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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

You will not plagiarise. You will not plagiarise. You will not…but if you do, hypnosis journal will retract

with 4 comments

The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis is retracting a 2009 article by researchers who seem to have stolen material from a graduate student — and who are fond of studying memories from past lives in other work.

The article, “Norms for the Korean Version of the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A,” was written by Yun Joo Kim and Young Don Pyun, of the eponymous Pyun Neuropsychiatric Clinic, in Seoul, South Korea. The Pyun Clinic specializes in “hypnotherapy for psychiatric illness,” according to its website.

Here’s the retraction notice:

The Editor and Publishers, Taylor & Francis, are retracting the above article from publication in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. The authors failed to reference the dissertation written by Gracia Del Rosario (detailed below), nor did they properly identify original data from that work which subsequently appeared in, and appeared original to the article (now retracted) in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

The authors are therefore in breach of the rules of submission for the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and of the warranty made to Taylor & Francis regarding originality. We note that the Editor of the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis published the (now retracted) article in good faith.

Dissertation title: The Structure of Human Hypnotic Suggestibility and Trait Hypnotic Responsiveness of Koreans

Author: Gracia Del Rosario

Awarding institution: Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center,
San Francisco, California Year: 2001

The study has been cited just once, by authors of another paper in the same journal looking at whether hypnosis was effective against pain in breast cancer and temporomandibular disorder.

We couldn’t track down Del Rosario, but she appears to have been the person who discovered the misappropriated material. In an interesting online exchange earlier this year, Del Rosario complained to Lillian Glass — a “body language expert” who calls herself the “first lady of communication” — about her inability to get the editors of the hypnosis journal to take action against the Korean authors.

Del Rosario (note: we did not edit this text):

I glad that America honoring that everyone is equal before the law. I am currently in correspondence with a huge publishing company. One of its international journal published an article whereby the authors who wrote the article willfully violated my copyrighted dissertation. The authors had taken their major data from my copyrighted dissertation, combined my data with their data for statistical analysis but did not cite nor referenced my dissertation. Moreover, the authors portrayed in their article that they conducted my research. The article was published late 2008 and I discovered the authors’ article in December 2010. I have not taken legal action yet because I’m afraid of attorney’s costs knowing that I’m up against powerful people. I’m still trying to convince the publishing company to retract and sanction the authors which they refuse to do until now even after they have viewed convincing evidences of plagiarism and copyright violation.
Please advise..

Glass encouraged Del Rosario to consult an intellectual property lawyer, to which Del Rosario responded:

Thank you very much Dr. Glass for your quick response. I will try that route.. I’m against a giant publisher, a famous journal editor, and a famous psychiatrist. I pray hard everyday. I want to believe we are all equal before God’s law and human law. Please know that I truly appreciate reading your story and wish you the best in what you believe in – in helping people do the right thing. Having read your response makes me feel I have an ally to fight for human rights. God Bless.

We put in a call to Arreed Barabasz, editor of the hypnosis journal, to get his side of the story and will update this post with what we learn.

We’d be remiss if we failed to mention the authors’ work looking at memories from prior lives. In 2009, the same authors also published a paper in the journal in which they found that

The percentage of subjects who responded to hypnotic past-life regression increased with hypnotizability. Content analysis showed that cultural background and religious concepts influenced past-life memory production. Animals as past-life identities, for example, were reported whereas all past-life identities were human in a Canadian study.

Pyun may be a plagiarist, but he doesn’t actually believe in past lives, at least according to another study posted on his website:

…past-life memories in hypnotic past-life regressions are products of suggestion and thus cannot be used as examples of evidence of the existence of past-lives.

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Written by amarcus41

October 19, 2011 at 9:30 am

4 Responses

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  1. Were Yun Joo Kim and Young Don Pyun the real plagiarists, though, or did someone hypnotize them and force them to do it?

    Neuroskeptic

    October 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

    • The only way to find out will be to test them with the Korean version of the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form A, and compare it to published norms.

      Neuroskeptic

      October 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

  2. Plagiarism in a “family” style
    How young ambitious capoes and soldiers from Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) under supervision of a decrepit american don-godfather from Northwestern University are successfully completed their sequential plagiaristic enterprise: http://issuu.com/r_sklyar/docs/sklyarvsmussaivaldi

  3. Yes they were the real plagiarists! Thank God Gracia faught this out because she deserved to win this battle! ;) Gooooo lola!!

    Mrs. Guzman

    December 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm


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