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The Retraction Mother Lode?

Editors at 23 scientific journals demand validation of nearly 200 studies authored by a Japanese anesthesiologist.

By | April 13, 2012

FLICKR, SHARON HALL SHIPP

A single author may be retracting a record 193 studies if they don’t stand up to scrutiny, reports RetractionWatch. A letter, signed by editors-in-chief at 23 journals and posted online at Anesthesia & Analgesia, asks 7 institutions that have employed Yoshitaka Fujii to scrutinize the anesthesiologist's original data, verify its authenticity, and ascertain that Fujii obtained ethical approval for the studies. Additionally, they must confirm that the studies actually occurred. Papers that can’t meet these standards will be retracted, the editors warned.

Fujii, who was fired from Toho University in Tokyo, Japan, after he published several studies without an ethics committee’s approval, may become the record-holder for most retracted papers. Ken Takamatsu, dean of Toho University’s faculty of medicine, told ScienceInsider that Fujii claimed to have discarded the original data for the unapproved studies. The current record for retracted papers is held by Joachim Boldt, a German anesthesiologist who retracted nearly 90 papers last year for failing to obtain proper institutional review board approval.

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