Top journals retract DNA-repair studies after misconduct probe

Holly Else:

“This is terrible for the field, as it is for any field”, in particular because the investigator’s grants could have gone to more deserving researchers, says James Brown, a cancer researcher at the National University of Ireland Galway. Many scientists have used the Nature paper to build an understanding of DNA-repair processes mediated by a protein called KAT5 (also known as TIP60), he says.

The journals withdrew the studies on 11 April. In its retraction notice1, Science said that one author — Abderrahmane Kaidi, who was a cancer researcher at the University of Cambridge, UK, until 2013 — had falsified data used in the 2010 study. The journal had issued an expression of concern about the paper in September 2018.

Nature’s notice2 says that the authors are retracting their 2013 paper because the work has “issues with figure presentation and underlying data” and the authors “cannot confirm the results in the affected figures”. (Nature’s news team is editorially independent of its journal team.)

In a statement to Nature’s news team, Cambridge said that it had completed an investigation into Kaidi under its misconduct in research policy, and found that he had misrepresented and falsified data in both papers.