Author caught fabricating HUGE number of scientific papers

A rare but shocking tale of retractions

A New Record for Retractions?

An investigating committee in Japan has concluded that a Japanese anesthesiologist, Yoshitaka Fujii, fabricated a whopping 172 papers over the past 19 years. Among other problems, the panel, set up by the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists, could find no records of patients and no evidence medication was ever administered.

“It is as if someone sat at a desk and wrote a novel about a research idea,” the committee wrote in a 29 June summary report posted in Japanese on the society’s Web site.

The fabrications could produce a record number of retractions by a single author if the journals, as seems likely, decide to retract the papers. ScienceInsider was unable to reach Fujii, who had asked the society not to provide the media with his contact information.

Fujii’s findings have been under a cloud since 8 March when an analysis in the journal Anaesthesia raised questions about his data. On 9 April, 23 journal editors publicly asked seven Japanese institutions named in the papers to investigate. The anesthesiology society took on the task because “it would have been difficult for any one institution to clarify what happened,” says Koji Sumikawa, an anesthesiologist at Nagasaki University who headed the investigation.

Source: Science Insider

Wow, guess we can call him a pathological fabricator. The investigation concluded that Fujii tried to hide what he was doing, even from his co-authors, some of whom were unaware they were even included as co-authors. He deliberately changed times and places in the papers. His large record of publications was used to land new jobs, obtain public research funding, and to get fees for speaking events. Oddly, another anesthesiologist, Joachim Boldt, held the distinction of previously having the most retractions—about 90. The same journal was responsible for scrutiny of Boldt’s scientific record. What’s going on in this field?

You know, every field has fraud. Science does too but it’s RARE because you have a large chance of getting caught. Scientists are normally suspicious and skeptical of things that don’t look quite right. It is more often than not, self correcting. So, this fraud case is noteworthy because of the rarity and the impact it will have on others to NOT try to pull this garbage.