Since the weekend, we’ve been trying to get more details on a somewhat mysterious retraction in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The sparse notice really only said that there were “data inconsistencies” that made the data unreliable.
On Monday, as we noted in an update to the post yesterday, we learned:
The inconsistencies related to what an individual’s lab-book recorded in terms of patients and infections. These came to light when this data was compared to hospital records, during the process of manuscript preparation. As noted, we reported our concerns about the validity of the data and following a review, there was no adequate explanation and the concerns remained.
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.