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Anesthesiologist Fabricates 172 Papers

A researchers in Japan faked patient data on nearly 200 studies over the past 2 decades, according to an investigating committee.

By | July 3, 2012

image: Anesthesiologist Fabricates 172 Papers Wikimedia, Vmenkov

WIKIMEDIA, VMENKOV

Yoshitaka Fujii, a Japanese anesthesiologist, may have just set a new record in scientific misconduct. After an investigating committee organized by the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists concluded that he never saw the patients he claimed to see, or administered the medicine he claimed to treat them with, a total of 172 papers regarding those patients are up for retraction—a record number by a single author, according to ScienceInsider.

“It is as if someone sat at a desk and wrote a novel about a research idea,” the committee wrote in its report, posted in Japanese on the society's Web site last week (June 29).

Suspicion peaked this past March, when John Carlisle, a consultant anesthetist with the South Devon NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdome published an analysis of Fujii’s work that found his results to be “extremely unlikely to have arisen by chance...” The following month, journal editors encouraged seven Japanese institutions to initiate an investigation.

Focusing on 212 of 249 known Fujii papers, the investigating committee interviewed people involved in the research, and looked for raw data, lab notebooks, and other evidence that the experiments had been completed. In the end, the committee concluded that 172 papers were bogus, 126 of which “were totally fabricated.” Committee members found it impossible to determine if misconduct had occurred in 37 papers, and stated that only three papers were actually valid.

Fujii had falsified and fabricated data over the course of 19 years, including his tenures at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, the University of Tsukuba, and most recently, Toho University in Tokyo, which dismissed Fujii last February after the institution discovered he failed to get ethical review board approval for some of his studies.

Though the papers did not garner much attention (a June 18 post on the blog Retraction Watch reported on three recent retractions that had just six, four, and three citations), Fujii appears to have used the research to advance his career. The rest of the papers are likely to be retracted eventually as the report is being sent to each institutions involved, whose responsibility it is to formally request the retractions.

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Comments

Avatar of: JBG2

JBG2

Posts: 14

July 3, 2012

It is clear that his dismissal from  Toho University in Tokyo, was unjustified.  Why should he have requested ethical board approval when all his patients were virtual?

Avatar of: steinp2

steinp2

Posts: 33

July 3, 2012

Exactly!  

Avatar of: J_Darsee

J_Darsee

Posts: 2

July 3, 2012

It takes some smarts to fake 172 papers. 172. Not saying he is a genius, but you gotta give him that.

Avatar of: steinp2

steinp2

Posts: 33

July 3, 2012

You should know, Doctor Darsee.

Avatar of: Disgruntled

Disgruntled

Posts: 1457

July 3, 2012

American scientists don't get paid what they deserve because foreigners are taking over the job market.

Avatar of: Disgruntled

Disgruntled

Posts: 1457

July 3, 2012

American scientists don't get paid what they deserve because foreigners are taking over the job market.

Avatar of: Vidhya

Vidhya

Posts: 1457

July 4, 2012

Actually it's very good when this sort of thing comes to people's notice and in a way that this guy had the audacity to do such a thing.  It's a good way to blow this mess into public view.  There are many cases where authors make inaccurate statements, omit important experimental details that prevent readers from reproducing those data, submit poor-quality images and misinterpret data. 

When such papers have been brought to editors' attention, they have either nonchalantly dismissed it OR say that if the reviewers have not asked those questions, they must not be important and the readers pointing out these problems must be mistaken in thinking they are good enough to catch what the reviewers could not catch AND tell the readers that they should repeat the experiments themselves and publish their data if they have problems with it.   

They don't want to understand that these omitted details make it hard to reproduce experiments and hence, the criticism.  In a way, this very creative fellow has also brought forth the dishonesty and negligence of such journal editors and reviewers with his 172 papers.

Avatar of: YouKnowBestOfAll

YouKnowBestOfAll

Posts: 16

July 7, 2012

I might be naive, but please tell me:
How successful will be the Evidence-Based Practice based on such
papers???

Avatar of: Robert Levine

Robert Levine

Posts: 1457

July 9, 2012

Are you THE John Darsee who worked in Braunwald's lab?

Avatar of: J_Darsee

J_Darsee

Posts: 2

July 9, 2012

 Jerophantes Darsee, John's cousin from Dorchester, MA

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