What Caught Our Attention: The paper was co-authored by Carmine Finelli, who in the past took responsibility for a dramatic transgression: Stealing material from an unpublished manuscript by one of its reviewers. After the paper that stole from the manuscript was retracted in 2016, Finelli earned a second retraction earlier this year — again, for plagiarism. (He’s also lost another paper from Oncotarget, which was removed without any information.) Now, a fourth retraction has popped up, for using material “published previously.” Unsure of the source of this material, we Googled some of the phrases from the retracted article. While we cannot say for sure, we offer these comparisons for you — the reader — to consider: Continue reading Caught Our Notice: 4th retraction for peer reviewer who stole manuscript
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:
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:
The patient cannot be identified in the paper published in Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases. However, according to the retraction notice, she threatened to sue if the authors did not withdraw it. After receiving the threat, the paper’s corresponding author, Mariano Sica, told us that the authors immediately asked the journal to retract the paper.
We’ve written about similar cases where patients do not provide informed consent or withdraw it, but in this case we haven’t seen the threat ourselves.
We asked Sica if we could see the legal threat, and he said he couldn’t share it, explaining: Continue reading Authors say patient threatened legal action after being subject of scholarly paper
A gastroenterology and hepatology journal has retracted a 2017 review after discovering it included data “accessible only during peer review for another journal.”
Although we don’t know the details of this particular case—for instance, how the editors and publisher of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics learned about the transgression and which author was responsible—the journal acted quickly to retract the paper, which was published online in March.
Here’s the retraction notice for “Systematic review: benefits and harms of transarterial embolisation for treating hepatocellular adenoma:”
On December 31st 2014, a pioneer in the study of inflammatory bowel disease passed away. An obituary published in the Journal of Digestive Diseases shortly thereafter is typical enough: It describes his achievements, importance to his patients, and battle with pancreatic cancer.
But “Loss in the Last Day of 2014: a Eulogy for Prof. Bing Xia” has now been retracted.
This is the first time we’ve seen an obituary pulled from a journal. Unfortunately, this was not a case of a premature obituary (which happens more often than you’d think)– the researcher did actually die, but it appears the journal published the obituary in the wrong place.
The retraction notice, published earlier this year, explains:
An earlier institutional investigation into Stefano Fiorucci, based at the University of Perugia in Italy, found that he had manipulated images in publications that he allegedly used to win two million Euros of funding. The story, which has dragged on for years, has resulted in four retractions and nine expressions of concern for publications authored by Fiorucci.
Fiorucci’s lawyer, Stefano Bagianti, told us: Continue reading Researcher accused of fraud, embezzlement acquitted by Italian court
A sixth retraction has appeared for a diabetes researcher who previously sued a publisher to try to stop his papers from being retracted.
Mario Saad‘s latest retraction, in PLOS Biology, stems from inadvertent duplications, according to the authors. Though an investigation at Saad’s institution — the University of Campinas in Brazil — found no evidence of misconduct, a critic of the paper told The Scientist he does not believe that the issues with blots were inadvertent.
Previously, Saad sued the American Diabetes Association to remove four expressions of concern from his papers; they were later retracted, even though Unicamp recommended keeping three of them published.
A 2015 study about dietary emulsifiers has been corrected by Nature after another researcher pointed out a few ambiguities.
When it first appeared, the study — which showed emulsifiers cause inflammation in the guts of mice — received a fair amount of media attention, including from Nature’s own news department. But since publication, a researcher noted some imprecision around the ages of mice used in the sample, affecting the paper’s calculations of weight gain over time. Andrew Gewirtz, co-author of the study from Georgia State University, told us the change did not affect the conclusions of the paper.
Here’s the corrigendum for “Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome”: Continue reading Nature fixes highly cited paper suggesting food additives hurt the gut
Retracted this month — less than three months after it was published — the paper showed, according to a summary on the cover page:
B. subtilis is a symbiont that resides in the gut of C. elegans and generates nitric oxide that is essential for the host. Xiao et al. demonstrate that nitric oxide promotes defense against pathogenic bacteria by activating p38 MAPK, demonstrating the importance of commensal bacteria in host immunity.
But B. subtilis — a member of the Bacillaceae family — aren’t actually as plentiful as they appeared, explains the retraction notice for “Gut-Colonizing Bacteria Promote C. elegans Innate Immunity by Producing Nitric Oxide:”