It’s official.* Joachim Boldt now holds the record for the most retractions by a single author.
As we reported the other day, a group of anesthesia journals was on the verge of revealing a list of 89 articles by Joachim Boldt that would require retraction because the German researcher had failed to receive proper approval from ethics officials for his studies. Today, the coalition issued a letter making the retractions official.
If a paper is retracted, should papers that cite it get retracted, too? We’ve been on the lookout for this kind of move, which we figure is consistent with cleaning up the scientific record. Today, one appears in Nature.
Anesthesia & Analgesiahas retracted 22 papers by Joachim Boldt, the discredited German anesthesiologist whose prolific career as a researcher has unraveled with stunning rapidity — and 67 more retractions are likely on the way from 10 other titles that have published his work.
The 22 retractions, announced Feb. 25 on the journal’s website, come less than a month after the state medical board overseeing an investigation into Boldt’s publications said that it was looking into more than 90 of his articles out of concern that he had failed to obtain proper approval from an institutional review board for the work.
About a year ago, Acta Crystallographica Section Eissued a bombshell editorial. The journal was pulling 70 papers from two groups of researchers at the same Chinese university after discovering that the structures they reported had been fakes.
February has turned out to be a bad month for people found guilty of plagiarism. On Friday, we covered the case of the German foreign defense minister who lost his PhD after his university became aware he had copied passages from newspaper stories into his thesis.
When we cover plagiarism on Retraction Watch, particularly when it leads to retractions, we’re writing almost exclusively about science. But there’s a story about a retraction outside of the scientific literature that has been unfolding over the past week, and grabbing enough headlines, that we figured we should post something on it.
It was Bremen University’s Andreas Fischer-Lescano who discovered what he called “a brazen plagiarism” in German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s 2006 law thesis, according to The Guardian. The minister was already a member of parliament at the time, and had apparently used sections of newspaper articles without attribution.