Second helpings: Immunology journal retracts paper for plagiarism, then U Bari investigation reveals fraud
The journal Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology has retracted a 2011 paper by an Italian nursing researcher who lifted text and data from a previously published work, and made up results to fill gaps, too.
Here’s the notice:
The following article which was first published online ahead of print on 2nd of November 2011 has been retracted from publication in Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology:
Elsa Vitale. An evaluation of the association of malnutrition with nosocomial infections in elderly patients. Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 2011, 1–4, Early Online. DOI: 10.3109/08923973.2011.625033
This article has been found to reproduce content to a high degree of similarity, without appropriate attribution or acknowledgement by the authors, from the following original article:
Elena Paillaud, Stephane Herbaud, Philippe Caillet, Jean-Louis Lejonc, Bernard Campillo, Phuong-Nhi Bories. Relations between undernutrition and nosocomial infections in elderly patients. Age and Ageing 2005, 34, 619–625. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afi197.
In addition, because some of Dr Vitale’s data is identical to some of Dr Paillaud’s, we have advised Dr Vitale’s institution, the University of Bari, to investigate the origin and source of her data.
Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology published this article in good faith, and on the basis of warranties made by the corresponding author regarding the originality of her work. The article is withdrawn from all editions by the Editor. The author accepted this decision.
Emilio Jirillo (Editor in Chief)
Joris Roulleau (Managing Editor, Informa Healthcare)
After the publication of this retraction statement, it has since been confirmed that the article does also contain instances of data fabrication.
It’s conceivable that Jirillo and Vitale were known to each other before the mess. Both are (or were) on staff at the University of Bari.