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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Solar energy paper retracted for text, data misuse

with 2 comments

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews has retracted a 2008 paper by a group from the United States and Botswana, citing plagiarism and unauthorized use of data.

The article, “Solar chimney power generation project—The case for Botswana,” discussed a project by the Botswanan military to develop a power plant based on the chimney design. The paper is no longer available online, but we found this Wikipedia entry that mentions it:

Botswana test facility

Based on the need for plans for long-term energy strategies, Botswana‘s Ministry of Science and Technology designed and built a small-scale research tower. This experiment ran from 7 October to 22 November 2005. It had an inside diameter of 2 metres (6.6 ft) and a height of 22 metres (72 ft), manufactured from glass-reinforced polyester, with an area of approximately 160 square metres (1,700 sq ft). The roof was made of a 5 mm thick clear glass supported by a steel framework.

But the Botswana Technology Centre, or BOTEC, evidently was none too pleased by the publication. As the retraction notice explains:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief.

This article plagiarizes previously published material and used confidential data without permission. Considerable parts of the paper have been taken directly from BOTEC Solar.

The paper has been cited eight times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

We last wrote about this journal in January, after learning about a 2011 withdrawal of a paper arguing that Iran had an “assured right” to nuclear power.

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2 Responses

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  1. This looks like high school quality copying, not professional plagiarism/data theft. I don’t know how the political situation is in Botswana, but possibly the author(s) has(had)(have) some influence. Or not.

    On the other hand, the very journal “Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews” is already politically notorious. I’m not saying I disapprove of Iran’s rights under the applicable treaties to use of nuclear power for research and energy. I am saying that Iran producing more 20% enriched uranium than she can foreseeably use in the next ten years, in underground bomb-resistant bunkers, looks more like a provocation than rational scientific development. Particularly when Iran’s President is on record as saying “Israel has no right to exist.”

    Since we have several thousand operational nuclear missiles, I guess we get to make the rules.
    La guerre commence.

  2. This is ridiculous. Just ridiculous.

    -Sharone Tal

    Solar New Jersey

    November 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm


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