Serial plagiarizers banned from dermatology journal forever
Last August, we brought you the news that the Indian Journal of Dermatology had banned a group of Tunisian researchers from publishing in the journal for five years, because they had plagiarized in a 2009 study.
Well, the journal’s editors found another case in which the authors have plagiarized, and now they’re banned from the journal for good. Here’s the notice, which describes both cases:
1. Jalel A, Soumaya GS, Hamdaoui MH. Dermatology life quality index scores in vitiligo: Reliability and validity of the Tunisian version. Indian J Dermatol 2009; 54(4):330-3 (http://www.e-ijd.org/article.asp?issn=0019-5154;year=2009;volume=54;issue=4;spage=330;epage=333;aulast=Jalel)
Based on the report of a fact finding committee as appointed by the editorial board of Indian Journal of Dermatology and in consultation with the journal Ombudsman last year (2011) the above article was retracted (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3108510/) from the online and offline version of Indian Journal of Dermatology and the authors were barred from submitting their manuscript(s) to IJD for the next 5 years on the charges of plagiarism as the presented patients, data, results and discussion were identical with those of an article published in BMC Dermatology in 2004 cited below.
Aghaei S, Sodaifi M, Jafari P, Mazharinia N, Finlay AY. DLQI scores in vitiligo: reliability and validity of the Persian version. BMC Dermatology; 4: 8. Published online 4 August 2004
2. Jalel A, Yassine M, Hamdaoui MH. Oxidative stress in experimental vitiligo C57BL/6 mice. Indian J Dermatol. 2009;54(3):221-4 (http://www.e-ijd.org/article.asp?issn=0019-5154;year=2009;volume=54;issue=3;spage=221;epage=224;aulast=Jalel)
It has come to our notice that almost the same set of authors in that same year published another article (as above) which contains identical introduction, identical table and most of the discussion of an article published in Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Panonica Adriat in 2008 cited below.
Arican O, Kurutas EB. Oxidative stress in the blood of patients with active localized vitiligo. Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Panonica Adriat. 2008 Mar; 17(1):12 -6.(http://www.zsd.si/ACTA/PUBLIC_HTML/acta-apa-08-1/2.pdf)
In the background of serial academic dishonesty, the authors were initially served with a show-cause notice and on receipt of their clarification (deemed inadequate), based on unanimous decision of the Editorial Board, a complete restriction on the part of the journal on all future articles in which they are assigned/mentioned as an author/ coauthor was imposed and the corresponding author was communicated accordingly.
Now the second article is also being formally retracted from the online and offline version of the journal.
IJD maintains a strict principle of absolute zero tolerance in matters like these.
The journal unconditionally apologizes to all concerned for this unintended oversight on its part.
Indian Journal of Dermatology
We’ve written about bans before — and are in favor, although the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) is against — and have heard of one of ten years. This is the first time we’ve heard of a lifetime ban. It’s certainly a sign the journal is taking plagiarism seriously.