News outlets such as The Daily Mail and The Sun reported findings from a recent study, which showed that canned foods such as tuna may contain 100 times the daily limit of zinc — raising concerns about how such huge doses of the mineral could be causing digestion problems. The last author of the study told Retraction Watch the paper is going to be retracted, because the authors made a fundamental error calculating the amount of zinc present in canned foods.
A chemistry journal has retracted a nanoparticle paper following heavy outcry from readers, who alleged the paper contained signs of obvious manipulation.
After the paper appeared in 2017, one critic lamented it contained “obviously fabricated” images, and asked the journal to retract it. Another suggested the presence of one image merited “an instant lifetime ban.”
The first comment about the paper appeared on PubPeer three months ago; earlier this month, the journal ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering retracted the paper.
Here’s the notice:
A researcher whose work has been heavily questioned on PubPeer has corrected a figure on a 2015 paper in Talanta — but the text of the correction doesn’t match the actual changes.
Recently, Rashmi Madhuri at the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) in Dhanbad corrected a 2015 paper about a diagnostic sensor that uses nanoparticles, noting that there was a “small error” in the legend describing figure 1. But the corrected image bears the same legend it had before, and instead swapped a panel of the figure that had been questioned on PubPeer.
According to the journal, a reader brought the images in question in Figure 1 to the editors’ attention last September. Timothy P. Lodge, distinguished professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis — and editor of Macromolecules through December 2017 — told Retraction Watch:
Researchers are retracting a 2016 PNAS paper that described a way to create gasoline-like fuels directly from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Senior author Frederick MacDonnell, a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), told us he originally thought his team had made a preliminary breakthrough that might “solve the world’s energy problems.” Instead, he said:
It was an elaborate trap we fell into.
In a retraction notice that contains more information than we usually see, MacDonnell and his co-authors wrote: Continue reading They thought they might solve the world’s energy problems. Then they realized they were wrong.
The presence of allegedly obvious manipulations in a 2017 chemistry paper has prompted a reader outcry.
Over the last couple of days, a user on PubPeer and others on Twitter have accused the paper of containing clear duplications; the paper was already corrected in August, in which one scientist alleges the authors replaced “an obviously fabricated” figure with a “slightly better photo-shopped one.”
In response, the editor of ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, David Kaplan, told us:
According to the notices, after the editors of Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry confirmed the problems, they contacted the corresponding author on the three papers, Pradeep Kumar—who works at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, India—as well as the director of CSIR, Ashwini Kumar Nangia. The institution conducted its own internal review of the spectra and concluded the authors did not intentionally alter them.
Still, the journal and institution could not confirm the accuracy of the data, and the journal published expressions of concern to warn readers about the issues.
Both papers, published in the Chinese Journal of Chemistry, described the synthesis of a
protein molecule with potential therapeutic applications in cancer. But when the paper’s corresponding author Yikang Wu tried to continue the work, he discovered that a substantial part of the 2011 study was incorrect.
The original paper is not marked with any editor’s note, even though the new paper — which is three pages longer than the 2011 version — acknowledges it is a “partial retraction/correction of previous results.” The new paper does appear in the list of “related content” for the 2011 article.
Given the errors, in the 2017 paper, Wu and his co-authors write: Continue reading Chemistry journal issues correction longer than original paper
The 2010 paper, which explored how various iron-based molecules interact with water and ethanol, was withdrawn after the authors uncovered possible duplication in two images.
According to the retraction notice, the authors could not provide the raw data to confirm their findings and could not reproduce the figures because the experimental set-up had been dismantled. The authors subsequently requested the paper be retracted because the issues undermined “our full confidence in the integrity of the study.”
According to the notice, Kyushu University investigated and verified that the first author had committed scientific misconduct.
We requested a copy of the misconduct report, which revealed that the researcher, Prasenjit Mahato, a postdoctoral fellow at Kyushu University who is no longer affiliated with the university, “admitted to falsifying research” in two papers on which he was first author: a highly cited 2015 paper in Nature Materials, which was retracted in 2016, as well as the 2016 paper in Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), retracted earlier this month. The university investigated and confirmed misconduct in both papers.
We covered the Nature Materials retraction last year, but at the time, the paper’s corresponding author, Nobuo Kimizuka, only told us that the “matter has been under investigation by the formal investigation panel of our University.”
According to the five-page misconduct report — which we translated from Japanese using One Hour Translation and is also available in Japanese on the university’s website — in July 2016, a member of the lab (“Faculty Member B”) began to suspect a problem after he reviewed the data with Mahato (“the defendant”): Continue reading “Searching our souls”: Authors retract paper after researcher admits to fabricating data