November 28, 2022

Japanese doctor smashes world record for bogus research

Japanese anesthesiologist Yoshitaka Fujii, a 52-year-old at Toho University, has eclipsed all contenders for the record of most scientific papers retracted.

Something new for the Guinness Book of World Records. Japanese anesthesiologist Yoshitaka Fujii, a 52-year-old at Toho University, has eclipsed all contenders for the record of most scientific papers retracted. Investigators believe that the expert in postoperative nausea and vomiting fabricated results in at least 172 published studies. This is nearly double the number of the previous record-holder, another anesthesiologist, Joachim Boldt, a German. Most of his had been withdrawn because he had failed to obtain ethics approval.

The wonderfully informative blog Retraction Watch points out that 3 anesthesiologists – Fujii, Boldt, and an American, Scott Reuben – account for 13% of all papers retracted since 1970. 

All but one of Fujii’s co-authors were unaware of his misconduct. In many cases, he included them as authors without telling them and even forged their signatures. However, the latest news comes 12 years after questions were first raised about the validity of his work. 

Michael Cook
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research misconduct