2018 Volume 244 Issue 2 Pages 175
Retracted Review article: Nucleophagy in Human Disease: Beyond the Physiological Role. [Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018, 244 (1), 75-81. doi: 10.1620/tjem.244.75.]
The above Review article was published online on January 27, 2018. Soon after its publication (on February 1, 2018), Dr. Nian Fu and Prof. Linxi Chen informed the Editor-in-Chief, The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine (TJEM), about serious violation of publication ethics. Indeed, Dr. Nian Fu and Prof. Linxi Chen were astonished to find their names as coauthors of this Review article, because they were not involved in the submission process of this Review article and they do not know any of other coauthors. In addition, the Review article is similar to their unpublished manuscript.
After a thorough investigation in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Editor-in-Chief of TJEM decided to retract this Review article. The reasons for Retraction are summarized below: forged authors and an unexpected case of plagiarism.
Forged authors: Dr. Nian Fu and Prof. Linxi Chen were added as co-authors of the Review article without their knowledge. In fact, the signature provided by Prof. Linxi Chen is apparently different from the signature of a coauthor, named Linxi Chen, on the AUTHORS’ RESPONSIBILITY FORM, provided by the corresponding author of the Review article. More critically, the signature provided by Dr. Nian Fu is completely different from the signature of Nian Fu, because the Chinese characters are different between the two signatures. In addition, the replies from three authors (Ming Zhou, Hongwen Ji and Yong Xia) clearly indicate that they misunderstand the identity of Dr. Nina Fu. We also attempted to contact two authors, named Nian Fu and Linxi Chen, via e-mail. As expected, the forged authors did not respond to our inquiries, despite that their e-mail addresses appear to be active.
An unexpected case of plagiarism: This Review article is similar to the unpublished manuscript prepared by Dr. Nian Fu and Prof. Linxi Chen. Moreover, two figures used in the Review article are identical to the preliminary figures of their unpublished manuscript. According to Dr. Nian Fu, a local agency for language editing had transferred their unpublished manuscript to a third party. Unfortunately, the check system of TJEM is not effective for plagiarism of unpublished materials. We believe that the corresponding author of the Review article included the names of the original two authors to avoid the criticism of plagiarism. Eventually, the corresponding author agreed to retract the Review article.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this retraction to readers. We also hope that the publication of the plagiarized Review article will not trouble Dr. Nian Fu and Prof. Linxi Chen too much.