What caught our attention: One year ago, a PubPeer user suggested an image from a 2008 paper looked similar to one from another paper. After the authors stated their belief in the soundness of the image, without providing the originals, the journal issued only an Expression of Concern for the paper. Some journals have issued retractions for lack of original data, some have issued corrections, and even fewer have published editorial notices. Expressions of concern usually indicate that some type of final resolution will be announced, but in reality, a significant proportion remain unresolved for years. Based on the wording of this notice, it may be around for a while. Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Concerns about image in 2008 paper prompt editorial notice
The paper concerned research on Fragile X syndrome (FXS), characterized by both intellectual and physical abnormalities, which is linked autism. A compound that passed through phase 2 clinical trials in October 2015 appeared to partially treat FXS in mice in the study, published earlier this year.
The journal’s notice says the paper was retracted over a dispute among authors about the order in which they are listed on the paper: Continue reading Dispute over author order torpedoes paper on syndrome linked to autism
In 2016, researchers published a paper showing that an RNA molecule may be overactive in breast tumor tissue. But after reading the paper, three biologists believed the data supported the opposite conclusion.
What happened after that is a tale of misunderstandings and unnecessarily bruised feelings. We’ve seen plenty of cases where researchers ignore criticism, which at first glance seemed to be the case here. But upon closer inspection, it wasn’t. Continue reading A journal printed a sharp critique of a paper it had published. If only it had checked with the authors first.
A journal has published an expression of concern (EoC) for a paper on cancer genetics in mice, over a concern about data in some gel panels.
The EoC for “Suppression of intestinal tumorigenesis in Apc mutant mice upon Musashi-1 deletion,” appeared Sept. 21 in Journal of Cell Science (JCS).
With the notice, the journal says:
A biologist is crying foul at a journal’s decision to correct (and not retract) a paper he claims plagiarized his work — and one of his colleagues has resigned from the journal’s editorial board as a result.
The 2016 paper, published by Scientific Reports, is an application of a previously published algorithm designed to better identify regulatory sequences in DNA. The three authors, based at the Shenzhen campus of the Harbin Institute of Technology, used the technique to identify recombination spots in DNA. They called it SVM-gkm.
On April 2, Michael Beer of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore notified the editors of Scientific Reports that he believed the paper had plagiarized his work. Despite Beer’s efforts, the journal ultimately decided to issue a correction notice, which cites “errors” and the authors’ failure to credit Beer’s work. That isn’t good enough for Beer — nor one of his colleagues at Johns Hopkins, who resigned from the journal’s editorial board saying “the recent affair with Mike Beer’s work being plagiarized did not impress me.”
Nature has added an “editor’s note” to a high-profile August paper alerting readers to the fact that the article has been subject to criticism.
Journals often flag papers that are being debated — what’s unusual here is that the journal doesn’t label the notice as an official “Expression of Concern,” which are indexed by PubMed. Yet the Nature notice reads just like an expression of concern.
In June, Journal of Cell Science (JCS) issued the expression of concern, after a reader contacted the editors with questions about the data in one of the figures. JCS investigated but could not resolve the issue, and in March 2017 turned the case over to KI where the authors are based.
The 2011 paper had already received a correction in 2016, citing inadvertent figure duplication.
In late August, KI concluded its investigation into the 2011 paper by last author Boris Zhivotovsky; JCS has now updated the expression of concern with a publisher’s note: Continue reading “No wrongdoing had occurred,” says Karolinska, following investigation of cancer research
A once-prominent stem cell biologist, who recently lost both her job and a sizable grant, has lost her fifth paper.
Recently, Molecular and Cellular Biology retracted a 2003 paper by Susana Gonzalez. Last February, the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Spain dismissed her from her position over allegations of misconduct. The reason: suspicions of data manipulation.
As with a previous retraction, the journal said Gonzalez “could not be reached for approval of this retraction.”
Here’s the full notice:
A project to identify studies doomed by problematic reagents has triggered three more retractions, bringing the total to five.
Jennifer Byrne, a scientist at the University of Sydney, who developed the the idea of double-checking the nucleic acid sequences of research materials — thereby ensuring studies were testing the gene in question — told Retraction Watch that all three retractions came after she started emailing journals in January to alert them to the problems: Continue reading Project to “fact check” genetic studies leads to three more retractions. And it’s just getting started.
led to an incorrect conclusion in the paper that NADPH activity is elevated in Huntington’s disease (HD). Some original data were missing and efforts to replicate findings using the reported method or an alternative approach were unsuccessful. An institutional faculty panel supports the decision and the reasons for the retraction.
The notice added that the alleged data manipulation and fabrication affected bar graphs in two of the paper’s figures.
Terri Ogan, a spokesperson for Mass General, told Retraction Watch that Valencia no longer works at the institution, but declined to say whether there has been an investigation into the alleged misconduct: Continue reading Data fabrication by ex-Harvard researcher takes down paper on Huntington’s disease