Crystallography Horror Museum

Structures not in COD (Crystallography Open Database) because they are crazy

Note that sometimes the same figures can be found in several horrors (!)

Find the case discussed at Retraction Watch

Currently 17 Horrors in the Museum

(A. Le Bail, 2020)

Horror N°1 with interatomic distances U-U = Zr-Zr = Pb-Pb = O-O = 1.855(11) Å (!), same Rietveld fit as Horror 2, same SEM image as Horrors 6, 7, 8.

"Pb0.5 U0.25 Zr1.25 O4.5"

Horror N°2 - Same powder pattern and dielectric constant as Horror N°1 (!)

"La1.26 Zr0.25 Na2.5 N0.24 O2.54"

The powder pattern appearing in H1 and H2 was stolen from :

And about figure 5 in H1, stolen also, from another paper, and slightly distorted for not being recognized :


Horror N°3 - Two different powder patterns for the same compound - Same Rietveld fit as Horrors 4 and 5, stolen in a 2006 paper

"Bi0.5 Mn0.64 Mo1.5 O 0.41"

Horror N°4 - Two different powder patterns for the same compound - Same Rietveld fit as Horrors 3 and 5, stolen in a 2006 paper


Horror N°5 - Two different powder patterns for the same compound - Same Rietveld fit as Horrors 3 and 4, stolen in a 2006 paper

"Bi0.5 Mn0.125 Mo0.5 O0.67 U0.32"

From where that stolen Rietveld fit ?

Horror N°6 - Same dielectric constant as Horror 1 and same SEM figures as Horrors 1, 7 and 8

"Cu0.45 Mo1.25 O9 V2.33"

Horror N°7 - Two different powder patterns but same as Horror 8, same SEM figures as Horrors 1, 6 and 8

"Bi1.25 V0.123 Ca0.245 N1.24 O8"

Horror N°8 - Two different powder patterns, but same as Horror 7, same SEM figures as Horrors 1, 6 and 7

Cd0.54 La2.5 Pb1.25 N0.51 O0.25

Horror N°9 -

Bi0.245 Pb2.352 U1.25 Zr0.8 O4.5

Horror N°10 -

"Bi2.5 Cd3.125 La1.25 N0.25 O1.25"

Horror N°11 -

"Bi1.52 Co2.52 Zr0.751 N0.641 O8.12"

Horror N°12 -

"Bi1. 256 La0. 53 N0. 231 O0. 521 Zr1. 543"

Horror N°13 -

Zn0.61 Pb0.91 Zr0.138

Horror N°14 -

Bi1.752 La0.123 Sn2.312

Horror N°15 - Two different powder patterns for the same compound, the Rietveld fit is the same as Horror 14, Dielectric figure reappearing, etc

"Bi2.5 Co0.25 La1.75 N0.21 Cl5 O0.25"

The paper does not contain interatomic distances, only angles. But if you calculate them, they are quite funny... :

Bi1 La1 0.7776(13)
Bi1 Co2 0.8619(14)
Bi1 Co4 1.1088(18)
Bi1 Cl2 1.237(2)
La1 Co2 1.495(2)
La1 Co4 1.335(2)
La1 Cl2 0.9116(15)
Co1 Co8 1.1301(19)
Co1 Co9 0.8741(15)
Co1 Co10 0.7649(13)
Co1 Co13 0.7950(13)
Co3 Co7 0.9439(16)
Co3 Co11 0.9735(16)
Co3 Co12 0.8207(14)
Co3 Co14 1.440(2)
Co3 Cl3 1.375(2)
Co3 O3 1.590(3)
Co3 Co5 0.9443(16)
Co3 Co6 0.8263(14)
Co3 Cl1 0.9626(16)
Co3 Cl4 1.565(3)
Co3 Cl5 1.762(3)
Co4 Cl2 1.796(3)
Co4 Cl2 2.573(4)
Co4 Cl3 2.192(4)
Co4 O3 1.362(2)
Co5 Co6 1.1069(18)
Co5 Cl1 0.8730(15)
Co5 Cl4 0.8286(14)
Co5 Cl5 1.0216(17)
Co5 Co7 0.8939(15)
Co5 Co11 1.750(3)
Co5 Co12 1.735(3)
Co5 Co14 1.0113(17)
Co6 Cl1 0.6636(11)
Co6 Cl2 2.592(4)
Co6 Cl4 1.245(2)
Co6 Cl5 1.491(2)
Co6 Co7 0.6818(11)
Co6 Co11 0.9041(15)
Co6 Co12 1.399(2)
Co6 Co14 1.516(3)
Co6 Cl2 2.619(4)
Co7 Co11 1.193(2)
Co7 Co12 1.533(3)
Co7 Co14 0.8621(14)
Co7 Cl3 1.983(3)
Co7 O3 1.748(3)
Co7 Cl1 1.0523(17)
Co7 Cl4 0.9510(16)
Co7 Cl5 1.0443(17)
Co8 Co9 1.319(2)
Co8 Co10 1.0974(18)
Co8 Co13 0.8232(14)
Co8 O1 1.471(2)
Co8 O2 1.383(2)
Co9 Co10 1.1025(18)
Co9 Co13 0.8886(15)
Co9 O2 1.0015(17)
Co10 Co13 1.268(2)
Co10 O1 2.102(3)
Co10 O2 1.860(3)
Co10 N3 1.493(2)
Co11 Co12 0.8652(14)
Co11 Co14 1.910(3)
Co11 Cl2 2.090(3)
Co11 Cl3 0.9201(15)
Co11 O3 0.8550(14)
Co11 N4 2.506(4)
Co11 Cl1 1.463(2)
Co11 Cl4 2.055(3)
Co12 Co14 1.974(3)
More crazy than that paper you die......

Horror N°16 - Impossibly short cell parameter a = 2.04 Å

Cd0.21 Zr2.54 Pb1.251 N0.551 O0.561

Horror N°17 - Seems to be the mother of all - published in 2011. It contains 2 figures reused 9 years later in Horrors 2 and 14. The structure is crazy, with of course crazy interatomic distances.


The AFM picture below id reused in Horror 2 nine years later :

The SEM micrograph below is reused in Horror 14, nine years later :

The crystal structure drawing provides deconnected sheets of nonsense :

The interatomic distances calculated from the atomic coordinates are simply crazy :

 Bi1     Bi2          1.4197         
 Bi1     Bi1          1.2644      
 Bi1     Ca           2.1225       
 Bi2     O4           2.1780      
 Bi2     Ca           1.0756         
 Bi2     O4           2.0608      
 Ca      O4           2.0023      
 Mg      O2           1.5170    
 Mg      O1           1.5183     
 Mg      O3             2(3)        
 Mg      O3             1(3)        
 O2      O3             1(4)          
 O2      O2           1.6404       

The powder pattern below calculated from the atomic coordinates does not correspond at all to the pattern shown in the paper :

Finally, the powder pattern shown in the paper was identified, stolen in one of the papers listed in references :

How the disclosure of the concerned papers started

As a researcher concerned by his own work I receive alerts from Google Scholar when my papers are cited by other researchers. That time, the paper citing me had the title « Synthesis and structure determination of novel mixed valence Pb 0.5U0.25Zr1.25O4.5 by powder XRD obtained from PbCO3-U(CO3)Zr(CO3)2 ternary mixed valence oxides. » [1] The methodology (XRD, Rietveld method) being my main specialty this was enough for me to have a look inside of the paper which was in open access at ResearchGate. It was a kind of shock. The triclinic crystal structure described in the abstract has two cell parameters less than 2 Å (a = 1.855 Å, b = 1.1937 Å, c = 8.8785 Å, α = 90.1230°, β = 94.2069°, γ = 91.2743°) though in Table 1 only one parameter stayed below 2 Å and changed occured also on the angles (a = 1.855 Å, b = 8.1937 Å, c = 8.8785 Å, α = 94.2069°, β = 91.2574°, γ = 91.7243°) ! The Rietveld fit looked nice on Fig. 1, indexing was said to be obtained with the help of TREOR in the CRYSFIRE software, giving an orthorhombic cell (so, not triclinic !), and SIRPOW92 was used to solve the structure (that software extracts the structure factors from the powder pattern by the Le Bail method and then applies Patterson and/or direct methods) in the Pcnb space group. The final Rietveld refinement was said to be performed by using GSAS though surprisingly the Rietveld plot drawing was characteristic of the use of FULPROF/WINPLOTR. Later in the text, the story is changing completely and it is said « The initial structure model was obtained using a charge flipping algorithm with the program Superflip.8. Random phases were used at the beginning of the charge-flipping iteration, and overlapping peaks were re-partitioned using a histogram match to improve the convergence. The iteration converged with an R factor of 29% and the final electron density shows a P-1 symmetry with a 5% error. The program of EDMA was then used to automatically assign atomic positions. Four unique heavy atomic positions were found and the heaviest one was assigned as Zr while the others were considered as Zr and U. Due to the existence of heavy atoms, all oxygen positions were ambiguous in the electron density map of this stage. To locate the oxygen atoms, a Monte-Carlo based simulated annealing process with the program TOPAS was applied. For each annealing process, various atomic coordinates were randomly assigned as the initial positions of the oxygen atoms. The annealing process was restarted after finding a few oxygen positions, until all oxygen positions were found to be reasonable. » For an expert in the field of SDPD (Structure Determination by Powder Diffractometry) all this is completely foolish. Adding the fact that we have all these atoms at less than 2 Å from each others, including Uranium, and that there is no charge equilibrium in the chemical formula (6+ and 9-), then this was enough for me and I sent a comment to the author through the ResearchGate system where I saw that many other papers of that kind were listed.

8 October 2020 comment : « You are crazy... A cell parameters as short as 1.855 Å implies that all atoms have a same type atom neighbour at 1.855 Å apart. So, Pb-Pb = Zr-Zr = O-O = U-U = 1.855 Å ! Well, you should stop pretending being an expert in structure determination from powder diffraction data. I suggest you an immediate retirement. Shame on you ! »

There was an answer from Kristian Sugiyarto :

« I think we only be able to identify the suitable space group, then cell parameters. If you have crystal structure from single crystal you may compare the parameters. That's all.

I want to get suggestion from Prof Le Bail, what R values (Rexp, Rp, Rwp, GOF, Bragg R factor) are allowed for considering an acceptable refinement? »

My answer was :

« Obtaining low R values is always possible if you do not care with the usual crystal chemistry, (classic interatomic distances) even with an incorrect cell and space group. This is the case here. The cell is false but you can obtain a good fit by adding a certain number of atoms at wrong positions... An acceptable refinement should first correspond to a structural model making sense. And U-U distances of 1.8 A is nonsense. I have proposed Parashuram Mishra as candidate for an IgNobel but with the hope that he will not be retained since his "crystal structure determinations" are just crazy due to incompetency. None would pass an examination by referees. The fact is that there is no peer review in predatory journals, then you can publish pure nonsense. »

I obtained no reaction at all from the author himself. Then I started a public discussion on Twitter and various crystallography Facebook groups.

October 6, 2020

« No-no-no, please do not deposit that into the COD : »

October 8

“An oxide with a cell parameter as short as 1.855 A ! This is what you can publish in predatory journals”

As soon as October 8, 2020, I wrote an email to the Tribhuvan University, M.M.A.M. Campus, Biratnagar, Nepal :

Strange scientific papers from your University describing impossible things

Jeudi, Octobre 08, 2020 17:22 CEST

From : Armel le Bail

To :

An oxide with a cell parameter as short as 1.855 A ! This is what is published in a predatory journal from a Prof. in your university. See :

This denotes full absence of competence... And there are several recent papers as fool as that one !
See :
Best wishes anyway.
Armel Le Bail

October 18 – that time this is a paper from Kristian Sugiyarto which is discussed at twitter :

« Is it possible to get a nice whole powder pattern fit by either the Pawley or the Le Bail method starting from a large (and false) triclinic cell ? Yes.. »


Much later, Another paper of the same kind was published, I received a new Google Scholar alert,  and it became evident that incompetency did not explained all. The latest published paper contained the same Rietveld plot but for another compound just as foolish as the previous one La1.26Zr0.25Na2.5N0.24O2.54, triclinic as well [2] !

So then we were now facing deliberate fraud. The fact was discussed at Twitter :

December 1, 2020

« That is enough ! Who can stop it ? Two papers, same powder pattern, almost same text, different formula and two impossible structures ! Many other crazy examples. Any powerful International Union of Crystallography somewhere ? »

Then another such case of same figure reused in two different older papers from the same authors was discovered by a participant at Twitter [3, 4].


Searching more, I could find that this second figure was indeed reused another time in a third paper from the same authors [5]. Then I searched if I could find other reusings by a search at Google using the image. The original paper in which the image was stolen appeared to be dated 2006 [6], with no common author.

Then I started to send comments at PubPeer on several papers that could be identified by a DOI. Commenting there supposes to provide the email of the authors which are then informed. No answer from the authors received yet.

A text was sent to the Kathmandu Post

by the Facebook Messenger way :

« You may be interested in a starting controversy about some published papers from P. Mishra discussed at PubPeer indicating fraud :


No answer…

More searchs by images on Google Scolar could show that other figures are reused up to four times in different papers with Parashuram Mishra as main author, for instance that figure :

See the discussion especially at the « Crystallography Open Database » Facebook group :

The exactly same figure is found three times in papers [1-2] and [7], for completely different compounds.

A SEM same figure but sometimes more or less elongated is found four times in papers [1] and [7-9] for different chemical compositions :


Also, same Rietveld plot for papers [8] and [9], not sure to what it corresponds exactly :

Other compounds with improbable formula are described from powder diffraction studies in similar way : Bi0.245Pb2.351U1.25Zr0.8O4.5 [10], Bi2.5Cd3.125La1.25N0.25O1.25 [11], Bi1.52Co2.52Zr0.751N0.641O8.12 [12], Bi1.256La0.53N0.231O0.521Zr1.543 [13], Zn0.61Pb0.91Zr0.130 [14]. A comment about the last, the following text inside brings a serious doubt about its credibility level : " The diffraction spots from powder crystal data were indexed in primitive hexagonal crystal system with the Laue group m3m. The non-centrosymmetric space group P 63/m c m (193) was chosen based on the Laue symmetry and condition of systematic absences." There are two basic crystallography misunderstandings since P63/mcm is centrosymmetric and the Laue group m3m corresponds to cubic.


Adding my point of view about these thirteen structure determinations of inorganic compounds from powder diffraction data by P. Mishra, since this is my specialty :

1 - None would pass a CHECKCIF test, especially that uranium-lead-zirconium oxide compound having a cell parameter a <2 A which the PLATON software refuses to read because of that (U-U interatomic distance < 2 A !!).

2- All these structures are impossible ones because they are based on a false cell (generally a large triclinic one). No figure of merit is given for the indexing step.

3- The false large cell is able to produce a seemingly correct Le Bail fit due to an extremely large number of peaks so that there is always enough possibilities of false peaks at every angle of the powder pattern, then a pseudo fit is obtained.

4- from the extracted intensities, structure solution in direct space (or else) will produce a list of atoms having not any sense. But P. Mishra does not care about nonsense and take the software proposals as correct !

5- Then, no table of interatomic distance is provided, this would be too frightening and crazy, only long table of angles are given, sometimes several pages long. The structure drawings look all insane.

6- A dozen of such crazy structures are already "published". It would be better to stop such a demonstration of full incompetency.


All these thirteen structures were published in 2020. And what about the years before ? There are a lot of other PXRD works, molecular modelling, on organometallic compounds, cell parameters provided, no atomic coordinates available, but tables of interatomic distances are sometimes shown in which impossible values are found. So, again, very probably the same kind of structure determination starting from a wrong (generally triclinic) cell was applied. The list is too long to be given here. A systematic search about figures reusing was not undertaken.

Some comments made at PubPeer on a few papers :

[15] The impossible bond lengths indicate big problems in the structure determinations from powder data. Most probably the cell parameters were wrong but still used leading to incoherent results : O(58)-Co(59) 1.059 Å      O(60)-Co(59) 1.215 Å       O(15)-Co(59) 1.197 Å

[16] Finding strange sentences in that paper, for example : "tetragonal crystal system with p3 space group" (!!!) Strange bond lengths (A) : O(59)-Co(32) 0.6801 Å   O(39)-Co(32) 1.1215 Å    N(45)-Cu(59) 1.3338  Å   N(16)-Cu(59) 1.3396 Å. Crystal structures from powder data, only one powder pattern shown from which it is hard to believe any correct indexing.

[17] Seriously ? A so short Cu-N interatomic distance of N(12)–Cu(15) : 1.3443 Å ? From never shown powder diffraction patterns indexed in triclinic ? No...

[18] Pretending having solved such a complex triclinic crystal structure from that powder diffraction pattern is simply impossible. "a = 6.753 Å, b = 13.904 Å, c = 20.122 Å, α = 142.76°, β = 106.580° and γ = 72.4343°." Indexing itself is obviously wrong.

MORE if you wish (I think to a total of > 50 crazy papers)

These papers are now built in an industrial way, two per month or more !



[1] B. K. Kanth and P. Mishra, Int. J. Res. Appl. Nat. Sci. 6 (2020) 1-21.

[2] B. K. Kanth and P. Mishra, World J. Adv. Res. Rev. 8 (2020) 131-140.

[3] B. K. Kanth and P. Mishra, Intl. J. Envir. Sci. 9 (2020) 56-59.

[4] R. K. Dev and P. Mishra, Global Scientific Journals (GSJ) 8 (2020) 548-563.

[5] P. Mishra, Int. Ref. J. Eng. Sci. (IRJES) 9 (2020) 18-24.

[6] T. E. Weirich, J. Portillo, G. Cox, H. Hibst, S. Nicolopoulos, Ultramicroscopy 106 (2008) 164-175.

[7] B. K. Kanth and P. Mishra, Int. J. Eng. Sci. 10 (2020) 58-68.

[8] R. K. Dev and P. Mishra, World J. Adv. Res. Rev. 7 (2020) 142-154.

[9] Y. R. Sahu, R. K. Dev , K. Mishra and P. Mishra, Int. J. Eng. Sci. 10 (2020) 20-30.

[10] B. K. Kanth and P. Mishra, Int. Ref. J. Eng. Sci. (IRJES) 9 (2020) 41-48.

[11] R. K. Dev, Y. R. Sahu, K Mishra and P. Mishra, IEEE-SEM 8 (2020) 225-236.

[12]Y. R. Sahu and P. Mishra, Sch. Int. J. Chem. Mat. Sci. 3 (2020) 99-108.

[13] B. K. Kanth and P. Mishra, Sch. Int. J. Chem. Mat. Sci. 3 (2020) 1-6.

[14] J. Adhikari, H. Mishra and P. Mishra, World J. Adv. Res. Rev. 8 (2020) 330-339.

[15] N. K. Chaudhary and P. Mishra, Int. Res. J. Pure & Appl. Chem. 7 (2015) 165-180.

[16] N. K. Chaudhary and P. Mishra, J. Saudi Chem. Soc. 22 (2018) 601-613.

[17] B. K. Singh, P. Mishra, A. Prakash and N. Bhojak, Arabian J. Chem. 10 (2017) S472-S483.

[18] N. K. Chaudhary and P. Mishra, Journal of Chemistry 2015 (2015) 1-12.

Comparison of texts using Copyleaks (% of similarity) :

        H2    H3    H4    H5    H6    H7    H8    H9   H10    H11    H12   H13   H14    H15    H16    H17
H1   32.4  16.5  13.3  17.8  41.7  14.3  13.9   7.2    6.1     17.9     4.2     1.6     0.6     27.6     15.4      7.2
H2            16.8  17.9  26.2  35.1  26.6  24.6  14.2  10.9    23.0     9.0     2.9     1.1     33.6     27.0    14.7
H3                     13.1  17.7  34.2  24.3  18.4    3.8  38.2    13.2     2.9     0.6     1.0     17.0     18.5      0.7
H4                              23.6  18.6  15.5  17.2   11.7   3.0    17.8    10.9    2.5     0.8     20.0     18.0      4.0
H5                                       43.6  22.0  24.9   20.1 10.2    33.8    13.2    3.0     0.8     32.7     44.6    10.2
H6                                                18.1  18.9   15.7   9.1    17.6    10.2    2.0     1.1     40.7     26.7      5.1
H7                                                         71.7     6.2   9.8    26.4     7.2     3.0     0.7     17.6     13.3      2.6
H8                                                                     8.3   9.8    28.3     8.9     1.4     0.1     19.5     11.9      3.4
H9                                                                             3.6    19.0     7.6     2.4     1.2     13.0     34.0      4.8
H10                                                                                    11.4     2.2     1.5     1.6     14.1     11.0      0.7
H11                                                                                                7.1    16.0    1.6     16.0     19.4
H12                                                                                                           6.4    4.0     18.3     12.8
H13                                                                                                                   11.3      5.4       3.4
H14                                                                                                                                1.4       3.8
H15                                                                                                                                           16.3
H16                                                                                                                                                       6.1

Best match below :

Comparison of H7 and H8 texts, 71.7% match...:

Comparison of H5 and H16 texts, 44,6% match...:

Comparison of H5 and H6 texts, 43,6% match...:

Comparison of H1 and H2 texts, 32,4% match...:

My comment at the end :

I feel a bit disappointed by the fact that only 11 of the 17 papers listed in the Crystallography Horror Museum were retained for scientific misconduct by the decision of the Tribhuvan University Executive Council. Only the multiple reusing of figures, some of them stolen from other papers, was considered. I think that I was not able to identify all the stolen figures... Those I could identify were in papers listed in references (the authors gave themselves the key for being confused) ! Moreover, the fact that all the 17 papers are so obviously breaking the crystallography elementary rules (for instances by showing impossibly short interatomic distances) was not considered as a scientific misconduct.The fact is that with such a level of incompetency, the authors are not scientists, certainly not crystallographers, they are crooks... And none of these papers was scrutinized by a decent reviewer otherwise they would have been all rejected.