Retraction Watch

Weekend reads: 10 rules for research misconduct; peer review’s black box; the rich get richer

The week at Retraction Watch featured authors making a difficult decision to retract once-promising findings about gliobastoma, and sanctions for a researcher in whose lab image manipulations were found. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: “So, here we are! You’ve decided to join the dark side of Science. That’s great!” Ten Simple Rules for Scientific Fraud & […]

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Months after neuroscientist flagged errors, Nature journal corrects them — and more

When a neuroscientist noticed there were problems with his January 2017 paper in Nature Neuroscience, he didn’t wait for the journal to take action — instead, he published his concerns about four figures on PubMed Commons. Months later, the journal has issued formal corrections to those figures — along with several more.    In February […]

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Jumped the gun: Paper about non-finalized guidelines is retracted

Too soon? A surgeon is retracting his overview of new hernia surgery guidelines after it was published before the guidelines were finalized. The paper, published in German in the journal, Der Chirurg, was also retracted because — according to two co-authors of the new guidelines — the final version of the guidelines was supposed to […]

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“We do not want to create false hope”: Authors retract Cell paper they can’t replicate

A few years ago, researchers in Sweden had something to celebrate: They thought they had discovered a chink in the armor of the most common type of malignant brain cancer. In a 2014 Cell paper, the team — led by Patrik Ernfors at the Karolinska Institutet — reported that they had identified a small molecule […]

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Drip, drip: UCLA investigation finds more image duplications

Image duplications and unsupported data continue to plague a network of cancer researchers that includes the former vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Los Angeles, James Economou. On July 2, the editors at Cancer Research retracted a 2011 paper that Economou published as last author, saying it suffered from image duplication and […]

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Weizmann bans grad students from researcher’s lab over “serious misconduct”

The Weizmann Institute in Israel has barred a biologist from mentoring graduate students, after an investigation uncovered ” a case of serious misconduct that included manipulation of data.” In a letter posted on PubPeer, President Daniel Zajfman describes some of the disciplinary measures taken against an unnamed scientist, including also retracting or correcting all affected papers. Michal Neeman, […]

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What a report into scientific misconduct reveals: The case of Frank Sauer

Oct. 3, 2011, was the beginning of the end for Frank Sauer’s tenure at the University of California, Riverside. On that day, an anonymous emailer contacted Sauer’s institution with accusations that the biochemist had cooked his research in at least eight papers over a 16-year period. Sauer was found to have doctored images in studies […]

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Science journal flags cancer paper under investigation for image manipulation

Science Signaling has issued an expression of concern for a 2016 paper, citing an institutional investigation into image manipulation. According to a spokesperson for the journal, the corresponding author, Tanya Kalin, became concerned that two images in the paper had been manipulated. Kalin then notified the research integrity officer at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, […]

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Ex-Wayne State scientist, ORI square off in court

WASHINGTON, D.C — Last week, former brain scientist Christian Kreipke stared down the third set of research misconduct allegations against him since 2011. Or, possibly, according to him, it was the third iteration of the same research misconduct allegations he’s faced for years, a piling on by the most powerful of the three institutions out […]

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NIH neuroscientist up to 19 retractions

The string of apparent bad luck continues for Stanley Rapoport. Rapoport, a neuroscientist based at the U.S. National Institute on Aging, has lost three more papers in three journals due to the misconduct of his co-authors. By our count, these retractions bring his tally to 19 — and tie him for 21st place on our leaderboard. […]

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Diabetes researcher who sued to prevent retractions now has 13

A diabetes researcher who sued a publisher to protect several papers from being retracted recently received his 13th, in a prestigious gastroenterology journal. Mario Saad, based at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil, has had a string of retractions over the past few years, including four in Diabetes after he lost a legal […]

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The RW week in review: Doing the right thing, two journals’ first retractions

Did you miss some of this week’s posts? Here they all are, in one handy roundup: Are there foxes in Tasmania? Follow the poop Lancet retracts (and replaces) paper a year after authors report error that changes “all numbers” Lost in translation: Authors blame a language error for wrong diagnosis More notices appear for embattled […]

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Weekend reads: Six-figure publishing bonuses; Google’s scientific influence campaign

The week at Retraction Watch featured the story of a group devastated to learn that they had used the wrong mice in their experiments, and the tale of how keycard swipe records gave away faked data. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: In China, “scientists who publish in the top Western journals can earn in excess of […]

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Volunteer researcher faked weeks’ worth of data

A volunteer researcher at Florida Atlantic University fabricated the results of mouse experiments over a 14-day period in June, 2016, according to a new finding issued by the U.S Office of Research Integrity (ORI). According to the ORI, Alec Mirchandani made up the results of behavioral experiments to make it seem as if he had done the […]

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Want to appeal a journal’s rejection? Sure — that’ll be $700

Different journals follow different editorial policies — but we’ve never seen any charge money to authors who want to appeal an editorial decision. Until now. Recently, a criminal justice researcher sent us links to multiple journals that charge appeal fees. For instance, the Journal of Accounting Research says authors must pay $500 for each submission — […]

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Leibniz Prize belatedly awarded to scientist cleared of misconduct

Just before the March ceremony to bestow the coveted Leibniz Prize, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) received some disturbing allegations. An anonymous tipster accused one of the 10 scientists slotted to receive the award, materials scientist Britta Nestler, of misconduct. So the DFG held the ceremony on March 15, but suspended Nestler’s award. Four […]

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Authors say patient threatened legal action after being subject of scholarly paper

A patient appears to have had a change of heart about being featured in a case report. The patient cannot be identified in the paper published in Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases. However, according to the retraction notice, she threatened to sue if the authors did not withdraw it. After receiving the threat, the […]

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Nature Chemistry issues its first retraction

For the first time in its eight-year history, Nature Chemistry has retracted a paper, citing “data integrity issues.” 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 […]

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Nature retracts paper by stem cell scientist appealing her dismissal

A once-rising star in stem cell biology — who recently lost both her job and a sizable grant — has had a fourth paper retracted. The notice — issued by Nature for a 2006 letter — cites duplicated images, and a lack of raw data to verify the findings. First author Susana Gonzalez — who […]

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“We were devastated:” Authors retract paper after realizing they had used the wrong mice

Longtime readers of Retraction Watch may recall a 2011 post about a research team that retracted a paper after realizing that they had ordered the wrong mice. Maureen Gannon and Raymond Pasek of Vanderbilt University contacted us earlier this week to alert us to a similar case: Their retraction, earlier this month, of a 2016 paper […]

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