In an article published on May 2, 2017 by the peer-reviewed journal Nature, journalist Daniel Cressey informs about the retraction of a scientific study on the effects of microplastic particles on fish. The study was published in June 2016 in the peer-reviewed journal Science and conducted by researchers Oona M. Lönnstedt and Peter Eklöv from Uppsala University, Sweden (FPF reported). An investigation by an expert group of Sweden’s Central Ethical Review Board found the study’s authors “guilty of scientific dishonesty,” Cressey reports. The expert panel’s allegations include absence of the study’s raw data, lack of ethical approval for the conducted animal experiments, and thus “suspicion that the research was not conducted, at least not to the reported extent.” Even though the authors disagree with the expert panel’s findings, they have decided to retract their publication, Cressey noted. On May 3, 2017 Science editor in chief, Jeremy Berg, published the retraction of the paper.
Already in December 2016, Jeremy Berg published an expression of concern informing that the study’s authors “have notified Science of the theft of the computer on which the raw data for the paper were stored” and that the data “were not backed up on any other device nor deposited in an appropriate repository.” Therefore, no further data of the study could be made available “to enable readers to understand, assess, reproduce, or extend the conclusions of the paper.”
Daniel Cressey (May 2, 2017). “Controversial microplastics study to be retracted.” Nature
Jeremy Berg (May 3, 2017). “Editorial retraction.” Science
Jeremy Berg (December 9, 2016). “Editorial expression of concern.” Science 354(6317):1242.