Canada’s University of Waterloo is racking up the retractions, with one in July for plagiarism, another earlier this month for faked data from a graduate student who had her master’s degree revoked, and now a third for duplication.
Here’s the notice, for “The influence of friends, family, and older peers on smoking among elementary school students: Low-risk students in high-risk schools,” which appeared in Preventive Medicine in March 2006:
This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).
This article has been retracted at the request of the Author.
The authors voluntarily retract their article from Preventive Medicine on the grounds that some of the findings have been published elsewhere and were not appropriately referenced. This runs contrary to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) best practice guidelines for original publication. The data and conclusions published in the article are otherwise scientifically sound.
The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC), the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), the Centre for Behavioural Research and Program Evaluation (CBRPE), and the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU). It has been cited 31 times, according to Scopus.
We’re guessing this is the paper that was duplicated, in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention: “The Relationship Between Student Smoking in the School Environment and Smoking Onset in Elementary School Students.”
We tried corresponding author Scott Leatherdale for comment, but have yet to hear back. The university tells Retraction Watch it’s investigating:
As we indicated in our statement entitled, “University of Waterloo Committed to Academic Integrity,” which appeared on our website on September 13, 2012, academic integrity and honesty are a significant part of who we are and how we define ourselves at the University of Waterloo. Academic integrity reflects our commitment to honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. It is a core value of our institution.
The authors of the article, “The influence of friends, family, and older peers on smoking among elementary school students: Low-risk students in high-risk schools,” which appeared in Preventive Medicine, requested a retraction because some of the information has been published elsewhere and was not properly referenced.
The University of Waterloo has established policies in place to assess and investigate such matters, and a range of well-defined consequences if our high standards for proper conduct are not upheld. The university has a rigorous process in place, and we are following it as we thoroughly investigate this matter.