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More Retractions for Tokyo Scientist?

A university panel has detected irregularities in 43 papers by Shigeaki Kato.

Jul 26, 2013
Kate Yandell

FLICKR, ROBERT CUDMOREA University of Tokyo panel is recommending that former university scientist Shigeaki Kato withdraw 43 scientific papers, according to the Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper.

The recommendations are the result of an investigation that was triggered last year (January 2012) when an anonymous tipster made a Youtube video chronicling allegedly fraudulent manipulations made to figures in Kato’s papers. Kato resigned from his position at the university in March 2012. According to Retraction Watch, five papers by Kato have already been retracted.

The University of Tokyo told ScienceInsider that the panel’s report has not yet been released and did not confirm the assertions made by Asahi Shumbun.

According to the Japanese newspaper, the committee reviewed 165 papers and found questionable material in 43 of them. The problems included duplicated and reversed images, as well as forgery.

Kato told Asahi Shumbun that he planned to withdraw the papers. “There certainly were irregularities,” he said. “I used to place trust on the members of my lab. I have a major responsibility as a supervisor.”

The Asahi Shumbun noted that some of Kato’s collaborators who got their degrees based on the questionable papers could have them revoked. More than 20 scientists were coauthors on the 43 papers.

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