpool confirmed that Antoine is the researcher in question.

After he left Liverpool, Antoine took a position at the University of Edinburgh. However, the faculty page is now blank, and a spokesperson told Retraction Watch he is “no longer employed by the University”:

Continue reading University of Liverpool reverses course, names researcher guilty of misconduct

University recommends researcher be fired after misconduct finding

Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson

The University of Gothenburg has requested the dismissal of a researcher who has been found guilty of scientific misconduct in seven articles.

The researcher, Suchitra Sumitran-Holgersson, is “guilty of research misconduct through intentional fabrication, falsification or suppression of basic material and deliberately abandoning good scientific practice in seven of the reviewed articles,” according to a press release from the University of Gothenburg (GU). Sumitran-Holgersson continues to insist any issues were the result of “unfortunate errors,” not misconduct.

As a consequence, GU vice-chancellor Eva Wiberg has:

Continue reading University recommends researcher be fired after misconduct finding

Karolinska finds Macchiarini, six other researchers guilty of misconduct

Paolo Macchiarini

Former super-star surgeon Paolo Macchiarini is guilty of misconduct, along with six of his co-authors — including one who initially help alert authorities to problems with Macchiarini’s work, according to an announcement today by his former institution, the Karolinska Institute.

KI is also calling to retract six articles co-authored by Macchiarini and his colleagues, including two highly cited papers in The Lancet. The papers described the procedure and outcomes of transplanting synthetic tracheas into three patients between 2011 and 2013.

KI’s investigation uncovered “serious inaccuracies and misleading information in the reviewed articles:”

Continue reading Karolinska finds Macchiarini, six other researchers guilty of misconduct