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.
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.
Despite losing a lawsuit against his former mentor, a researcher hasn’t stopped his efforts to discredit his mentor’s work. These efforts have led to new editorial notices — including, most recently, a correction and expression of concern for one paper by a former colleague, who wasn’t even the subject of the lawsuit.
In the 2014 suit, former Brown University postdoc Andrew Mallon said research misconduct by John Marshall — his lab director and former business partner– tainted a 2013 paper published in PLoS Biology. Though the case failed to trigger the retraction Mallon sought, it put his concerns into the public record; the text of the lawsuit includes an accusation of misconduct against Cong Cao — Marshall’s former mentee and the first author of that 2013 paper.
Two journals are retracting papers published by researchers affiliated with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).
To be frank, we’re baffled by most of this story. The retraction notices say “the institution” requested the retractions, but don’t name it; the first and last authors are also affiliated with the University of Southern California, as well as CHLA. Neither journal will say which institution sent the request, and USC and CHLA have each declined to comment on the retractions.
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.”
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.”
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:
Researchers in Australia have withdrawn a 2006 paper in The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), citing image duplication.
In the withdrawal notice, published July 14, 2017, the authors claim that the “errors do not impact the underlying scientific findings of the article.”
Although the notice does not mention an investigation, a comment on PubPeer on March 2017—signed by Mark Hargreaves, the vice-chancellor at the University of Melbourne—indicates that the university conducted an investigation to assess the issues in the paper and determined that research misconduct “did not occur.”