When the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesretracted 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.
The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has declared that once-lauded surgeon Paolo Macchiarini and three co-authors committed misconduct in a 2015 paper.
The decision by KI’s vice chancellor will be followed by a request to retract the paper, published by the journal Respiration.
In the paper, the researchers described the case of a man with an acute lung disorder, in which he received an experimental treatment involving the use of his own blood-derived cells and the drug erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells. The patient “demonstrated an immediate, albeit temporary, clinical improvement,” according to the authors. However, he ultimately died of multisystem organ failure.
Who will admit to keeping poor records, gifting authorship, or even more obvious forms of misconduct such as plagiarism? Simon Godecharle at University of Leuven and his colleagues asked 2000 scientists from academia and industry in Belgium, and reported their findings in a recent paper for Science and Engineering Ethics. We spoke to Godecharle about the fact that most respondents admitted to engaging in at least one of the 22 items designated as misconduct — and why he thinks people in academia were more likely to ‘fess up than industry scientists.
Retraction Watch: You didn’t limit misconduct to fraud and plagiarism, and instead included problematic behaviors such as cutting corners to save time, gift authorship, and poor record-keeping. Still, you showed that 71% of respondents from academia and 61% of respondents from industry admitted to engaging in at least one of the 22 forms of misconduct. Did those numbers surprise you?
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 Universityannounced that the paper’s first author, Kohei Yamamizu, had fabricated and falsified datain the Stem Cell Reportspaper. 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.
It’s unclear why “Profiling taste-motivated segments” is being retracted (we asked the journal, but haven’t immediately heard back); some potential issues were flagged in March by Nick Brown, a PhD student who has devoted hundreds of hours to analyzing Wansink’s work (and forwarded us the email from Appetite confirming the upcoming retraction).
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.
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 authors—Peter Eklöv and Oona Lönnstedt—“violated the regulations on ethical approval for animal experimentation,” and Lönnstedt, the paper’s corresponding author, “fabricated the results.”