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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Korean ENT journal retracts 17 papers, citing ‘overlap’

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A Mongolian gerbil (from EdShal on flickr) http://www.flickr.com/photos/21507874@N07/2469088105

The Korean Journal of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery has retracted 17 papers, with the common theme of ‘overlap’ — almost always a euphemism for plagiarism, whether self or otherwise.

Published between 1993 and 2006, the articles came from a group of authors at the department of otolaryngology at Ajou University School of Medicine in Suwon, South Korea. Their topics range from “The Effects of Intratympanic Steroid Injection for the Patients with Refractory Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss” to “Study for Reversibility of Experimental Cholesteatoma Using Mongolian Gerbil.”

The retraction notices all read basically the same way. Here’s the one for the gerbil paper:

The following original article from Korean Journal of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, “Study for Reversibility of Experimental Cholesteatoma Using Mongolian Gerbils” by Keehyun Park, published on May 2003 has been withdrawn from publication by agreement among the authors, the journal Editor, Sung Won Chae, and the publisher ML communications Co., Ltd. The retraction has been agreed due to substantial overlap of the content of this article with previously published one. The author and the Journal apologize to readers.

Park, whose name appears on each of the articles, is apparently something of an international figure in the otolaryngology — aka ear, nose, and throat, or ENT — world. According to promotional material on the department’s website, in 2009 he helped convene the

6th Extraordinary International Symposium on Recent Advances in Otitis Media’ which was a great success. Enthusiastic and interesting discussions were brought together from participants all over the world. We thank all the doctors, professors, and attendees who contributed to this international conference.

Yun-Hoon Choung, the department head, according to the website, is a co-author on 10 of the studies, too. We’ve tried to contact both Choung and Park, and will update with anything we hear back.

We don’t yet know enough about this case to say with any certainty what happened — was the “overlap” from the authors’ own published work or that of other groups, for example. Nor can we say yet what its impact will be.

But given the relatively few citations generated by these studies — only a handful, if that, for most, and 16 for a 1993 paper, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge — the situation doesn’t seem likely to reach the kind of public prominence of South Korea’s famous scientific fraudster, Hwang Woo Suk. In the mid 2000s, Hwang briefly made Seoul the putative world capital of cloning after he claimed to have cloned human cells (and a dog) — before his work was found to be bogus. The journal Science was forced to retract Hwang’s much-touted 2005 article in which he and his colleagues reported having cloned human embryonic stem cells.

Park’s 17 retractions do, however, beat Naoki Mori’s 14, which is the unofficial record since we started Retraction Watch.

Here’s a list of the 17 papers posted on the journal’s site (you can find links to all of the notices on the journal’s January table of contents):

Retraction: Systematized Intraoperative Facial Nerve Monitoring in Middle Ear and Mastoid Surgery; ‘Surgical Dehiscence’ and ‘Electrical Dehiscence’. Cho MJ, Park K, Mo JY, Shin YR, Choung YH. Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):109-109. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.109.

Retraction: Expression Pattern of Gap Junction Protein, Connexin 26 and 43 in Human Middle Ear Cholesteatomas.
Choung YH, Park K, Kang SO, Shin YR, Cho MJ, Yoon YR.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):108-108. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.108.

Retraction: The Clinical Characteristics and Treatment Results of Bilateral Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.
Oh JH, Park K, Lee SJ, Kim JS, Choung YH.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):107-107. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.107.

Retraction: The Effects of Intratympanic Steroid Injection for the Patients with Refractory Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.
Choung YH, Park K, Mo JY, Oh JH, Kim JS.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):106-106. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.106.

Retraction: Clinical Characteristics and Diagnostic Classification of Vertigo in Children.
Choung YH, Park K, Moon SK, Ryu SJ.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):105-105. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.105.

Retraction: Compressive Technique for Treatment of Auricular Hematoma Using Dental Impression Material.
Choung YH, Park KH, Ryu SJ, Cho MJ, Kim YJ, Lee SJ.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):104-104. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.104.

Retraction: Expression of PLC-1 in Human Middle Ear Cholesteatoma.
Chun YM, Park KH, Lee DH, Hwang SC. Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):103-103. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.103.

Retraction: Molecular Genetic Analysis of Connexin 26 in Korean Congenital Hearing Loss.
Park HJ, Park KH, Song JW, Choung YH, Choi HS.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):102-102. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.102.

Retraction: Mechanism of Apoptotic Cell Death in Cholesteatoma Epithelium.
Park HJ, Park KH, Kim BH, Choung YH, Chung MH.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):101-101. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.101.

Retraction: Volume Fraction of the Human Pathologic Ossicles Destructed by Cholesteatoma Using Micro-CT.
Park K, Moon SK, Cho MJ, Lee J, Yoon YR.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):100-100. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.100.

Retraction: Study for ReVersibility of Experimental Cholesteatoma Using Mongolian Gerbil.
Park KH, Chun YM, Moon SK, Choung YH, Lee JS, Kim Y.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):99-99. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.99.

Retraction: The Morphologic Study of Elastic Structures in the Developing Murine Eustachian Tube.
Park K, Moon SK, Choung YH, Eum JH, Lee JH.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):98-98. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.98.

Retraction: Signal Transduction System of Experimentally Induced Cholesteatoma in the Mongolian Gerbil.
Lee DH, Park KH, Park HJ, Chun JM, Hwang SC.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):97-97. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.97.

Retraction: Mitotic Activity of Tympanic Membrane and External Auditory Canal Skin in Normal Mongolian Gerbil.
Park KH, Chun YM, Koo SM, Kim SK.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):96-96. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.96.

Retraction: Development of the Mucociliary System in the Murine Eustachian Tube and Middle Ears.
Park K, Lee HK, Chung MH, Kim YM, Kim JY, Lim D.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):95-95. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.95.

Retraction: Development of the Murine Tubotympanal Cavity. Park K, Chung MH, Hwang BK, Kim YM, Lim DJ.
Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):94-94. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.94.

Retraction: Development of the Secretory Elements in the Murine Middle Ear and Eustachian Tube.
Park K, Chung MH, Kim YM, Moon SK, Lim D. Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 2011 Jan;54(1):93-93. English. doi: 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.93.

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Written by amarcus41

February 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. The overlapping papers were published in the same journal. Why didn’t the Editor realize that something was up? Unless the overlap was so skillfully hidden that the papers seemed to be entirely different when you read them. But if we’re talking about literally copying-and-pasting stuff from one to another, someone at the journal ought to have worked it out pretty sharpish.

    Neuroskeptic

    February 25, 2011 at 5:04 am

    • How do you know the papers were published in the same journal? Do you have any references for the duplicate papers? Thanks.

      Big Cheese

      August 18, 2011 at 9:49 pm


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