Sultans of swap: List of plagiarized papers grows to include BMJ

Although some readers evidently have yawned at revelations that Vahdettin Bayazit, of Alparslan University in Turkey (and, we are tempted to assume, at least a few of his co-authors) appears to have plagiarized wantonly in numerous published articles, one follower of Retraction Watch was on to this case even before we were.

In an e-mail, the tipster laid out a picture of intellectual dishonesty audacious for both its scope and ham-handedness. The researcher, who wanted to remain anonymous, used Google to detect instances of plagiarism, just as we had, coming up with “more than 10” papers with passages stolen from the scientific literature and even Wikipedia, including not only lifted text but figures, too. And, just as in our case, the editors our source contacted about the misconduct have essentially ignored it.

We confess that we’re puzzled by the attitude that a little plagiarism is no big deal. As physician Andrew Burd writes in the BMJ today:

In the meantime a message to authors: Have respect for what you are doing and do not plagiarise in any way. Most specifically this relates to a simple rule, do not “cut and paste” when writing a paper, any paper.

Although we agree with that sentiment, Burd puts his publisher in a tricky spot. Thanks to our source, we’ve learned that one of Bayazit’s papers victimized BMJ.

Item:

Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, 2009. Vol. 5, Issue 2: 466 – 474. “Effects of sweet gum balsam (Luqidambar orientalis ), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), iron chelator (desferrixoxamine) and fructose 1,6-di phosphate (FDP) on cholesterol and triglyceride levels in cerebral ischemic areas after a stroke in female rabbits (Lepus capensis).”

Iron overload is a potentially fatal disorder, damaging the heart, liver, and other organs. It may be due to repeated blood transfusions or increased gastrointestinal absorption of iron, or both-as occurs in the fi thalassaemias. In patients given regular transfusions signs of organ damage become apparent when around 50-100 units of red blood cells have been given and that time about 10-20 g of extra storage iron has been introduced into the body, six to 13 times the amount stored in normal people. Patients withprimary haemochromatosis absorb excess iron from the diet.

BMJ 1991;303:1279-1280:

Iron overload is a potentially fatal disorder, damaging the heart, liver, and other organs. It may be due to repeated blood transfusions or increased gastrointestinal absorption of iron, or both-as occurs in the fi thalassaemias. In patients given regular transfusions signs of organ damage (secondary haemochromatosis) become apparent when around 50-100 units of red blood cells have been given: at that time about 10-20 g of extra storage iron has been introduced into the body, six to 13 times the amount stored in normal people. Patients with primary haemochromatosis absorb excess iron from the diet.

We asked Fiona Godlee, BMJ‘s top editor, about these passages and whether she intended to pursue the matter. We’ll update this post when we receive a reply.

One thought on “Sultans of swap: List of plagiarized papers grows to include BMJ”

  1. As I wrote already in a previous comment, I find that plagiarism is a big deal indeed, and I am always astonished by comments such as: “oh, it is not their mother tongue, poor guys they did not want to harm anyone..”. Integrity comes as a package, you either behave properly on any level and aspect, or you don’t.
    And from verbatim text to copied figures and plagiarized data there is not a big jump. So I would not trust someone that copy and paste text in papers. This person is sloppy scientist, how likely is that he/she is going to or did worst?

Leave a Reply to Ph Starck Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.