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DNA Barcoding Paper Retracted

A 2014 DNA barcoding paper was retracted following a co-author raising questions about the data, Science reports.

The paper, which appeared in Biodiversity and Conservation, ostensibly reported on using DNA barcoding to distinguish between plant species. But as Science notes, one of the paper's authors, Ken Thompson, who worked on the paper as an undergraduate with University of Guelph's Steven Newmaster, developed concerns about the data's validity. In particular, he said that the data was strikingly similar to another dataset, didn't support the paper's findings, and wasn't deposited as reported in GenBank, according to Science. It notes that he asked Guelph and the journal to investigate.

The paper, Science reports, has now been retracted, as the journal's investigation supported some of Thompson's suspicions. "Post-publication review of the article confirmed concerns with the data availability, and the validity of the data included in the article could not be confirmed," the retraction notice says.