A retraction in an obscure journal. An equally obscure retraction notice. An Israeli company with no web presence. Conflicts of interest involving authors and editors.
That’s what we’ve uncovered so far after noticing the other day that the American Journal of the Medical Sciences (AJMS) had retracted a May 2010 article by a group of Israeli heart doctors led by Arthur Shiyovich, of Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.
The paper described promising results in a study of a new test for diagnosing coronary artery disease at the bedside by measuring aspects of a patient’s pulse at the fingertip.
As AJMS editor David Ploth told us, the approach had seemed “kind of innovative” to him, so he’d accepted the manuscript: “It seemed like it might have some applicability.”
Here at Retraction Watch, we’ve been following the case of Jatinder Ahluwalia with interest. You may recall that an investigation by University College London (UCL) found “beyond reasonable doubt” that Ahluwalia had renumbered files to deceive a co-author. UCL was also “highly confident” that Ahluwalia had messed with his solutions to make his results look better, and sabotaged his colleagues’ work. The report of that investigation was part of a Nature retraction notice.
We’ve now learned that UCL was not the first scene of misconduct by Ahluwalia. Yesterday, we obtained letters by University of Cambridge faculty and administrators describing repeated — and in the words of of one professor, amateurish — data fabrication by Ahluwalia that led to his dismissal from the university’s graduate program.
The quote in the title of this post is a potential Onion headline that didn’t make it into print. It was part of an episode of This American Life that aired last week, and it seemed apropos, even though the subject here is superconductors rather than biology.
Unglaublich is the German word for unbelievable, and it’s an apt description for the latest development in the case of Joachim Boldt.
Boldt, a prominent German anesthesiologist, has been at the center of a research and publishing investigation since last October, when the journal Anesthesia & Analgesiaretracted a 2009 article of his over concerns of data manipulation. This morning, the German medical board overseeing the case, the Landesärztekammer Rheinland-Pfalz (LÄK-RLP), released its findings — and they are truly stunning.
According to LAK, somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 of Boldt’s published articles might require retraction because the investigator failed to obtain approval from an institutional review board to conduct the research.
The retraction notices for papers by Silvia Bulfone-Paus continue to appear. Yesterday, the Journal of Immunology posted notices for these three previously acceptedretractions by the researcher, work at whose Borstel Centre lab is under investigation for misconduct.
Good people can make bad researchers, but can bad people make good science?
We’re agnostic on the question, but anyone who thinks the answer is no need look only as far as Edward Erin for validation of that view. An allergy expert in the U.K., Erin was convicted in 2009 of attempting to poison a mistress in an effort to induce an abortion.
There was more news today about papers co-authored by Silvia Bulfone-Paus, whose lab at Research Centre Borstel has been under investigation for scientific misconduct.
The EMBO Journal, which we reported last month had accepted the retraction of a 2005 Bulfone-Paus paper that has been cited 37 times, published the retraction notice for the study today:
Eight of the authors (ZO, LT, UM, PB, CB, DA, RP and SB-P) wish to retract this paper, following an independent formal investigation initiated by the Research Center Borstel into scientific misconduct (see http://www.fz-borstel.de/cms/index.php?id=1). The investigation concluded that multiple figures contained PCR and western blot duplications and possible other manipulations (Figures 2A, 3A, 4A, 5, 7A and 7C, Supplementary Figures S1A, S2A and S2B, unconfirmed: Figure 1C). The above signed declare that Vadim Budagian and Elena Bulanova conducted these experiments and generated the figures. The authors declare that key experiments presented in the majority of these figures were recently reproduced and that the results confirmed the experimental data and the conclusions drawn from them. However, due to these unacceptable irregularities, the listed authors retract this paper in its entirety and regret any adverse consequences that may have resulted from its publication. Vadim Budagian and Elena Bulanova declined to sign the retraction.
With the third retraction of a paper by Anil Potti this weekend, plus details of various investigations dribbling out, we decided to check in with the world’s two leading medical journals about whether they planned to retract the papers of Potti’s they’d published.