A Japanese anesthesiologist is likely to clinch the world record for most retractions by a single author after a panel found that he fabricated 172 papers over the last 19 years, Science reports.
An investigation of 212 of Yoshitaka Fujii’s 249 published papers found that he had invented patients, forged evidence that medication was administered, and signed on as co-authors other scientists who had no idea they were affiliated with his research. …
If the journals that published Fujii’s papers decide to retract them, which is likely, the Japanese scientist will clinch the world record for most retractions with nearly double the previous record-holder, German anesthesiologist Joachim Boldt, who fabricated 90.
Elizabeth Hewitt, “Japanese Scientist Fabricated 172 Articles“, Slate Magazine, 3 July 2012.
Details are in a Science article cited by Ms Hewitt:
[Yoshitaka] Fujii started falsifying data in 1993 and found a pattern of fabrication that stretched through his successive stints at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, the University of Tsukuba, and Toho University in Tokyo. ….
Despite the low impact of the work, Fujii apparently used his high productivity to land new jobs, obtain public research funding, and garner fees for speaking at industry seminars …. He even applied for prizes offered by the [anesthesiology] society, although he was never chosen.
Dennis Normile, “A New Record for Retractions?“, ScienceInsider, 2 July 2012.
This confirms what I have long suspected. Many supposedly peer-reviewed papers accepted by academic journals are never read, not even by co-authors or by peer reviewers!