A UK ethics organization that focuses on fairness and honesty in scientific publication has lent some support to researchers who complained that a 2008 __Cell__ linkurl:paper;http://www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674(08)00680-6 failed to adequately recognize their work and includes substandard experimentation. But the gesture seems unlikely to result in any concrete action regarding the researchers' complaints. The London-based Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has weighed in on the row involving University of Cambridge biologist linkurl:Peter Lawrence;http://www.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/PAL/ and several colleagues, editors at __Cell__, and Stanford University developmental biologist linkurl:Jeffrey Axelrod;http://www.stanford.edu/group/axelrodlab/index.shtml after another journal involved in the fracas sought the body's advice. Lawrence and his colleagues claim that Axelrod's __Cell__ paper, which dealt with the genetic and cellular machinery underlying planar cell polarity (PCP), did not properly cite a 2004 __Development__ paper coauthored by Lawrence. They wrote letters to __Cell__ detailing their problems with the Axelrod paper and requesting the journal to publish the letters or a...
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