first_img Perry Li/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) By Dennis NormileJun. 21, 2017 , 1:00 PM University of Tokyo scientist hit by anonymous allegations fights back Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Separately, he has posted the submitted corrections, covering what is awry with a number of figures in five papers he says the committee identified as problematic. Of the five, two appeared in Science, two in Nature, and one was published in EMBO Reports. They all cover processes affecting chromosomes during cell division. The corrections blame the errors on such things as mix-ups in cell lines, the combination of data sets into a single graph, and improper processing of western blot panels.“As the head of the laboratory, I take ultimate responsibility for these errors, and extend my sincerest apologies to the scientific community for any concern or inconvenience these may have caused,” Watanabe writes. He hopes corrections will suffice.The European Molecular Biology Organization, publisher of EMBO Reports, is allowing the group to update images in one figure. The “image aberrations” only rise to the least problematic level of one on a scale of three that the publisher uses to gauge errors, Bernd Pulverer, head of scientific publications for EMBO, writes in a letter included in Watanabe’s Dropbox cache. “Our view is that the basic conclusions of this figure, and therefore the paper as a whole, stand,” Pulverer writes.In an email to ScienceInsider, Watanabe wrote that decisions by Science and Nature are pending. He also explained that while there was some departure from best practice in handling images “most errors were unintentional.” However, the university committee has tentatively defined many of the errors “as fabrication or falsification by a very strict rule.”It remains to be seen whether there will be any disciplinary measures. A public relations official at the University of Tokyo declined to comment on the ongoing investigation but added that the committee’s report “is now in the final stages of preparation and will be made public when it is complete.”Ordinary_researchers did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.Update, 6/22/2017, 10:14 a.m.: This article was updated to clarify Watanabe’s comment about the errors in handling images. Emailcenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Last September, anonymous allegations of questionable data and images in 22 papers by six prominent groups at the prestigious University of Tokyo prompted the school to set up an investigating committee. Now, even before the panel completes its investigation, one of the accused researchers has mounted a staunch defense of his work, with a point-by-point rebuttal of the allegations and an apology for mistakes confirmed in several of the questioned papers.“We believe that none of the errors affect the main conclusions of any of the reports,” Yoshinori Watanabe, who studies chromosome dynamics, writes in a statement posted in a Dropbox on 17 June. He adds that he is discussing with journals whether corrections or retractions to the affected papers would be “most appropriate.” He writes that at least one journal has already accepted a “short corrigendum.”  The allegations of falsified and fabricated data were made by an individual or group going by the name Ordinary_researchers in more than 100 pages of documents delivered to the university, funding agencies, and the press and posted online in two batches on 14 and 29 August. Twenty-three of the claims involved seven papers by Watanabe’s group. Watanabe goes through the 23 allegations one-by-one in a document placed in a Dropbox reached by following a link on a personal website. He explains where he believes Ordinary_researchers went wrong or misunderstood the image. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The University of Tokyolast_img

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