Meet the researcher with 13 retractions who’s trying to sue PubPeer commenters: Fazlul Sarkar – Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch

November 9, 2013: A PubPeer commenter starts a discussion regarding the images for Sarkar’s paper “Down-regulation of Notch-1 contributes to cell growth inhibition and apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells.” The original post, as well as subsequent commenters, extensively highlight the similarities in the images for this paper and others by Sarkar. It’s one of many that have emerged regarding the images in Sarkar’s papers on PubPeer.

November 10, 2013: The pseudonymous Clare Francis emails the secretary of the board of governors at Wayne State University regarding the PubPeer comments. In the email, Francis writes:

I am writing to you about multiple scientific concerns about the published work of Fazlul H Sarkar which have been aired on Pubpeer.

They also say

Many of the entries mention things which amount to what many think of as scientific misconduct.

Meet the researcher with 13 retractions who’s trying to sue PubPeer commenters: Fazlul Sarkar – Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch

January 19, 2016: The ACLU files a brief in support of PubPeer’s March appeal. Other briefs are filed by scientific heavy hitters Bruce Alberts and Harold Varmus, as well as Twitter and Google, all in support of the right to speak anonymously.

April 26, 2016: An employee recognition ceremony at Wayne State includes Sarkar on its list of retirees.

June 15, 2016: The Journal of Cellular Biochemistry retracts five papers published by Sarkar. All of the retraction notices cite inappropriate manipulation or re-labeling of the images that was discovered during an investigation into Sarkar’s work by Wayne State University as the reason.

June 17, 2016: The Journal of Cellular Physiology retracts two papers published by Sarkar. Like before, the retraction notices both cite manipulated images as the reason for the retractions and again mention Wayne State University’s investigation.

July 13, 2016: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment retracts two of Sarkar’s papers. Once again, the retraction notices indicate that the papers both contained image manipulations, but they do not cite the Wayne State University investigation.

July 29, 2016: Cancer retracts four of Sarkar’s papers in the journal. Continuing the tend, the retraction notices cite image manipulation as the reason for the retractions. The journal also cites the investigation into Sarkar’s work by Wayne State University in its notices.

August 18, 2016: The International Journal of Cancer retracts five of Sarkar’s papers. All the notices mention an institutional investigation and are for issues related to images.

October 19. 2016: An investigation report from Wayne State University, obtained by The Scientist, concludes that Sarkar should retract 42 papers, after creating a research environment that encouraged misconduct.

By our count, Sarkar has also issued 10 corrections in addition to his 18 retractions.

We’ll update this timeline as new events unfold.

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