CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute has 33 papers with manipulated, duplicated images

CDRI Photo 4-Optimized

Papers published with manipulated and duplicated images seem to be a problem not just with CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research. With 33 papers with similar problems, the CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute is only a few shades better than CSIR-IITR. The good news is that there are several scientists from CSIR-CDRI with no record on Pubpeer, at least till now.

When it comes to papers published with manipulated and/or duplicated images, the Lucknow-based CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research may be an outlier only in terms of scale. With 130 such papers, the problem at CSIR-IITR is huge. And worse, a former director Dr. Kailash Gupta and the current director Dr. Alok Dhawan too have papers with such images. But surely, the problem is not restricted to this institution alone.

Here is the proof for that. Thirty-five papers published between 2010 and 2018 by researchers from the Central Drug Research Institute (CSIR-CDRI) too have similar problems with manipulated and duplicated images. While some images have been reused in the same paper, there is no image that has been reused in another paper, which was the case at CSIR-IITR.

CDRI Photo 3-Optimized

And unlike in the case CSIR-IITR where papers published as early as 2004 had images that were manipulated, manipulation of images for paper publication seems to be a recent phenomenon at CSIR-CDRI.

And unlike the other CSIR institution, there are several scientists who have no record of any paper listed on pubpeer website, which comes as a huge relief. With five, Chief Scientist Dr. Naibedya Chattopadhyay has the most number of papers with manipulated images. While another paper of his has been retracted, four more have been corrected for faulty images. Compare this with Dr. Yogeshwer Shukla of CSIR-IITR who alone has 40 problematic papers.

“I was co-author and not the corresponding author of the paper that was retracted. Second, the papers where I am the corresponding author, [image duplication was due to] erroneous copying and pasting of images within the same paper and not a deliberate act. Those have been corrected. The figures are first assembled in powerpoint and then tiff files are made for submission. Often, during such transfer same images get pasted twice and unfortunately got overlooked by us. However, in none of my cases those errors changed the conclusion of the paper and the journals allowed corrigendum after due diligence of checking raw data. So, to call these mistakes as image manipulation is factually incorrect,” Dr. Chattopadhyay says in an email.

CDRI Photo 1-Optimized

There are about half a dozen papers that have been retracted for manipulated images and another half a dozen corrected in journals.

While CSIR has instituted a three-member independent committee to investigate the issue at CSIR-IITR, it would be prudent to have similar independent committees to look into each CSIR institution and make sure that immediate steps are taken to correct the papers with the right images and retract those where image manipulation has been deliberate.

Problematic papers listed on Pubpeer website

1) Wolbachia Transcription Elongation Factor “Wol GreA” Interacts with α2ββ′σ Subunits of RNA Polymerase through Its Dimeric C-Terminal Domain

Jeetendra Kumar Nag, Nidhi Shrivastava, Dhanvantri Chahar, Chhedi Lal Gupta, Preeti Bajpai, Shailja Misra-Bhattacharya

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2014)

2) Chemotherapeutic Potential of 2-[Piperidinoethoxyphenyl]-3-Phenyl-2H-Benzo(b)pyran in Estrogen Receptor- Negative Breast Cancer Cells: Action via Prevention of EGFR Activation and Combined Inhibition of PI-3-K/Akt/FOXO and MEK/Erk/AP-1 Pathways

Ruchi Saxena, Vishal Chandra, Murli Manohar, Kanchan Hajela, Utsab Debnath, Yenamandra S. Prabhakar, Karan Singh Saini, Rituraj Konwar, Sandeep Kumar, Kaling Megu, Bal Gangadhar Roy, Anila Dwivedi

PLoS ONE (2013)

3) Design and synthesis of 1,3-biarylsulfanyl derivatives as new anti-breast cancer agents

Atul Kumar, Vishwa Deepak Tripathi, Promod Kumar, Lalit Prakash Gupta, Akanksha, Ritu Trivedi, Hemant Bid, V.L. Nayak, Jawed A. Siddiqui, Bandana Chakravarti, Ruchi Saxena, Anila Dwivedi, M.I. Siddiquee, U. Siddiqui, Rituraj Konwar, Naibedya Chattopadhyay

Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (2011)

4) Apoptosis induction and inhibition of hyperplasia formation by 2-[piperidinoethoxyphenyl]-3-[4-hydroxyphenyl]-2H-benzo(b)pyran in rat uterus

Vishal Chandra, Iram Fatima, Ruchi Saxena, Shakti Kitchlu, Sharad Sharma, Mohammad Kamil Hussain, Kanchan Hajela, Preeti Bajpai, Anila Dwivedi

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2011)

5) Attenuated neuroprotective effect of riboflavin under UV-B irradiation via miR-203/c-Jun signaling pathway in vivo and in vitro

Amit Kumar Tripathi, Ashish Dwivedi, Manish Kumar Pal, Namrata Rastogi, Priyanka Gupta, Shakir Ali, Manjunatha B H Prabhu, Hari Narayan Kushwaha, Ratan Singh Ray, Shio Kumar Singh, Shivali Duggal, Bhaskar Narayan, Durga Prasad Mishra

Journal of Biomedical Science (2014)

6) (6)-Gingerolinduced myeloid leukemia cell death is initiated by reactive oxygen species and activation of miR-27b expression

Namrata Rastogi, Rishi Kumar Gara, Rachana Trivedi, Akanksha Singh, Preety Dixit, Rakesh Maurya, Shivali Duggal, M.L.B. Bhatt, Sarika Singh, Durga Prasad Mishra

Free Radical Biology and Medicine (2014)

7) L-Plastin S-glutathionylation promotes reduced binding to β-actin and affects neutrophil functions

Megha Dubey, Abhishek K. Singh, Deepika Awasthi, Sheela Nagarkoti, Sachin Kumar, Wahid Ali, Tulika Chandra, Vikas Kumar, Manoj K. Barthwal, Kumaravelu Jagavelu, Francisco J. Sánchez-Gómez, Santiago Lamas, Madhu Dikshit

Free Radical Biology and Medicine (2015)

8)  Phospholipase C-γ2 via p38 and ERK1/2 MAP kinase mediates diperoxovanadate-asparagine induced human platelet aggregation and sCD40L release

Ankita Misra, Smriti Srivastava, Seshadri Reddy Ankireddy, Nashreen S. Islam, Tulika Chandra, Ashutosh Kumar, Manoj Kumar Barthwal, Madhu Dikshit

Redox report : communications in free radical research (2013)

9) The IRAK-ERK-p67phox-Nox-2 axis mediates TLR4, 2-induced ROS production for IL-1β transcription and processing in monocytes

Ankita Singh, Vishal Singh, Rajiv L. Tiwari, Tulika Chandra, Ashutosh Kumar, Madhu Dikshit, Manoj K. Barthwal

Cellular and Molecular Immunology (2016)

10) Cilostazol ameliorates heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and diastolic dysfunction in obese and non-obese hypertensive mice

Sukka Santosh Reddy, Heena Agarwal, Manoj Kumar Barthwal

Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology (2018)

11) Aegeline inspired synthesis of novel amino alcohol and thiazolidinedione hybrids with antiadipogenic activity in 3T3-L1 cells

Sabbu Satish, Ankita Srivastava, Pragya Yadav, Salil Varshney, Rakhi Choudhary, Vishal M. Balaramnavar, Tadigoppula Narender, Anil Nilkanth Gaikwad

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2018)

12) Nucleosomal histone proteins of L. donovani: a combination of recombinant H2A, H2B, H3 and H4 proteins were highly immunogenic and offered optimum prophylactic efficacy against Leishmania challenge in hamsters

Rajendra K. Baharia, Rati Tandon, Amogh A. Sahasrabuddhe, Shyam Sundar, Anuradha Dube

PLoS ONE (2014)

13) Mechanism of inhibition of the ATPase domain of human topoisomerase IIα by 1,4-benzoquinone, 1,2-naphthoquinone, 1,4-naphthoquinone, and 9,10-phenanthroquinone

Deepak Gurbani, Vandna Kukshal, Julian Laubenthal, Ashutosh Kumar, Alok Pandey, Sarita Tripathi, Ashish Arora, Swatantra K. Jain, Ravishankar Ramachandran, Diana Anderson, Alok Dhawan

Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology (2012)

14) Chemotherapeutic Potential of 2-[Piperidinoethoxyphenyl]-3-Phenyl-2H-Benzo(b)pyran in Estrogen Receptor- Negative Breast Cancer Cells: Action via Prevention of EGFR Activation and Combined Inhibition of PI-3-K/Akt/FOXO and MEK/Erk/AP-1 Pathways

Ruchi Saxena, Vishal Chandra, Murli Manohar, Kanchan Hajela, Utsab Debnath, Yenamandra S. Prabhakar, Karan Singh Saini, Rituraj Konwar, Sandeep Kumar, Kaling Megu, Bal Gangadhar Roy, Anila Dwivedi

PLoS ONE (2013)

15) Design and synthesis of 1,3-biarylsulfanyl derivatives as new anti-breast cancer agents

Atul Kumar, Vishwa Deepak Tripathi, Promod Kumar, Lalit Prakash Gupta, Akanksha, Ritu Trivedi, Hemant Bid, V.L. Nayak, Jawed A. Siddiqui, Bandana Chakravarti, Ruchi Saxena, Anila Dwivedi, M.I. Siddiquee, U. Siddiqui, Rituraj Konwar, Naibedya Chattopadhyay

Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (2011)

16) Phytoceramides and acylated phytosterol glucosides from Pterospermum acerifolium Willd seed coat and their osteogenic activity

Preety Dixit, Kailash Chand, Mohd Parvez Khan, Jawed Akhtar Siddiqui, Deepshikha Tewari, Florence Tsofack Ngueguim, Naibedya Chattopadhyay, Rakesh Maurya

Phytochemistry (2012)

17) Quercetin-6-C-β-D-glucopyranoside, natural analog of quercetin exhibits anti-prostate cancer activity by inhibiting Akt-mTOR pathway via aryl hydrocarbon receptor

Hamidullah, Rajeev Kumar, Karan Singh Saini, Amit Kumar, Sudhir Kumar, E. Ramakrishna, Rakesh Maurya, Rituraj Konwar, Naibedya Chattopadhyay

Biochimie (2015)

18) M2 polarization of macrophages by Oncostatin M in hypoxic tumor microenvironment is mediated by mTORC2 and promotes tumor growth and metastasis

Richa Shrivastava, Mohammad Asif, Varsha Singh, Parul Dubey, Showkat Ahmad Malik, Mehraj-U-Din Lone, Brij Nath Tewari, Khemraj Singh Baghel, Subhashis Pal, Geet Kumar Nagar, Naibedya Chattopadhyay, Smrati Bhadauria

Cytokine (2018)

19) Skp2 inhibits osteogenesis by promoting ubiquitin-proteasome degradation of Runx2

Gatha Thacker, Yogesh Kumar, Mohd. Parvez Khan, Nidhi Shukla, Isha Kapoor, Jitendra Kumar Kanaujiya, Savita Lochab, Shakil Ahmed, Sabyasachi Sanyal, Naibedya Chattopadhyay, Arun Kumar Trivedi

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular Cell Research (2016)

20) Dose-dependent adverse effects of salinomycin on male reproductive organs and fertility in mice

Olajumoke Omolara Ojo, Smrati Bhadauria, Srikanta Kumar Rath

PLoS ONE (2013)

21) Arsenic exposure impels CD4 commitment in thymus and suppress T cell cytokine secretion by increasing regulatory T cells

Ruchi Gera, Vikas Singh, Sumonto Mitra, Anuj Kumar Sharma, Alok Singh, Arunava Dasgupta, Dhirendra Singh, Mahadeo Kumar, Pankaj Jagdale, Satyakam Patnaik, Debabrata Ghosh

Scientific Reports (2017)

22) Chemotherapeutic Potential of 2-[Piperidinoethoxyphenyl]-3-Phenyl-2H-Benzo(b)pyran in Estrogen Receptor- Negative Breast Cancer Cells: Action via Prevention of EGFR Activation and Combined Inhibition of PI-3-K/Akt/FOXO and MEK/Erk/AP-1 Pathways

Ruchi Saxena, Vishal Chandra, Murli Manohar, Kanchan Hajela, Utsab Debnath, Yenamandra S. Prabhakar, Karan Singh Saini, Rituraj Konwar, Sandeep Kumar, Kaling Megu, Bal Gangadhar Roy, Anila Dwivedi

PLoS ONE (2013)

23) Design and synthesis of 1,3-biarylsulfanyl derivatives as new anti-breast cancer agents

Atul Kumar, Vishwa Deepak Tripathi, Promod Kumar, Lalit Prakash Gupta, Akanksha, Ritu Trivedi, Hemant Bid, V.L. Nayak, Jawed A. Siddiqui, Bandana Chakravarti, Ruchi Saxena, Anila Dwivedi, M.I. Siddiquee, U. Siddiqui, Rituraj Konwar, Naibedya Chattopadhyay

Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (2011)

24) Astrocyte activation and neurotoxicity: A study in different rat brain regions and in rat C6 astroglial cells

Poonam Goswami, Sonam Gupta, Neeraj Joshi, Sharad Sharma, Sarika Singh

Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology (2015)

25) 6-Hydroxydopamine and lipopolysaccharides induced DNA damage in astrocytes: involvement of nitric oxide and mitochondria

Sonam Gupta, Poonam Goswami, Joyshree Biswas, Neeraj Joshi, Sharad Sharma, C. Nath, Sarika Singh

Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis (2015)

26) Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Plays a Key Role in Rotenone-Induced Apoptotic Death of Neurons

Poonam Goswami, Sonam Gupta, Joyshree Biswas, Neeraj Joshi, Supriya Swarnkar, Chandishwar Nath, Sarika Singh

Molecular Neurobiology (2016)

27) Astrocyte activation: a key step in rotenone induced cytotoxicity and DNA damage

Supriya Swarnkar, Sarika Singh, Poonam Goswami, Ramesh Mathur, Ishan K. Patro, Chandishwar Nath

Neurochemical Research (2012)

28) Inhibitory role of cholinergic system mediated via alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in LPS-induced neuro-inflammation

Ethika Tyagi, Rahul Agrawal, Chandishwar Nath, Rakesh Shukla

Innate Immunity (2010)

29) Effect of curcumin on brain insulin receptors and memory functions in STZ (ICV) induced dementia model of rat

Rahul Agrawal, Bhanvi Mishra, Ethika Tyagi, Chandishwar Nath, Rakesh Shukla

Pharmacological Research (2010)

30) Insulin receptor signaling in rat hippocampus: a study in STZ (ICV) induced memory deficit model

Rahul Agrawal, Ethika Tyagi, Rakesh Shukla, Chandishwar Nath

European Neuropsychopharmacology (2011)

31) MaRAP2-4, a waterlogging-responsive ERF from Mentha, regulates bidirectional sugar transporter AtSWEET10 to modulate stress response in Arabidopsis

Ujjal J. Phukan, Gajendra Singh Jeena, Vineeta Tripathi, Rakesh Kumar Shukla

Plant Biotechnology Journal (2018)

32) Trans-blood brain barrier delivery of dopamine-loaded nanoparticles reverses functional deficits in parkinsonian rats

Richa Pahuja, Kavita Seth, Anshi Shukla, Rakesh Shukla, Priyanka Bhatnagar, Lalit Kumar Singh Chauhan, Prem Narain Saxena, Jharna Arun, Bhushan Pradosh Chaudhari, Devendra Kumar Patel, Sheelendra Pratap Singh, Rakesh Shukla, Vinay Kumar Khanna, Pradeep Kumar, Rajnish Kumar Chaturvedi, Kailash Chand Gupta

ACS Nano (2015)

33) Exposure to As, Cd and Pb-mixture impairs myelin and axon development in rat brain, optic nerve and retina

Nagendra Kumar Rai, Anushruti Ashok, Asit Rai, Sachin Tripathi, Geet Kumar Nagar, Kalyan Mitra, Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (2013)

CORRECTION: A duplicate entry and a paper published from another institution were wrongly included in the list. These two have been removed.

Published in The Hindu on June 4, 2019

4 Thoughts

  1. I was also expelled by one of these fake scientist rakesh shukla. I was not ready for manipulation
    This scientist destroyed career of many scholars. They must be punished.

  2. Lot of funds are available in the all CSIR instiinstitute as compared to central and state universities…but unfortunately these CSIR people are not working with actual efforts…..all scientist are running behind research papers and upgradation of position and students are taking good fellowship and busy in publishing manipulated data …may be scientists are not reading data before publishing

  3. The facts related to such publication must be examined properly and necessary steps must be taken by every csir institute to stop such serious activities in the name of publication.

  4. Being a Phd scholar of science stream it is very painful and heartbreaking to see such fraud at the premier labs😭.Stepping into my first year of science research I just hope everything goes well in my lab.

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