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The thin ret(raction) line: biomedical journal responses to incorrect non-targeting nucleotide sequence reagents in human gene knockdown publications

Jennifer Byrne 1, * Yasunori Park 1 Rachael West 1, 2 Amanda Capes-Davis 1, 2 Bertrand Favier 3, 4 Guillaume Cabanac 5, 6 Cyril Labbé 7
* Corresponding author
4 TIMC-GREPI - Groupe de Recherche et d’Étude du Processus Inflammatoire
TIMC - Translational Innovation in Medicine and Complexity / Recherche Translationnelle et Innovation en Médecine et Complexité - UMR 5525 : EA2938
5 IRIT-IRIS - Recherche d’Information et Synthèse d’Information
IRIT - Institut de recherche en informatique de Toulouse
Abstract : The capacity of the scientific literature to self-correct is of vital importance, but few studies have compared post-publication journal responses to specific error types. We have compared journal responses to a specific reagent error in 31 human gene knockdown publications, namely a non-targeting or negative control nucleotide sequence that is instead predicted to target a human gene. The 31 papers published by 13 biomedical journals generated 26 published responses (14 retractions, 5 expressions of concern, 7 author corrections which included one resolved expression of concern) as well as 6 stated decisions to take no action. Variations in published responses were noted both between journals and by 4 journals that published different responses to at least 2 papers. A subset of published responses revealed conflicting explanations for the wrongly identified control reagent, despite 30/31 papers obtaining their gene knockdown reagents from the same external supplier. Viewed collectively, different journal responses to human gene knockdown publications with a common reagent error type suggest that editorial staff require more support to interpret post-publication notifications of incorrect nucleotide sequence reagents. We propose a draft template to facilitate the communication, interpretation and investigation of published errors, including errors affecting research reagents.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03155496
Contributor : Guillaume Cabanac Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, March 1, 2021 - 9:34:07 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 5:09:30 AM

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Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Jennifer Byrne, Yasunori Park, Rachael West, Amanda Capes-Davis, Bertrand Favier, et al.. The thin ret(raction) line: biomedical journal responses to incorrect non-targeting nucleotide sequence reagents in human gene knockdown publications. Scientometrics, Springer Verlag, 2021, 126 (4), pp.3513-3534. ⟨10.1007/s11192-021-03871-9⟩. ⟨hal-03155496⟩

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