65 papers from India retracted for image falsification/fabrication, errors

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Among papers retracted in chemistry and material sciences in 2017-2018, 17.2% was from India though only 7.3% papers from India were published, thus contributing to 2.4-fold difference between retractions and papers published. With 18 papers, Dr. Rashmi Madhuri and Dr. Prashant Sharma from IIT Dhanbad had the “largest clusters of retractions in the two-year period”.

In a May 28, 2019 Editorial published in the journal Chemistry of Materials, Francois-Xavier Coudert from Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris, a joint CNRS/Chimie ParisTech research institute in Paris, has looked at retraction practices in chemistry and materials sciences and found some interesting insights.

From Elsevier’s Scopus database, Dr. Coudert found 331 papers that were retracted in 2017 and 2018 in chemistry, materials science, and chemical engineering. At 31.4%, China had the most number of retractions. But at 30.9%, researchers from China also published the most papers. The U.S. too showed similar trend — retractions standing 14.2% while the percentage of papers published is 15.1%.

So where India feature in all this? At 17.2%, the retraction percentage from India is nearly 50% less than China. However, the percentage of papers published from India is way less than China — just 7.3%. So the “share” of retractions far exceeds the share of papers published from the country. There is 2.4-fold difference between retractions and papers published, which is way higher than China.

The only consolation is that Iran is even worse than India. Retraction is at 11.2% while papers published from Iran are only 2.7%. “The ratio of retracted papers from Iran is 4.1 times larger than from the rest of the world,” Dr. Coudert writes.

The next information that would be of interest to chemistry and material science researchers and policy makers in India is which researchers or research groups had more retractions during the two years. Thanks to Dr. Rashmi Madhuri from the Department of Applied Chemistry and Dr. Prashant Sharma from the Department of Applied Physics from IIT Dhanbad, India tops the ranking for all the wrong reasons.

With 18 papers retracted during 2017-2018, Dr. Madhuri and Dr. Sharma, who are co-authors in all of these papers, have the “largest clusters of retractions in that two-year period”. Dr. S. Thakur and R.B. Tokas from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai have seven retractions during the same period. “These retractions were, in every case, linked to ethical shortcomings,” he writes.

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Screenshot of the figure in the Editorial that shows the reasons for retractions.

After plagiarism (42%), unethical issues with the data reported (27% or 90 papers) in papers — research misconduct, data fabrication, data  falsification, inappropriately and extensively digitally manipulated —  was the second most common cause for retraction. And among the papers with data issues, he found falsification of data accounted for 60% of the cases. “This includes cases of fabrication, invalid duplication, digital editing, etc. and accounts overall for 16% of retracted papers,” he says.

Papers with problematic images retracted

In the 127 papers from India retracted so far for image duplication and manipulations, 55 were found to be due to manipulation and the rest due to reuse of the same image in other papers for different experiment and material. In addition to the 127 papers, searching the database of RetractionWatch using a simple term “image” yielded another 65 papers with questionable images that have been retracted so far, taking the total to 192.

In the 65 papers with problematic images, nine papers were retracted already this year. There were eight retractions last year, nine in 2017 and 11 in 2016. While error in images accounted for 21 paper retractions, fabrication/falsification of images was responsible for 15 retractions.

How many problems can a paper have?

A 2007 paper by Dr. Yogeshwer Shukla from the CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology that was retracted in February 2019 has multiple problems — manipulation and duplication. The retraction note reads:  “Multiple figures in this article appear to be falsified/fabricated. Figure 2A. The images appear to be rotated and reused.

Ret 2a

The retraction note then goes on to say: “Figure 3A. The Beta-actin band appears to be identical to articles from multiple (see the slideshow below) other journals — herehere, here, here).

“Figure 6. The Beta-actin band appears to have been reused and possibly manipulated.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Papers retracted for image fabrication/falsification, errors

1) Identification, occurrence, and validation of DRE and ABRE Cis-regulatory motifs in the promoter regions of genes of Arabidopsis thaliana

Sonal Mishra, Aparna Shukla, Swati Upadhyay, Sanchita Pooja Sharma, Seema Singh, Ujjal J. Phukan, Abha Meena, Feroz Khan, Vineeta Tripathi, Rakesh Kumar Shukla, Ashok Shrama

Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, February 2019

2) Designing of transition metal dichalcogenides based different shaped trifunctional electrocatalyst through “adjourn-reaction” scheme

Paramita Karfa, Rashmi Madhuri, Prashant K. Sharma, Ashutosh Tiwari

Nano Energy (2017)

3) Ambient UV-B exposure reduces the binding of ofloxacin with bacterial DNA gyrase and induces DNA damage mediated apoptosis

Jyoti Singh, Ashish Dwivedi, Syed Faiz Mujtaba, Krishna P. Singh, Manish Kumar Pal, Deepti Chopra, Shruti Goyal, Ajeet K. Srivastav, Divya Dubey, Shailendra K. Gupta, Chandana Haldar, Ratan Singh Ray

The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, August 2019

4) Antioxidants and ROS scavenging ability in ten Darjeeling tea clones may serve as markers for selection of potentially adapted clones against abiotic stress

Nirjhar Dasgupta , Prosenjit Biswas , Rakesh Kumar , Narendra Kumar , Biswajit Bera , Sauren Das

Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants, May 2016

5) Amino acid derived highly luminescent, heteroatom-doped carbon dots for label-free detection of Cd2+/Fe3+, cell imaging and enhanced antibacterial activity

Paramita Karfa, Ekta Roy, Santanu Patra, Sunil Kumar, Abhrajyoti Tarafdar,  Rashmi Madhuri and Prashant K. Sharma

RSC Advances, March 2018

6) Mechanism of MTA1 protein overexpression-linked invasion: MTA1 regulation of hyaluronan-mediated motility receptor (HMMR) expression and function

Deivendran Sankaran , Suresh B. Pakala , Vasudha S. Nair , Divijendra Natha Reddy Sirigiri , Dinesh Cyanam , Ngoc-Han Ha , Da-Qiang Li , T. R. Santhoshkumar , M. Radhakrishna Pillai , Rakesh Kumar

Journal of Biological Chemistry, February 2017

7) Metastasis-associated protein 1 drives tumor cell migration and invasion through transcriptional repression of RING finger protein 144A

Hezlin Marzook , Da-Qiang Li , Vasudha S. Nair , Prakriti Mudvari , Sirigiri Divijendra Natha Reddy , Suresh B. Pakala , T. R. Santhoshkumar ,M. Radhakrishna Pillai , Rakesh Kumar

Journal of Biological Chemistry, March 2015

8) Dual-Responsive Polymer Coated Superparamagnetic Nanoparticle for Targeted Drug Delivery and Hyperthermia Treatment

Santanu Patra, Ekta Roy, Paramita Karfa, Sunil Kumar, Rashmi Madhuri, Prashant K. Sharma

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, May 2018

9) Multiwalled carbon nanotube wrapped nanoflake graphene composites for sensitive biosensing of leviteracetum

Jagriti Narang, Nitesh Malhotra, Nidhi Chauhan, C S Pundir

RSC Advances, June 2019

10) Ambient UV-B exposure reduces the binding of ofloxacin with bacterial DNA gyrase and induces DNA damage mediated apoptosis

Jyoti Singh, Ashish Dwivedi, Syed Faiz Mujtaba, Krishna P. Singh, Manish Kumar Pal, Deepti Chopra, Shruti Goyal, Ajeet K. Srivastav, Divya Dubey, Shailendra K. Gupta, Chandana Haldar, Ratan Singh Ray

The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, August 2019

11) Assessment of photocatalytic potentiality and determination of ecotoxicity (using plant model for better environmental applicability) of synthesized copper, copper oxide and copper-doped zinc oxide nanoparticles

Debadrito Das, Animesh Kumar Datta, Divya Vishambhar Kumbhakar, Baoi Ghosh,
Ankita Pramanik, Sudha Gupta, Aninda Mandal

PLOS ONE , April 2019

12) Identification, occurrence, and validation of DRE and ABRE Cis‐regulatory motifs in the promoter regions of genes of Arabidopsis thaliana

Mishra S, Shukla A, Upadhyay S, Sanchita, Sharma P, Singh S, Phukan UJ, Meena A, Khan F, Tripathi V, Shukla RK, Shrama A

Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, February 2019

13) Organocatalytic stereoselective synthesis of passifloricin A

Pradeep Kumar, Menaka Pandey, Priti Gupta, Dilip D Dhavale

Organic & Bimolecular Chemistry, February 2019

14) Theaflavins induced apoptosis of LNCaP cells is mediated through induction of p53, down-regulation of NF-kappa B and mitogen-activated protein kinases pathways

Neetu Kalra, Kavita Seth, Sahdeo Prasad, Madhulika Singh, Aditya B. Pant, Yogeshwer Shukla

Life Sciences, February 2019

15) The princess of polka dots: Using art as a medium to cope with hallucinations

KV Suma, Chandran S, TS Sathyanarayana Rao

Indian Journal of Psychiatry, January 2019

16) Ondansetron loaded pectin based microspheres for nasal administration: In vitro and in vivo studies

Hitendra S. Mahajan, Bhushankumar V. Tatiya, Pankaj P. Nerkar

Powder Technology, January 2019

17) Signalling cross-talk between nitric oxide and active oxygen in Trifolium repens L. plants responses to cadmium stress

Shiliang Liu, Rongjie Yang, Durgesh Kumar Tripathi, Xi Li, Mingyan Jiang, Bingyang Lv, Mingdong Ma, Qibing Chen

Environmental Pollution, December 2018

18) Interaction of AtHMGB15, an ARID-HMG family protein, with RING-H2 type E3 ubiquitin ligase AtATL79

Payel Ganguly, Sudip Saha, Aditya Prasad Behera, Adrita Roy, Ajit Bikram Datta,
Shubho Chaudhuri

Plant Science, November 2018

19) Assessment of an Integrative Anticancer Treatment Using an in Vitro Perfusion-Enabled 3D Breast Tumor Model

Vaishnavi Kulkarni, Dhananjay Bodas, and Kishore Paknikar

ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, December 2018

20) Intra‐arterial transplantation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMMSCs) improves behavioral deficits and alters gene expression in rodent stroke mode

Vibhuti, Rehan Khan, Alpana Sharma, Suman Jain, Sujata Mohanty, Kameshwar Prasad

Journal of Neurochemistry, July 2018

21) Self-limited growth of Pr3+-doped LaF3 nanocrystals in oxyfluoride glass and glass-ceramics

Amit Mallik, Anil K. Barik and Biswajit Pal

RSC Advances, August 2017

22) Crystallization of Phycobilinproteins of a Cyanobacterium Calothrix elenkinii Koss

Vijaya Velu, Wolfgang Reuter, Anand Naraayanaswamy

Walailak Journal of Science and Technology (WJST), February 2017

23) Anti-diabetic activity of Swertia corymbosa (Griseb.) Wight ex C.B. Clarke aerial parts extract in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats

Ganesan Mahendran, G. Thamotharan, S. Sengottuvelu, V. Narmatha Bai

Journal of Ethnopharmacology, July 2017

24) Load Dependent Wear Analysis of Manganese Steels – Influence of Al Content

Rahul Sinhaa, Alok Kumar Mukhopadhyay

Materials Research, June 2017

25) The Evaluation of Computed Tomography Scans and Ultrasounds in the Differential Diagnosis of Periapical Lesions

Vivek Aggarwal, Ajay Logani, Naseem Shah

Journal of Endodontists, January 2017

26) Genetic inheritance and identification of a resistance gene analogue polymorphic (RGAP) marker linked to Chilli veinal mottle virus resistance in chilli (Capsicum annuum L.)

P. Naresh, M. Krishna Reddy, P. Hema Chandra Reddy & K. Madhavi Reddy

The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, May 2017

27) Conversion of Sugar to Aldonic Acids: An Important Industrial Precursor

Kapil Arya, Dhanraj T. Masram

Mini-Reviews in Organic Chemistry, December 2016

28) Investigation on the improvement of physico-mechanical, viscoelastic and morphological properties of isotactic polypropylene (iPP)/ethylene-propylene diene rubber (EPDM)/nitrile rubber (NBR) elastomeric blends

Krishna Dutt Chauhan, Rakesh Kumar Soni, Harjeet Singh

International Journal of Plastics Technology, December 2018

29) Carrageenan: A natural seaweed polysaccharide and its applications

Prajapati VD, Maheriya PM, Jani GK, Solanki HK

Carbohydrate Polymers, October 2016

30) Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using A. indicum leaf extract and their antibacterial activity

S. Ashokkumar, S. Ravi, V. Kathiravan, S. Velmurugan

Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, January 2017

31) Self-assembled Phenylalanine-α,β-dehydrophenylalanine Nanotubes for Sustained Intravitreal Delivery of a Multi-targeted Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor

Jiban J. Panda, Sarath Yandrapu, Rajendra S. Kadam, Virander S. Chauhan, Uday B. Kompella

Journal of Controlled Release, September 2016

32) Effectiveness of chemomechanical caries removal agents Papacarie®and Carie-Care™ in primary molars: An in vitro study

Suzan Sahana, Aron Arun Kumar Vasa, Divya GeddamVamsi Krishna Reddy, Sowjanya Nalluri, Nagajyothi Velagapudi

Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, July 2016

33) The nitrile-degrading enzymes: current status and future prospects

A. Banerjee, R. Sharma, U.C. Naberjee

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, August 2016

34) Expression of a bacterial chitinase (ChiB) gene enhances resistance against E. polygoni induced powdery mildew disease in the transgenic Black gram (Vigna mungo L.) (cv. T9)

Dilip Kumar Das

Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants, July 2016

35) Analysis of Dry Sliding Behavior of Al2O3/B4C/Gr Aluminum Alloy Metal Matrix Hybrid Composite Using Taguchi Methodology

Satnam Singh, Manish Garg, & N.K. Batra

Tribology Transactions, June 2016

36) Localized surface plasmon resonance-based DNA detection in solution using gold-decorated superparamagnetic Fe3O4 nanocomposite

Arghya Bandyopadhyay, Keka Sarkar

Analytical Biochemistry, May 2016

37) Antioxidants and ROS scavenging ability in ten Darjeeling tea clones may serve as markers for selection of potentially adapted clones against abiotic stress

Nirjhar Dasgupta, Prosenjit Biswas, Rakesh Kumar, Narendra Kumar, Biswajit Bera, Sauren Das

Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants, April 2016

38) Influencing micropropagation in Clitoria ternatea L. through the manipulation of TDZ levels and use of different explant types

Seemab Mukhtar, Naseem Ahmad, Md Imran Khan, Mohammad Anis,  Ibrahim M. Aref

Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants, April 2016

39) Imperialism in Bioethics: How Policies of Profit Negate Engagement of Developing World Bioethicists and Undermine Global Bioethics

Subrata Chattopadhyay, Catherine Myser, Raymond De Vries

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, December 2015

40) Gd substituted NiCa ferrite/poly vinyl alcohol nanocomposite

Arun S. Prasad, S.N. Dolia

Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, March 2012

41) An efficient energy harvesting scheme to maximize the throughput of the wireless relay network with TSR and PSR protocol

P. Mangayarkarasi, S. Jayashri, J. Raja

AEU – International Journal of Electronics and Communications, May 2015

42) Sol–gel synthesized high anisotropy magnetic nanoparticles of NiCrxFe2−xO4

Arun S. Prasad, S. N. Dolia, S. P. Pareek,  Arvind Samariya, P. K. Sharma, M. S. Dhawan

Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, February 2015

43) Observation of large magnetodielectric and direct magnetoelectric behavior in LCMO/PVDF 0-3 nanocomposites

Debabrata Bhadra, Md. G. Masud, S. K. De, and B. K. Chaudhuri

Applied Physics Letter, December 2014

44) Magnetic behavior of functionally coated super-paramagnetic Ni0.5Cu0.5Fe2O4-polypyrrole nano-composites

Arun S. Prasad, S. N. Dolia, V. R. Reddy, P. Predeep

Modern Physics Letters B, October 2014

45) Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects

Vinson JA, Burnham BR, Nagendran MV

Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, October 2014

46) Contribution of herbal principles towards cytoprotective, antioxidant and anti-Rhizopus activities

S. Meghashri, J.B. Chauhan, F. Zameer

South African Journal of Botany, July 2012

47) Strategies for efficient production of heterologous proteins in Escherichia coli

S. Jana, J. K. Deb

Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, June 2014

48) Effect of hydrogenation vs. re-heating on intrinsic magnetization of Co doped In2O3

A Samariya, R.K. Singhal, Sudhish Kumar, Y.T. Xing, S.C. Sharma, P. Kumari, D.C. Jain, S.N. Dolia, U.P. Deshpande, T. Shripathi, E. Saitovitch

Applied Surface Science, November 2010

49) Synthetic seed technology for short term conservation of medicinal orchid Dendrobium densiflorum Lindl. Ex Wall and assessment of genetic fidelity of regenerants

P. Mohanty, J. Das

Plant Growth Regulation, March 2014

50) A PLETHORA-Auxin Transcription Module Controls Cell Division Plane Rotation through MAP65 and CLASP

Pankaj Dhonukshe, Daan A Weits, Alfredo Cruz-Ramirez, Eva E Deinum, Simon H Tindemans, Klementina Kakar, Kalika Prasad, Ari Pekka Mähönen, Chris Ambrose, Michiko Sasabe, Guy Wachsmann, Marijn Luijten, Tom Bennett, Yasunori Machida, Renze Heidstra, Geoffrey Wasteneys, Bela M Mulder, Ben Scheres

Cell, November 2013

51) Physiological basis and image processing in functional magnetic resonance imaging: neuronal and motor activity in brain

Rakesh Sharma, Avdhesh Sharma

BioMedical Engineering OnLine, December 2013

52) Effect of Short Duration Simulated Microgravity on Effectiveness of Local Anesthesia

Balwant Rai, Jasdeep Kaur, Jack J. W. A. van Loon, Bernard H. Foing

Microgravity Science and Technology, October 2013

53) Room temperature ferromagnetism in pure and Co- and Fe-doped CeO2 dilute magnetic oxide: effect of oxygen vacancies and cation valence

R K Singhal, P Kumari, Sudhish Kumar, S N Dolia, Y T Xing, M Alzamora, U P Deshpande, T Shripathi and Elisa Saitovitch

Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, September 2013

54) Mechanism of MTA1 protein overexpression-linked invasion. MTA1 regulation of hyaluronan-mediated motility receptor (HMMR)

Deivendran Sankaran, Suresh B. Pakala, Vasudha S. Nair, Divijendra Natha Reddy Sirigiri, Dinesh Cyanam, Ngoc-Han Ha, Da-Qiang Li, T. R. Santhoshkumar, M. Radhakrishna Pillai, and Rakesh Kumar

Journal of Biological Chemistry, September 2013

55) High-efficiency Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and regeneration of insect-resistant transgenic plants

Meenakshi Mehrotra, Indraneel Sanyal, D. V. Amla

Plant Cell Reports, September 2013

56) Purification and characterization of organic solvent and detergent stable protease isolated from marine Saccharopolyspora sp. A9: Application of protease for wound healing

Ghanshyam Raut, Sachin Vetal, Ren Biao, Xiang-Yang Liu, Lixin Zhang, Chandrakant Kokare

Biochemical Engineering Journal, July 2013

57) Convenient access to strained trisubstituted 2-azetines from enals and chloramine-T in aqueous media

Atul K. Singh,  Ruchi Chawla  and  Lal Dhar S. Yadav

Green Chemistry, February 2013

58) Inhibition of RelA phosphorylation sensitizes chemotherapeutic agents-mediated apoptosis in constitutive NF-kappaB-expressing and chemoresistant cells

Sunil K Manna, P Manna, and A Sarkar

Cell Death & Differentiation, May 2013

59) Microwave synthesis, characterization and humidity sensing properties of single crystalline Zn2SnO4 nanorods

Mathivanan Parthibavarman, Kaliyan Vallalperuman, Chinnathambi Sekar, Gopal Rajarajan, Thanagaraju Logeswaran

Vacuum, April 2012

60) Cyclic di-GMP: a second messenger required for long-term survival, but not for biofilm formation, in Mycobacterium smegmatis

Manish Kumar, Dipankar Chatterji

Microbiology, March 2013

61) Evidence of former majoritic garnet in Himalayan eclogite points to 200-km-deep subduction of Indian continental crust

Pandey, A., Leech, M., Milton A., Singh, P., and Verma, P.K

Geology, January 2011

62) Multiple period-doubling bifurcation route to chaos in periodically pulsed Murali-Lakshmanan-Chua circuit-controlling and synchronization of chaos

S. Parthasarathy and K. Manikandakumar

Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, September 2010

63) Catalytic applications of ordered mesoporous magnesium oxide synthesized by mesoporous carbon

Amit Dubey, Braj Gopal Mishra, Divya Sachdev

Applied Catalysis A: General, April 2008

64) Effect of trimetazidine on renal ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats

Devinder Singh, Kanwaljit Chopra

Pharmacological Research, June 2008

65) Synthesis and electrochemical studies of phenylazo substituted tetraaza macrocyclic complexes of Ni(II)

Randhir Singh, Suresh Kumar, Amarendra Bhattacharya

Journal of Chemical Sciences, December 2000