A top cardiology researcher, Robert Hegele, of the Robarts Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario, has retracted a 15-year-old review after editors were made aware that it was “very similar” to another of his reviews.
Here’s the December 2012 notice for the paper, which has been cited 23 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge:
The Publisher would like to inform the readers that the following review article has been withdrawn:RA Hegele. Candidate genes, small effects, and the prediction of atherosclerosis. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 1997 Aug;34(4):343–67.
It was highlighted to the Editors that the content of this article was very similar to a previously published review article: RA Hegele. The genetic basis of atherosclerosis. Int J Clin Lab Res. 1997;27(1):2–13, which was confirmed upon further investigation.
The author has been fully co-operative with the investigation and agrees with the Editors and Publisher on this course of action to correct the redundancy in the literature record.
Hegele, who was at the University of Toronto when the paper was published, had funding from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the Medical Research Council (now the CIHR). He tells Retraction Watch that the journal alerted him to the duplicated text, but he does not know how it came to their attention. It seems likely that the editors were tipped off by a November 2011 email from the pseudonymous Clare Francis.