Journal of Cell Science was made aware of issues with this paper by a reader. Fig. 1C contains data duplicated from a blot shown in fig. 4D of a paper the authors had previously published (Navarro-Lérida et al., 2004). Fig. 3A also contains data previously published in fig. 5A,B of Navarro-Lérida et al. (2004). After discussion with the corresponding author, Ignacio Rodríguez-Crespo, the journal referred this matter to Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). The UCM investigating committee reviewed replicate experiments provided to determine whether they supported the scientific results and conclusions. They concluded that: “…despite the inadmissible manipulation in the production of the figures, the results and conclusions of the paper seem ultimately supported by the original experiments…”.
The editorial policies of Journal of Cell Science state that: “Should an error appear in a published article that affects scientific meaning or author credibility but does not affect the overall results and conclusions of the paper, our policy is to publish a Correction…” and that a Retraction should be published when “…a published paper contain[s] one or more significant errors or inaccuracies that change the overall results and conclusions of the paper…”. We follow the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), which state: “Retraction should usually be reserved for publications that are so seriously flawed (for whatever reason) that their findings or conclusions should not be relied upon”. The standards of figure assembly and data presentation in this paper fall short of good scientific practice. However, given that the investigating committee at UCM decided that the conclusions of the paper were not affected by the errors, the appropriate course of action – according to COPE guidelines – is to publish a Correction, which the journal has made as detailed as possible.
In Fig. 1C, replicate data supporting the results were available from numerous separate experiments. The authors state that because no comparisons between protein concentrations were made and as the data in this panel are ‘all-or-none’ results (meaning that proteins either incorporate radioactive fatty acids or they do not), separate blots can be used to represent the individual experiments. Replicate data for the experiment shown in Fig. 3A were available. Both corrected figure panels are shown here.
The authors apologise to the journal and readers for these errors.
Journal of Cell Science refers readers to other Corrections related to the UCM investigation: