Nature has retracted a controversial paper1 claiming the discovery of a superconductor — a material that carries electrical currents with zero resistance — capable of operating at room temperature and relatively low pressure.

The text of the retraction notice states that it was requested by eight co-authors. “They have expressed the view as researchers who contributed to the work that the published paper does not accurately reflect the provenance of the investigated materials, the experimental measurements undertaken and the data-processing protocols applied,” it says, adding that these co-authors “have concluded that these issues undermine the integrity of the published paper”. (The Nature news team is independent from its journals team.)

It is the third high-profile retraction of a paper by the two lead authors, physicists Ranga Dias at the University of Rochester in New York and Ashkan Salamat at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Nature withdrew a separate paper last year2 and Physical Review Letters retracted one this August3. It spells more trouble in particular for Dias, whom some researchers allege plagiarized portions of his PhD thesis. Dias has objected to the first two retractions and not responded regarding the latest. Salamat approved the two this year.

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