“Failure probability” turns out to be quite high as engineers double-submit paper, then see it retracted
Consider this retraction notice for “Estimation of failure probability in water pipes network using statistical model,” originally published in February 2011 in Engineering Failure Analysis:
This article has been retracted at the request of the editor as it is a duplicate of a paper that has already been published in World Appl. Sci. J., 11 (2010) 1157–1163, “Estimation of Failure Probability in Water Pipes Network Using Statistical Model”, M.J. Fadaee and R. Tabatabaei. The authors have stated that they decided to withdraw it from World Applied Sciences Journal after its acceptance and instead submit it to Engineering Failure Analysis. However, their article was still published in World Applied Sciences Journal despite their request to the contrary. One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly and confirm that the paper is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.
The now-retracted paper has yet to be cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the World Applied Sciences Journal version. [See update at end.]
We’ve tried to contact the authors for comment, and will update with anything we hear back.
We can see how they would have wanted to publish in Engineering Failure Analysis — which ranks in about the 40th percentile of impact factors in its two Thomson Scientific categories, “mechanical engineering” and “materials science, characterization, and testing” — instead of in the World Applied Sciences Journal, which isn’t ranked by Thomson Scientific at all. But it’s generally a good idea to make sure you aren’t actually publishing in your second choice before you go to your first choice.
You might call this a failure.
Update, 4:30 p.m. Eastern, 2/21/12: The World Applied Sciences Journal site has been suspended. We’re trying to figure out why, and will update with anything we find out.
Update, 4:45 p.m. Eastern, 2/24/12: The journal’s site appears to be back online.
Hat tip: Clare Francis