Five cases of data re-use

Quick reminder reproduced from my previous post entitled Three months of stripy nanoparticles controversy):

the stripy nanoparticle hypothesis was first proposed in Nature Materials in 2004 by the group of Professor Stellacci (then at MIT and now at the EPFL). This hypothesis now forms the basis of 26 articles by the same group, mostly published in high impact journals including Nature Materials, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, Science, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Small, etc:  -101234567 , 8910111213,13a141516171819202122 and 23. {apologies for the strange numbering}

The issues of data re-use/self-plagiarism has already been discussed here and in a number of posts at David Fernig’s blog.

I have looked at the issue again, produced figures, and communicated the findings to the EPFL ombudsman today. The five cases are illustrated below. [Update 29/10/2013: Following the report of an international independent panel, the direction of EPFL has decided to close the case.]

 

Case 1

Paper 1: Alicia M. Jackson, Jacob W. Myerson and Francesco Stellacci, Nature Materials, 2004, 3, 330-336
Paper 2: A. Centrone, E. Penzo, M. Sharma, J. W. Myerson, A. M. Jackson, N. Marzari, and F. Stellacci, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2008, 105, 9886–9891
Fig 1a of paper 1 is re-used four years later in Fig 1 of paper 2.
Update (March 25, 2013): this case has now led to a correction in paper 2, the STM image in paper 2 has been substituted for another STM image.
The image has been manipulated substantially (contrast, cropping, possibly some filtering). When concerns were raised, an editor at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences initially could not see that there was an instance of data re-use as documented on Dave Fernig’s blog.
data re-use CASE 1

Case 2

This is a case of data re-use within the same article: Alicia M. Jackson, Ying Hu, Paulo Jacob Silva, and Francesco Stellacci, J Am Chem Soc, 2006, 128, 11135-11149
Figure 1a is a crop from the image shown in Figure 8, with a change of contrast. That same image is also re-used in another article (Case 3).
data re-use CASE 2

Case 3

Paper 1: Alicia M. Jackson, Ying Hu, Paulo Jacob Silva, and Francesco Stellacci, J Am Chem Soc, 2006, 128, 11135-11149
Paper 2: Ying Hu, Benjamin H. Wunsch, Sahil Sahni, and Francesco Stellacci, Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy, 2009, 4, 1–11
Figure 1a of paper 1 (also re-used in fig 8 paper 1, see case 2) is re-used in fig 2 of paper 2. The image is cropped differently.
 data re-use CASE 3

 Case 4

Paper 1: Ying Hu, Oktay Uzun, Cedric Dubois, and Francesco Stellacci, J. Phys. Chem. C 2008, 112, 6279-6284
Paper 2: Ying Hu, Benjamin H. Wunsch, Sahil Sahni, and Francesco Stellacci, Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy, 2009, 4, 1–11
Figure 3, top left panel of paper 1 is re-used in Fig 3, Fig 4 and Fig 5 of paper 2.
In Fig 5, the figure legend says ‘The particles imaged are the same ones of Figure 3’ (SIC). This is a misleading statement: it is not two images of the same particles but the same image presented with different contrasts.
data re-use CASE 4
Cases 3 and 4 together indicate that all of the experimental STM figures in paper 2 (i.e. Fig 2-5) contain data re-use (from two different articles). 

Case 5

Note that this has recently (February 28, 2013) been the subject of a Corrigendum at Nature Materials; a reference has been inserted in the figure legend.
Paper 1: Oktay Uzun, Ying Hu, Ayush Verma, Suelin Chen, Andrea Centrone and Francesco Stellacci, Chem. Commun., 2008, 196–198
Paper 2: Ayush Verma, Oktay Uzun, Yuhua Hu, Ying Hu, Hee-Sun Han, Nicki Watson, Suelin Chen, Darrell J Irvine and Francesco Stellacci, Nature Materials, 2008, 7, 588-595
Fig 1 of paper 1 is re-used in Fig 1 of paper 2. 
This re-used STM image of a single nanoparticle is the only published STM evidence for the ‘stripiness’ of this type of water-soluble stripy nanoparticles (2:1 MUS:OT) used in paper 2 as well as in recent publications (e.g. Biointerphases, 2012, 7, 1-4).
 data re-use CASE 5
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