Paper by controversial Australian journalist retracted over ‘image manipulation’

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Maryanne Demasi. Image credit: Supplied

The Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) has retracted a 2003 paper that resulted from the PhD thesis of Maryanne Demasi, an Australian journalist.

The move, for what the journal says was attempts to reuse images to represent different experiments, follows an investigation by the University of Adelaide into allegations of image manipulation in Demasi’s thesis. In the investigation, Demasi admitted that she had duplicated or probably duplicated the relevant impugned images. However, she understood that duplication was acceptable at the relevant time for the particular category of images at issue.


The JBC article, “Effects of hypoxia on monocyte inflammatory mediator production: Dissociation between changes in cyclooxygenase-2 expression and eicosanoid synthesis,” was subject to an expression of concern in late 2017 “to inform readers that credible concerns have been raised.”

Related article:  Why the controversial—and retracted—paper linking vaccines and autism is one of the most cited papers of all time

In a statement to Retraction Watch, which we’ve made available here, Demasi and three of her co-authors, Michael J. James, Leslie G. Cleland, and Gillian Caughey, said that they respectfully disagree with the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) regarding an article published in the year 2003. The Authors stand by the veracity of the work and its conclusions which are unaffected.


Given the only choice offered was either voluntary withdrawal or retraction the Authors have chosen to force a retraction as a show of confidence in the work.

Read full, original post: Journal retracts paper by controversial Australian journalist

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