Death, retirement, and inability to contact authors leads to retraction of paper first flagged five years ago – Retraction Watch
More than five years after feedback seemed on PubPeer a couple of 2012 paper in PLoS ONE with a raft of problematic pictures — and a deceased member of the gang whom the corresponding writer suggests may had been in a position to beef up the validity of the information — the magazine has retracted the item.
The article, “Placental expression of CD100, CD72 and CD45 is dysregulated in human miscarriage,” was once written through a group of researchers on the Università Politecnica delle Marche, in Ancona, Italy. The first, and corresponding, writer of the paper was once Teresa Lorenzi, of the college’s Division of Neuroscience and Cell Biology.
The paper has 19 citations, together with two in 2019, in accordance to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science. The long realize starts with a rundown of 14 questions on 3 of the paper’s figures. We’ll spare you all the catalog of ships, however listed here are a couple of examples:
After this newsletter  was once revealed, the next issues had been raised in regards to the effects reported in Figs five, 7 and nine:
Fig five: There seem to be vertical discontinuities after lanes 2, four of the first trimester nCD100 panel, after lane three of the first MC nCD100 panel, after lanes 2, three, four, five of the second one MC nCD100 panel.
Fig nine, first trimester CD45 blot: There are similarities in background sign above and beneath the bands in lanes 1, three, and there are similarities in background sign beneath the bands in lanes 2, four.
The realize continues:
The authors supplied the to be had authentic blot knowledge to beef up the nCD100, CD72, and CD45 knowledge reported in Figs five, 7 and nine, however the knowledge supplied didn’t get to the bottom of the troubles and didn’t come with matching knowledge for all leads to query. Corresponding writer TL indicated that different underlying knowledge for the reported experiments are unavailable due to problems together with the volume of time that has handed (seven years) because the article’s newsletter, in addition to the dying (ALT), retirement (AT, AM, MC), and inability to contact (FP, LL, FM) some of the item’s authors.
In regards to the β-actin duplications, the authors commented that the similar samples had been analyzed in Figs five, 7 and nine and so the similar β-actin controls had been used for the corresponding panels of those figures. However, the β-actin knowledge weren’t supplied and we had been not able to check the authors’ declare in keeping with the to be had knowledge.
The authors disagreed with similarities of β-actin knowledge throughout panels inside of figures (issues 11–14, above). In regards to issues 7–10 the authors raised that there are some variations between the information for which similarity issues had been raised. However, according to our editorial evaluate, the pixel similarities within the spaces discussed in issues 7–10 are extra an identical than could be anticipated for various experimental effects.
Overall the feedback and knowledge supplied through the authors didn’t get to the bottom of the problems defined above. The PLOS ONE Editors retract this newsletter due to issues in regards to the validity and reliability of the reported effects. We remorseful about that the above problems weren’t recognized and addressed right through the item’s pre-publication peer evaluation.
TL didn’t consider the retraction and stands through the reported effects. ML and DM disagree with the retraction. AT, FP, FM, LLS, MM, PC, AM and MC didn’t reply or may just now not be reached. ALT is deceased.
We emailed Lorenzi for remark however have now not heard again.
PLOS selections up the tempo
As we famous in April, PLOS ONE has turn out to be a “major retraction engine,” with 91 to this point this yr. That turns out to be due to the truth that the magazine has employed new personnel to paintings via a backlog of allegations introduced through more than a few readers, particularly Elisabeth Bik.
Pseudonymous whistleblower Claire Francis emailed PLOS with a hyperlink to the PubPeer feedback on March 15 of this yr. “Note that many of the problematic data were pointed out in words 5 years ago,” Francis wrote.
David Knutson, the senior communications supervisor at PLOS, informed us that the clock didn’t get started operating at the retraction till March:
We had been notified without delay of the troubles about this newsletter in March, 2019, even supposing problems were raised previous on Pubpeer. Per our coverage, readers must notify the magazine without delay of any issues about revealed paintings, and must now not depend only on Pubpeer, social media, or different 3rd birthday celebration websites.
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