Bad vibrations: Composites paper pulled after subsequent, duplicate article appears
Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering is retracting a 2011 paper by an Italian researcher who submitted a similar article to another journal. What makes this interesting is that the retracted article appears to be the one that was published first.
The article, “Free vibrations of laminated composite doubly-curved shells and panels of revolution via the GDQ method,” was written by Francesco Tornabene, an engineer at the University of Bologna and has been cited five times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. As the notice explains:
This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).
The Editors of Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering have authorized the retraction of this article, as the substance of the paper has been published in essentially the same form, with a marginal extension of the implemented theory, as ‘2-D GDQ solution for free vibrations of anisotropic doubly-curved shells and panels of revolution’ by Francesco Tornabene in Composite Structures 93/7 (2011) 1854–1876 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruct.2011.02.006).
One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that the paper is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Re-use of any data should be appropriately cited. As such this article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system. 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 paper in Composite Structures was published in June 2011, four months after Tornabene’s article appeared in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering.
We reached Tornabene by email, and he offered this explanation (note: Given that English is not his first language, we fixed a few spelling errors but otherwise did not alter his comments):
The scientific substance of the article retracted is not compromised from the second article.
The imperfection was the form of the two articles that are similar, but the scientific concepts exposed are completely different. You can control the equations, that are different because referred to two different theories.
The CAMAME Journal has decided independently from the author the retraction of the article without giving the possibility to the author to write an errata in order to introduce the corrected citation in the second paper.
The article in Composite Structures is an expansion of the article in CMAME Journal.
Formally, the CMAME Journal can have the reason, but substantially not. I committed an ingenuous formal mistake.
The retraction is due to the fact that the CMAME article was not cited properly.