Why I retracted my Nature paper: A guest post from David Vaux about correcting the scientific record

Retraction Watch

Last month, Ivan met David Vaux at the 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity in Montreal. David mentioned a retraction he published in Nature, and we thought it would be a great guest post on what it’s like to retract one of your own papers in an attempt to clean up the literature.

In September 1995 Nature asked me to review a manuscript by Bellgrau and co-workers, which subsequently appeared. I was very excited by this paper, as it showed that expression of CD95L on Sertoli cells in allogeneic mismatched testes tissue transplanted under the kidney capsule was able to induce apoptosis of invading cytotoxic T cells, thereby preventing rejection. As I wrote in a News and Views piece, the implications of these findings were enormous – grafts engineered to express CD95L would be able to prevent rejection without generalized immunosuppression.

In fact, I was so…

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2 thoughts on “Why I retracted my Nature paper: A guest post from David Vaux about correcting the scientific record

  1. As a scientist with a deep interest in bioethics, I was deeply concerned to find serious anomalies in a number of manuscripts by David Vaux. This is an individual that has clear ties with the industry creating severe conflicts of interests that he does not declare. As a self-proclaimed science police who attacks scientific publications as a vigilante, he is not in a position to author papers with figure manipulations. A picture is worth a thousand words, have a look at these 3 examples. There is more to come. Note that John Silke and David Vaux are common authors on these 3 papers.

    1. Clear manipulation in Figure 2A (PMID: 11604410). A square in upper right corner appears when image is color-inverted and contrasted.


    2. Another figure irregularity by the Silke & Vaux team. Look at lane 5 in Figure 2 (PMID: 14570909).


    3. Figure 5C (PMID: 11406588). Lack of noise and anomaly in pixel distribution.



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