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List of retractions grows

It has been 10 years since German anesthesiologist Joachim Boldt was involved in one of the largest scientific misconduct scandals in history. Accused of fabricating the data behind dozens of scientific articles and conducting clinical trials without approval, he lost his job at a hospital in Ludwigshafen in 2010 and his title of professor at the University of Giessen the following year. Even today, the scandal continues. In 2020 alone, five more scientific papers authored by the German have been retracted, bringing the total to 105. This, however, is not even close to the record, according to the Retraction Watch website. Another anesthesiologist, Yoshitaka Fujii, who died in 2017 and published articles based on fraudulent data for two decades, takes first place with 183 retractions.

The most recent Boldt retractions relate to a series of literature reviews published between 2000 and 2010. The problem was that they cited some of the former researcher’s retracted papers. “Consequently, this has rendered the content of the review unreliable,” explained Giuseppe Citerio, editor in chief of the journal Intensive Care Medicine, referring to the retraction of an article by Boldt published in the year 2000. The list could yet grow longer. The journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, which retracted two Boldt articles in June, is still evaluating the content of a third, which was published in 2003 and has been cited 32 times.