Saturday, December 27, 2014

Author of Dsicredited Research Paper Resigns

     In January 30, 2014, Haruko Obokata, a stem-cell biologist at RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, caused a sensation when she reported in Nature the artificial creation of Stem cells. .
     In July the article was later retracted when critical flaws when discovered in her work. 
     A few weeks later, one of the paper’s co-authors, Yoshiki Sasai, took his own life..
     On December 19'th Obokata resigned her position at RIKEN.
We at Nature have considered what lessons we can derive from these flaws. When figures often involve many panels, panels duplicated between figures may, in practice, be impossible for journals to police routinely without disproportionate editorial effort. By contrast, image manipulation is easier to detect. Our policies have always discouraged inappropriate manipulation. However, our approach to policing it was never to do more than to check a small proportion of accepted papers. We are now reviewing our practices to increase such checking greatly, and we will announce our policies when the review is completed.

No claims have been made that the authors of these paper intentionally manipulated data to achieve the desired result, but the errors resulted from sloppy procedures.  This is an another example how the scientific method is self-correcting.   

No comments:

Post a Comment