The scientific journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental announced the retraction of three articles that were signed by Portuguese chemist Rodrigo Lopes, a postdoctoral researcher at the Chemical Process Engineering and Forest Products Research Centre of the University of Coimbra from 2010 to 2013. In two of the articles, Lopes is accused of having invented names of co-authors supposedly affiliated with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Their existence was not confirmed by that United States institution. As for the third article, it was canceled because of falsification of results: the paper contains data that could not have been produced by Lopes because he did not have the equipment needed to obtain them in the laboratory where he was working.
The journal was not the first to have problems with that chemist. He had two articles retracted by the Chemical Engineering Journal, one in Chemical Engineering Science and one in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, because of fabrication of data, attribution of authorship to a researcher who did not participate in the study, and plagiarism of figures. According to Rosa Quinta-Ferreira, a professor at the University of Coimbra with whom Lopes worked, an internal investigation has been opened into the conduct of the researcher. The case was also forwarded to the Public Prosecutor for investigation of crimes. Retraction Watch website tried to contact Lopes through his personal e-mail address, but the account had been deactivated.Republish