A group of authors have withdrawn a paper after revealing a litany of issues to the journal that published it. Among those issues were “scientifically misleading errors,” “insufficient” validation, and a disagreement between the researchers on whether it should have been published at all.
In 2014, researchers condemned the Spanish Government for “destroying the R&D horizon of Spain and the future of a complete generation” in the acknowledgment section of a paper about wireless networks.
Assistant professor Mukund Vengalattore told Retraction Watch he believes the school and the dean are violating a judge’s order instructing them to completely redo his tenure review process. Neither the university nor the dean has done any of the things the judge asked them to do, and even suspended his paycheck for the first two weeks of June, he said.
In 2014 Gretchen Ritter, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, denied Vengalattore tenure, citing a weak publication record, an inability to accept advice from colleagues, and a poor group dynamic fostered in his lab [Exhibit C in this court document]. But on appeal, a faculty panel found that the review process had been affected by sexual misconduct allegations from a former graduate student. Vengalattore told Retraction Watch the allegations were “completely false.”
However, last year, Ritter again denied Vengalattore tenure, a decision backed by Cornell’s provost, Michael Kotlikoff. As first reported by Inside Higher Ed in May, Vengalattore then took Cornell and Ritter to court. Judge Richard Rich ruled on that caseinNovember, finding that the alleged misconduct “tainted” the process and that the school had deviated from its established procedures in a “necessary” but “secretive” way, denying Vengalattore due process:
The new retraction brings Sahoo’s total to seven, by our count.
The duplication allegations began several years ago, after Sahoo’s colleagues at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), part of Indian government’s Department of Atomic Energy, accused him of plagiarizing his own work.
A leading physicist in India has lost four more papers for duplication, after colleagues lodged a complaint against him.
According to the most recent retraction notices, issued by Applied Surface Science, the four papers duplicated several figures and portions of text from the authors’ previous works. Although the notices do not single out a responsible party, last year the Mumbai Mirrorreported that first and corresponding Naba K. Sahoo had been accused of duplication by colleagues at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), part of Indian government’s Department of Atomic Energy.
Sahoo received two retractions last year for duplication, sometimes inelegantly referred to as “self-plagiarism.” All six of his retractions affect papers published by Applied Surface Science between 2005 and 2007.
Despite a university’s attempts to avoid discussing a misconduct investigation involving one of its former (and prominent) researchers, we keep reading more about it.
In the third retraction this year for physicist Dmitri Lapotko, the journal mentions a misconduct investigation at Rice University, which concluded the data had been falsified. Trouble is, whenever we’ve tried to talk to Rice about that investigation, they won’t even confirm it took place.
Here’s the retraction notice for “Transient Photothermal Spectra of Plasmonic Nanobubbles,” published by Langmuir:
An engineering student in South Korea and a professor have retracted five papers from four different journals for reasons ranging from figure duplication to manipulated or fraudulent data.
Jae Hyo Park, who is pursuing his PhD, and Seung Ki Joo, a professor in the department of material science and engineering at Seoul National University in South Korea, appear on all five papers as first and last author, respectively.
A rising star in nanotechnology, Dmitri Lapotko, has received his second retraction within a month over “a finding of research misconduct” that the university will apparently only disclose on a need-to-know basis.
According to the notice, the journal’s editor and publisher issued the retraction after Lapotko’s former institution—Rice University in Houston—notified them of research misconduct and cited figure duplication issues, which meant the results “should not be relied upon and may be scientifically unsound.”
We recently covered the Belarusian physicist’s first retraction in the journal Theranostics, in which an official at Rice would not confirm a misconduct inquiry, telling us that, “Rice University’s investigations of research misconduct are confidential.”
Researchers from China have retracted a physics paper after realizing an error led them to report results that were nearly 100 times too large.
What’s more, the authors omitted key findings that would enable others to reproduce their experiments.
According to the notice, the authors used a value to calculate a feature of electrons—called mobility—that “was approximately 100 times too small,” which led to results that were “100 times too large.” The notice also details several gaps in the presentation of experimental results, which preclude others from duplicating the experiments.
A paper by a promising nanotechnologist has been retracted for data falsification.
Dmitri Lapotko, a Belarusian researcher with a background in laser weaponry, made a name for himself at Rice University in Houston, where he studied the use of nanotechnology to diagnose and treat human diseases. That work earned him significant press coverage, including stories in the New York Times and Science.
But that nanobubble may be bursting. The journal Theranostics has retracted a 2011 paper on which Lapotko is the last and corresponding author, citing questions over data falsification. What’s more, another journal has warned readers there may be a problem with a figure in a 2012 paper on which Lapotko is listed as last author.
Lapotko has since left Rice for Masimo Corp., a developer of monitoring devices for patients in the operating room.