Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Plagiarism leads to seven retractions (and counting) in the conservation literature

with 21 comments

Serge Valentin Pangou

An ecology researcher in the Congo has found himself at the center of a plagiarism scandal that has felled seven of his papers.

As Science reports today, Serge Valentin Pangou’s work began unraveling in August 2011 after Wageningen University ecologist Patrick Jansen thought a paper he’d been asked to review for the International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation seemed familiar — because he’d written many of the same words in a 2007 paper in Conservation Biology. He ran the manuscript through the plagiarism detection software Turnitin, and sure enough, it was about 90% identical.

Unfortunately for Pangou, Jansen’s co-author on the Conservation Biology paper was Pierre-Michel Forget, whose father, as Science notes, “was a well-known private detective in France.” Forget and Jansen took a careful look at a number of Pangou’s papers,

concluding that at least nine of them, published between 2006 and 2011, were plagiarized in whole or in part. An investigation by Science supports Forget’s conclusions and also finds that some of Pangou’s co-authors were unaware that their names were used.

Read the Science report for details on the responses by the journals involved, which varied greatly in their speed. According to Science:

Pangou tells Science that he accepts “all of the responsibility” for the papers that have already been withdrawn, but he contends that he did not deliberately engage in plagiarism, chalking it up to “the abusive utilization of bibliograph[ies]” which he “regrets sincerely.” He did, however, admit to Science that he added some authors to papers without their knowledge.

The story is moving so quickly, in fact, that the number of retractions grew from four to seven in the time between when reporter Michael Balter filed it and it published today — and we understand there may be more in the works. Here are the papers that have either been retracted or whose editors have agreed to retract, Forget tells Retraction Watch:

Of note, five of the papers in question appeared in journals published by International Research Journals, a company that Jeffrey Beall has included in his list of “predatory open access publishers.” Here’s what he had to say about the company:

Another Nigeria-based operation, this publisher is notable (in a negative way) for its interesting journal issue covers (most are created from pirated photographs), and for the Gmail addresses its employees all use. The absurd banner on its main page shows a picture of part of a duckling swimming in a lake.

Those journals removed the papers from their sites altogether, which is not considered best practice by the Committee on Publication Ethics and others.

(At the risk of sounding like uncultured Americans, we should admit that we had a chuckle at Forget’s name, as in “he’s trying to make scientists forget about Pangou’s work,” or “Pangou would just as soon forget about Forget.” But we realize the words aren’t pronounced the same way, and we are hardly trying to make light of what Forget is doing here — it’s quite important.)

Comments
  • Fellow March 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Sorry to ask this question here but I could not find any links to Ivan email or contact link etc…

    There are a couple of articles written by the same authors from Turkey that I am close to 100% sure that data was fabricated. How would you suggest I approach the situation? I email the corresponding author on the paper and he did not respond. Is the next step a letter to the editor or just an off record communication with the journal editor? Thanks

    • Pymoladdict March 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Elementary, Watson. No, really. Ivan’s email can be found in About Ivan Oransky info (link is in the top right corner of the webpage).

      • LNV March 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

        Agreed, feel free to contact Ivan… but I think writing to the editor (from your academic email, if you are okay approaching him/her without anonymity) is the best course of action.

  • Conrad T Seitz MD March 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    “abusive utilization of bibliograph[ies]” is a nice euphemism for plagiarism, yes?

  • Susan March 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Rather appalling. I think I will share this case with my Conservation Biology students. In an attempt to forestall this sort of thing in my classroom, we started off the semester with a discussion of how academy honesty harms researchers and the research endeavor. Case in point.

    Re: Pierre-Michel Forget, it’s pronounced For-ZHAY (he’s French).

  • Michieux March 9, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Tennis fans would have known the correct pronunciation of Forget.

    Just sayin’ 🙂

  • Mike Gordon March 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Phish fans know the proper pronunciation as well . . .

  • Anonymous March 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    “Others were slower off the mark, Forget says. The editors of Food Chemistry, published by Elsevier, took months to act after being informed by an author of a 2011 paper in the journal that his paper had been pla- giarized by Pangou just months later in the International Research Journal of Plant Science (IRJPS). Only after an inquiry by Science late last month did Elsevier notify IRJPS’s editors about the offending paper and ask for a retraction, which they then quickly did.”

    This caught my eye. I’ve reported several cases of plagiarism to Elsevier. In all cases, the first response was either none or a run-around. In one of the cases, I was “castigated” by the publishing contact for being so “brazen” as to point out gross plagiarism. Further emails on that case went unanswered…One can also note how long it took Elsevier to act on the scientifically fraudulent Chaos, Solitons and Fractals journal after the initial inquiry by concerned scientists [http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2008/11/25/elsevier-math-editor-controversy/].

    • Marco March 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Please note the difference between “the Editors of …., published by Elsevier” and “Elsevier”. So, when you refer to “Elsevier”, do you actually mean the Editors, or the Publisher?

      • Anonymous March 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm

        I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. I clearly said and meant Elsevier, the publisher that ignored Forget’s query until Science, mine on a different topic as well, and failed to act on a fraudulent journal/editor until immense public pressure.

      • Marco March 15, 2012 at 6:41 am

        The question was quite simple whether you meant the Publisher or the Editors. The two are separate entities, and you can complain all you want to the Editors, if they fail to contact the Publisher, the Publisher cannot be blamed.

        Thus, did you contact the Publisher, or the Editors? If the former, you can complain about the Publisher. If the latter, you may want to rethink who you complain about.

        Note that In the specific example here, Elsevier was the Publishing agency that was the ‘victim’ of plagiarism. Question is whether the author also contacted the Publisher of the journal that ran the plagiarized article (apparently, he did not). That they had an oversight there is definitely possible.

        Also, your example about El-Naschie does not show what you claim it shows. It does not state that Elsevier was contacted by “concerned scientists”. Perhaps they did, but the link you give does not say so. You cannot ask a Publisher to take action based on what people write on blogs, as the problem starts with having to follow these blogs.

        Again, you may be right about your complaints, but so far I have not seen any evidence provided (and no, I do not work for Elsevier and have no special reason for defending them; I’d do the same if in these various articles Elsevier would have been replaced by PLoS or any other organisation/publisher).

  • Rafa March 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    This story runs in exactly the same line as the case with the Brazilian Forensic Entomologists Leonardo Gomes and Von Zuben who had one review, one whole book, and at least another paper retracted for plagiarism and data manipulation. It is also described in this website.

    Also their review was completely removed from online access as if to erase evidence, and UNESP, the responsible institution, never said a word about the scandal.

    I have seen several attempts to warn the publishers and institution about further frauds by these authors being unanswered. There is a joint effort to cover scientific fraud, that is for sure.

  • Marco March 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Nice investigation, PM! You did science a great service.

  • stan wilson March 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    this is an international scandal, this guy is a total fake !

  • Mr. M March 15, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Dear Stan,

    If you keep on reading RW you shall see that all modern science fraudsters are total fakes, and being science international, they are all scandalous overseas. Problem is, basically no-one cares! Not the colleagues, not the institutions, not even COPE.

    What is to become of science?

  • Beth April 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Sorry this had to happen, all round. Educating our students hopefully can help.

  • JATdS November 14, 2014 at 6:46 am

    An update and consolidation on the Pangou case and its micro-impact on plant science. Some details remain sketchy, but the story is very complex since many papers have been totally wiped off the internet, so finding details has been complicated.

    Paper 1 (retracted)
    Serge Valentin Pangou, Jean-Pierre Kampe, Neela De Zoysa, et al. (2011) American Journal of Plant Sciences. Effects of Soil Properties on Growth of Young Tree Seedling in Logged-over Tropical Rain Forest in Mayombe, Congo. As updated elsewhere on RW [1], this paper has vanished from the web-site. Publisher = SCIRP*.
    [1] http://retractionwatch.com/2014/11/11/undeclared-competing-interest-sinks-fish-oil-takedown-by-author-fined-for-deceptive-claims/

    Paper 2 (retracted)
    Valentin Serge Pangou1, Jean-Pierre Kampé2, Catherine Lenoir3, Albertine Yulu Milandu1 (2011) International Research Journal of Plant Science 2(9): 288-293. Evaluation of high-value indigenous trees for the rehabilitation of deforested areas in Mayombe Rain Forest, Southern Congo. The paper is still listed on the web-site [2], without any indication that it was retracted; the PDF file is still open access [3]. Publisher = International Research Journals*.
    1*Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche sur la Diversité Biologique, Brazzaville-Congo.
    2Centre Régional de Recherche Agronomique et Forestière d’Oyo, Oyo, Congo.
    2Faculté des Sciences, Université Henri Poincaré Nancy I, Nancy-France.
    3UR de Phytogénétique, GERDIB, Brazzaville, Congo.
    *Corresponding author email: serge_pangou@yahoo.fr
    [2] http://interesjournals.org/irjps/september-2011-vol-2-issue-9/evaluation-of-high-value-indigenous-trees-for-the-rehabilitation-of-deforested-areas-inmayombe-rain-forest-southern-congo
    [3] http://interesjournals.org/full-articles/evaluation-of-high-value-indigenous-trees-for-the-rehabilitation-of-deforested-areas-inmayombe-rain-forest-southern-congo.pdf?view=inline
    Article Statistics: Viewed 106; Printed 20; PDF Downloaded 122

    Paper 3 (retracted)
    Valentin Serge Pangou, Jean Pierre Kampé (2011) International Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Soil Science. Meaning of tree size on the reproductive phenology in Pterocarpus soyauxii Taubert (Fabaceae) in Mayombe rain forest, Congo. The paper cannot be traced on the 2011 issues [4], but a painful search of all page numbers (1-502) reveal that one paper has disappeared (pp. 307-313). Could that be Pangou et al.’s paper? Interestingly, a search on Google showed a link to the PDF file, but the message on the site states “NOTICE: This domain name expired on 10/30/2014 and is pending renewal or deletion.” Domain name = interesjournals.com? Fortunately, Google reveals the authorship. I found one excerpt from a book chapter by Gordon K. Klintworth (p. 460) [5] (book title: Giants, crooks and jerks in science). Publisher = International Research Journals*.
    [4] http://interesjournals.org/IRJAS/archive-by-year/2011
    [5] http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=9ZxOBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA460&lpg=PA460&dq=Meaning+of+tree+size+on+the+reproductive+phenology+in+Pterocarpus+soyauxii+Taubert+(Fabaceae)+in+Mayombe+rain+forest,+Congo&source=bl&ots=TGOkB9j2LJ&sig=newl1w8yUXZyH1VwijyEpZ6pjaI&hl=ja&sa=X&ei=mK1lVKfGB4LXmgWCooH4Cw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Meaning%20of%20tree%20size%20on%20the%20reproductive%20phenology%20in%20Pterocarpus%20soyauxii%20Taubert%20(Fabaceae)%20in%20Mayombe%20rain%20forest%2C%20Congo&f=false

    Paper 4 (retracted)
    Serge Valentin Pangou1*, De Zoysa Neela2, Lechon Gema3 (2011) International Research Journal of Plant Science 2(9): 281-287. Comparison between field performance of cuttings and seedlings of Carapa procera D.C. (Meliaceae). The paper is not listed on the web-site [6], but an open access PDF file is floating on the internet [7]. Publisher = International Research Journals*.
    1 Groupe D’etude Et De Recherche Sur La Diversité Biologique, Brazzaville-Congo.
    2 Laboratory of Botany, University of Peredenya, Colombo, Sri-Lanka
    3 La 245 Cnrs Saint-Fargeau, France.
    *Corresponding author
    [6] http://www.interesjournals.org/IRJPS/september-2011-vol-2-issue-9
    [7] http://responsable.unige.ch/assets/files/lettre47/Pangou%20_et_al.2011pdf.pdf

    Paper 5 (retracted)
    Authorship cannot be identified (2011) International Research Journal of Plant Science volume and page numbers cannot be identified. Tree selection for fruit/seed production in Carapa procera D.C. from wild stands in the rain forest of Congo. Publisher = International Research Journals*.

    Paper 6 (retracted)
    Pangou Valentin Serge; Zassi-Boulou Ange Ghislain; Bouki Theophile; Lechon Gema (2009) Evaluation of seed rain from remnant trees in fields for food crops in the tropical wet forest of Mayombe (Central Congo). Candollea 64(2): 219-235. Publisher = Les Musées de Genève.
    Web-site [8] states “Title and content removed because the work was plagiarized.”
    [8] http://www.ville-ge.ch/cjb/publications_candollea_642.php

    Paper 7 (retracted)
    Pangou Serge Valentin 1; Lechon Gema 2; Bouki Theophile 3; Antoine Mountanda 4 (2007) Characteristic of natural regeneration of Aucoumea klaineana (Pierre) in Mayombe rain forest, southern Congo. African Journal of Ecology 45(2): 156-164.
    1. Laboratoire de Botanique, Centre d’Etude sur les Ressources Végétales, BP 876 Brazzaville, Congo
    2. Laboratoire des stades juvéniles des ligneux, LA 218 CNRS, 8 rue Max, Pautrat 89170, Saint Fargeau, France
    3. Laboratoire Dynamiques Sociales et Recomposition des Espaces (LADYSS), à l’Université de Paris, Nanterre, France
    4. Service National de Reboisement, BP 839 Pointe-Noire, Congo
    The retraction notice [9] states “The following article from African Journal of Ecology, ‘Characteristic of natural regeneration of Aucoumea klaineana (Pierre) in Mayombe rain forest, southern Congo’ by Serge Valentin Pangou, Gema Lechon, Théophile Bouki and Antoine Mountanda, first published online in Wiley Online Library (http://www.wileyonlinelibrary.com) on 3rd October 2006, and in volume 45, issue 2, pp. 156-164, has been retracted with the agreement of the journal Editor in Chief, Frederick Kayanja, and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. The retraction has been agreed due to unacknowledged overlap with ‘Density and population structure of the natural regeneration of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in the High Ebro Basin (Northern Spain)’ by Santiago C. González-Martínez, and Felipe Bravo, Annals of Forest Science (2001), Vol 58, issue 2, pp. 277–288.”
    [9] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2006.00690.x/abstract
    The retracted paper [10] is here:
    [10] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2006.00690.x/pdf

    Paper 8 (retracted)
    This case has not yet been covered by RW. Serge Valentin Pangou1*, Théophile Bouki2 (2011) International Research Journal of Plant Science 2(3): 46-59. Influence of climate on yearly fluctuations of flowering of Pterocarpus soyauxii Taubert at Mayombe in Congo. The paper is not listed on the web-site [11]. Publisher = International Research Journals*.
    1 Groupe D’etude Et De Recherche Sur La Diversité Biologique, Brazzaville-Congo.
    2 Le laboratoire Dynamiques sociales et recomposition des espaces (LADYSS), France (http://www.ladyss.com/) [12].
    *Corresponding author
    [11] http://www.interesjournals.org/IRJPS/march-2011-vol-2-issue-3
    [12] The retracted paper cannot be found on the publications listing at LADYSS: http://www.ladyss.com/publications-2011 (this indicates an institutional cover-up).

    Paper 9 (retracted)
    This case has not yet been covered by RW. Pangou S. V.; De Zoysa N.; Tsouboula M. L.; Lechon Gema (2008) Effects of temperature and water potential on germination of Entandrophragma cylindricum (Sprague) seeds of different provenances. SEED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 36(2): 462-466.
    DOI: unclear. Web-site: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ista/sst/2008/00000036/00000002/art00020

    Paper 10 (retracted)
    This case has not yet been covered by RW. Pangou S. V.; De Zoysa N.; Maury-Lechon G. (2006) Seed storage behaviour of three tropical tree species from Congo (Africa). SEED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 34(3): 765-770.
    DOI: unclear. Web-site: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ista/sst/2006/00000034/00000003/art00025

    Note about retractions 9 and 10: A letter by the SST EIC indicates to Forget [13] that an official decision has been made to retract the paper, but no notice appears online. The only hint that appears that in fact the retraction has actually taken place is one sentence on the purchase link that states “The full text article is not available.” (contrast with other articles where the purchase option gives the prices and the chance to purchase the PDF access). This indicates that The International Association of Seed Testing (ISTA) is not being totally open, honest or transparent about this retraction.

    [13] http://www.carapa.org/data/File/pdf/Cut-Paste_PMFORGET_15_october_2012.pdf

    Paper 11 (retracted)
    This case has not yet been covered by RW. Serge Valentin Pangou, De Zoysa Neela, Théophile Bouki (2007) Vegetation and the natural regeneration in Mayombe rain forest southern Congo. Scientia. 89: 1852-1859.
    Information about the web-site and DOI cannot be traced. Could this be the journal?
    http://www.scientiajournal.org/review/index.php/Scientia/index

    Paper 12 (retracted)
    This case has not yet been covered by RW. Valentin Serge Pangou, Jean Pierre Kampé, Neela De Zoysa, Maury-Lechon G. (2008) Influence du pretraitement a l’acide sulfurique, l’acide gebberellique et la celulase sur la germination des grains de Entandropgragma cylindricum (Sprague) Sprague (Meliaceae). Agronomie Africaine 20(2): 150-164 (?).
    Paper is missing at the AJOL (African Journals Online) web-site [14].
    [14] http://www.ajol.info/index.php/aga/issue/view/177

    An interesting editorial by the French Natural Museum of History (in French) [15].
    [15] http://www.carapa.org/data/File/pdf/CP_plagiat_articles_ecologie_tropicale_130312.pdf

    Some notes, queries and concerns:
    1. Who will now be responsible to correct and clean up the down-stream literature, for example, reference to retracted paper 8, referenced by Kasso Daïnou et al. (Belgium-Benin team) in the American Journal of Botany (http://www.amjbot.org/content/99/9/1453.full)?
    2. Why was the address of Lechon Gema (compare paper 7 vs paper 4) different?
    3. What responsibility do the other co-authors hold, in particular those from France and Sri Lanka, and what consequences have they faced, if any?
    4. What is Pangou now doing? Is he still in science? What about his co-authors?
    5. Why have some publishers just wiped out the PDF files and not added a red stamped RETRACTED?
    6. Why has ISTA masqueradeed the two retractions?
    7. Paper 7 reveals that Pangou obtained his PhD in France in 1989: “Pangou, S.V. (1989) Re´ge´ne´ration naturelle dans la foreˆt dense humide du Mayombe. Exemple de cinq espe`ces ligneuses. The`se de doctorat, l’Universite´ de Nancy I, Nancy, France.”
    8. Why has CABI, which indexes the retracted Candollea paper 6, not indicated anything on its website about the retracted status of the paper [16] and what responsibility do abstracting agencies such as CABI have in correctly representing the literature?

    [16] http://www.cabdirect.org/abstracts/20103019333.html;jsessionid=1E490D745F9CCED5F9E39863AD346FBB?freeview=true

    * Are publishers still listed as predatory OA publishers on Jeffrey Beall’s blog.

  • Pierre-Michel Forget December 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks for the updates. Since this affair was released, I almost stopped my investigations. Nonetheless, I can answer to some of the queries posted by JATdS November 14, 2014 at 6:46 am.

    1. Who will now be responsible to correct and clean up the down-stream literature, for example, reference to retracted paper 8, referenced by Kasso Daïnou et al. (Belgium-Benin team) in the American Journal of Botany (http://www.amjbot.org/content/99/9/1453.full)?

    PMF : interesting question. The same holds for citation in ISI web of knowledge. Though t was retracted by the Journal, this plagia is till listed by ISI WoK

    Evaluation of seed rain from remnant trees in fields for food crops in the tropical wet forest of Mayombe (Central Congo)
    By: Pangou, Valentin Serge; Zassi-Boulou, Ange Ghislain; Bouki, Theophile; et al.
    CANDOLLEA Volume: 64 Issue: 2 Pages: 219-235 Published: 2009

    this other was retracted in June 2012, and the retraction published

    (2012), Retraction. African Journal of Ecology, 50: 252. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2012.01332.x

    Characteristic of natural regeneration of Aucoumea klaineana (Pierre) in Mayombe rain forest, southern Congo
    By: Pangou, Serge Valentin; Lechon, Gema; Bouki, Theophile; et al.
    AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY Volume: 45 Issue: 2 Pages: 156-164 Published: JUN 2007

    Characteristic of natural regeneration of Aucoumea klaineana (Pierre) in Mayombe rain forest, southern Congo (vol 45, pg 156, 2006)
    By: Pangou, Serge Valentin; Lechon, Gema; Bouki, Theophile; et al.
    AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY Volume: 50 Issue: 2 Pages: 252-252 Published: JUN 2012

    Thus, journals must published retraction. These will be indexed when released by a peer-review journal, not a predatory one which are now not anymore indexed by ISI.

    2. Why was the address of Lechon Gema (compare paper 7 vs paper 4) different?

    I tried to contact Gema Maury-Lechon (formerly in my institution, and retired) but failed. I’m certain she ignored all about this story, which started after she left the CNRS institution. Mr Pangou (sorry not a Dr for me – I will comment on his Ph D below) simply used different affiliation for he. I doubt he contacted her to knw where she was when he published these fake papers. Gema Maury-Lechon already retired at this date.

    3. What responsibility do the other co-authors hold, in particular those from France and Sri Lanka, and what consequences have they faced, if any?

    I’ve been in contact with the person from Sri Lanka. She ignored all about these papers using her name, and was not very happy to be associated to SV Pangou. In my opinion, the article published in Science showed that these so-called ‘co-authors’ were rather victims than actors. For the other co-authors from Rep. Congo, thr closest colleagues of SV Pangou, I guess they probably knew the truth.

    4. What is Pangou now doing? Is he still in science? What about his co-authors?

    I’ve been informed he was about to retire. This affair apparently never really affected his carreer, neither did he lost his PhD title. http://cg.viadeo.com/fr/profile/serge-valentin.pangou

    Pangou is apparently still at the DGRST, and director of the Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche
    sur la Diversité Biologique (GERDIB). I’ve also been informed that he is signing authorization for research permit in RC.

    Other co-authors in RC apparently continue business as usual.

    5. Why have some publishers just wiped out the PDF files and not added a red stamped RETRACTED?

    It’s certainly better not to make to much publicity when such plagiarism is publicized by a Journal as Science, with the impact this had in the next decade(s). The peer-review journals I’ve contacted (Candollea, SEED, Afr. J Ecology) were really sorry for what happened, and published retractions. The predatory journals never replied directly to me, rather simply deleted the articles once I’ve showed them the evidences.

    6. Why has ISTA masqueradeed the two retractions?

    ???; ask them and maybe an automatic response will flow.

    7. Paper 7 reveals that Pangou obtained his PhD in France in 1989: “Pangou, S.V. (1989) Re´ge´ne´ration naturelle dans la foreˆt dense humide du Mayombe. Exemple de cinq espe`ces ligneuses. The`se de doctorat, l’Universite´ de Nancy I, Nancy, France.”

    reference here : http://www.theses.fr/1989NAN10500

    I’ve ordered the Ph D from the library of the University of Nancy. I received it and analysed its content into details. This thesis appears to be quite inspied by a 14-pages report on the phenology of trees in Mayombe forest that was published by CTFT as an internal report in 1990. There are no data on the regeneration. Likely, Pangou has access to these data on the phenology, and reproduce them, and used them in his “thesis”. Was he authorized to do so ? The whole body of the report is made out of copy of illustrations from various source without any references.
    Nobody answerd med when I asked colleagues from CTFT (CIRAD today) about Pangou and his past research. Instead, I was asked not to dig too much in the mud, and that my investifation were not that welcomed… Clearly, I was anoying people in Rep. Congo where CIRAD still has an office. Another problem is that Gema Maury-Lechon was the director of the thesis. In that period (1989), Foresters and Biologists were not going along together much. (time changed). Gema Maury-Lechon had a Thèse d’Etat that give her the equivalent title and position of full Professor thus allowing her direct Pangou’s thesis, later to accept the defense once two referees agreed (not a difficult task to do in Nancy University where there is no history of tropical ecology). Moreover, Gema Maury-Lechon was almost ignorant of the Congo forest, and had mostly worked in Guyane and Indonesia (Dipterocarpaceae). The title of the thesis is somehow inspired on mine :

    Dissemination et regeneration naturelle de huit especes d’arbres en foret guyanaise
    http://www.theses.fr/1988PA066237

    Mine complemented that of Daniel Sabatier (also directed by Pr Puig in 1981-1983: Fructification et dissémination en forêt guyanaise. L’exemple de quelques espèces ligneuses)

    Thus, Pangou’s title composed iof our two thesis title was somehow already anticipating on his future…

    Note that I myself studied under the supervision of Pr Puig (University of Paris 6), and that I was in close contact with Gema Maury-Lechon (Laboratory ECOTROP of the CNRS in Brunoy – currently my lab now – and Laboratory of Phanérogamie at MNHN) during this period (she studied Carapa and Virola species at Arataye forest with the Ecotrop team of the Museum, now Nouragues biological station of the CNRS). Both Puig and Maury-Lechon has worked together in Guyane, and I was the second generation to study the regeneration of trees.

    Correspondant Cirad en République du Congo
    Philippe Vigneron
    BP 129
    Pointe-Noire, République du Congo
    philippe.vigneron@cirad.fr

    Synthèse des observations phénologiques effectuées à 055 N’Gouha 2 de 1985 à 1989 Fabbri B. Pointe-Noire (COG) : CIRAD-CTFT, 1990. 14 pages.

    Pangou SV defended his thesis in 1989, but he never mentioned this CTFT grey literature in the reference list.

    This CTFT report has never been published (I read it at CIRAD in Montpellier, Campus Baillarguet). Pangou’s thesis should never be accepted by the thesis commitee and then defended as such. To my opinion, the jury was rather “easy”. We call that a ‘thèse de complaisance” meaning in other word that the thesis was accepted to please someone, an institution, or a goverment…

    8. Why has CABI, which indexes the retracted Candollea paper 6, not indicated anything on its website about the retracted status of the paper [16] and what responsibility do abstracting agencies such as CABI have in correctly representing the literature?

    Clearly, CABI was not informed of the published retraction. This record was likely listed by an engine that does list article automatically, not by a real person with some sense and curiosity as I did. I’m sure, CABI will correct that if they are informed.

    I hope these comments help.

    Anyway, it’s a very interesting story for students, and I’m happy to share it. I’m sorry that the name of Gema Maury-Lechon was associated with this sad story. She was a nice person, and who really shared her knowledge.

    Best
    P-M Forget

  • Post a comment

    Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.