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It was not tricyanomethane, after all…

Tricyanomethane and its Salts with Nitrogen Bases: A Correction of Sixteen Reports: K. Banert, M. Hagedorn
Synlett 2019, 30, 1427–1430

Scientists are only human after all and are not immune to mistakes, but the good news is that science has the capacity to correct itself when something goes wrong. A further proof of that observation comes from a recent article published by the group of Professor Klaus Banert from the Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany). Tricyanomethane salts of a series of nitrogen compounds were successfully prepared and their spectroscopic properties compared to those described in a series of literature reports, evidencing that those previous structural assignments were wrong and that no tricyanomethane had actually been produced in those experiments. 

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Professor Banert said: “Our article demonstrates that the results, which were previously published within four years by a series of 17 papers in ten different journals, are obviously incorrect; consequently, the question arises whether something went wrong with the corresponding peer-review processes.” 

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