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Scientists protest Cell retraction

Journal pulls paper against authors' wishes, with little explanation

Alison McCook(amccook@the-scientist.com)

Researchers are challenging Cell for retracting, without the authors' consent, a 2004 paper that suggested the Chagas parasite may integrate into host genomes, arguing the journal is not offering a sufficient explanation for what is wrong with the paper.

Last week (September 23), the journal printed a short retraction, stating there were "concerns" about integration site sequence analyses in the paper, and independent reviewers deemed that the data "do not provide strong enough evidence for the central hypothesis." They note that the retraction is proceeding against the authors' consent.

David Engman from Northwestern University, who commented on the paper for The Scientist when it was published, said he was "shocked" to see it had been retracted. He added that the news was followed by a flurry of correspondence among researchers, curious to find out more about why the editors forcibly retracted the paper. "This is the first time,...

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