On the basis of the recommendation of the American Diabetes Association’s Panel on Ethical Scientific Programs (ESP), the American Diabetes Association, the publisher of Diabetes, is issuing this expression of concern to alert readers to questions about the reliability of the data in the above-cited article.
After readers of the journal contacted Diabetes about potentially duplicated images in the article, the ESP reviewed the following issues:
The autoradiograph in Fig. 4B and the IRS1 blot in Fig. 7C appear to be identical images that contain the following duplicate lanes:
∘ Lane 2 appears to be a duplicate of lanes 3, 5, and 6, with horizontal rotation.
∘ Lane 4 appears to be a duplicate of lane 7.
∘ Lane 11 appears to be a duplicate of lane 12.
The Panel contacted the corresponding author to inform him of these concerns and to request an explanation. Replying on behalf of all of the authors, the corresponding author explained that panel A of Fig. 7C was inadvertently inserted in Fig. 4B during the assembly of the figures. The author proposed publishing an erratum to correct the image shown for Fig. 4B, and he provided the original autoradiograph for the correct blot for Fig. 4B.
The author also stated that the bands in Fig. 7C had not been repositioned or duplicated. To support the reliability of the data, he provided original autoradiographs of duplicate experiments performed in both muscle and liver cells. However, the ESP considered the author's provision to be inconclusive, and because the authors were not able to provide the original data for Fig. 7C, the ESP's initial concerns about the reliability of the data presented in the paper were not sufficiently allayed. Therefore, the Panel has contacted the corresponding author's institution, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy, to request an institutional investigation of the issues cited above. Diabetes will make a final decision on the publication status of this article after the journal obtains more information on the reliability of the data and conclusions presented in the article.
Diabetes is a member journal of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (publicationethics.org). As such, the editors of the journal and the ESP refer to COPE’s guidelines and recommendations when reviewing such matters.