Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Primary tumor article retracted for, well, not being primary

without comments

bjrThe British Journal of Radiology has retracted a 2006 paper reporting a case study of an unusual primary cancer. Trouble is, their information was second-hand.

Here’s the notice for the article, titled “Primary extragonadal retroperitoneal teratoma in an adult”: 

This article has been retracted at the request of our honorary editors. The honorary editors have taken the decision to retract this paper owing to similarities in the text to a previously published article [1].

A condition of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare that their work is original and has not been published elsewhere in the same or similar format. This article is therefore not in accordance with our publishing ethics: bjr.birjournals.org/site/authors/Publishing_Ethics.xhtml. Apologies are offered to the authors of the plagiarised work and readers of the journal that this was not detected during  the submission process.

The retracted study has been cited six times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The plagiarized article, with the title “Primary retroperitoneal teratoma in an adult,” had appeared in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association in 2003.

Although the cribbing of a case report might seem like relatively trivial, it artificially inflates the perceived incidence of a particular disease.

Written by amarcus41

February 26th, 2013 at 9:30 am

Comments
  • StrongDreams February 26, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I’m going to pop in here to ask a related question. Suppose that I agree to review a manuscript for a journal, but am then informed that the authors withdrew the submission. Suppose that a couple months later, I see the same manuscript published in a different journal, and it is clear from the dates that it was originally a dual submission. Not dual publication, just dual submission. Should I inform the publishing journal directly? Should I contact the editors of the journal I review for and let them decide how to handle it? Or should I do nothing.

    • Captain Obvious February 26, 2013 at 9:59 am

      I wouldn’t consider dual submission to be my problem to investigate or divulge, personally. I mean, the situation is that you think that this LOOKS like dual submission. Anything else to go on at all? Since it didn’t result in dual publication, I would not consider it worth my own valuable time to pursue.

  • stpnrazr February 26, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Am I the only one puzzled about honorary editors? Was the regular editorial staff not on the ball?

    • StrongDreams February 26, 2013 at 10:42 am

      Maybe it’s a British thing. I would call them editors-in-chief. See the editorial board page,
      http://bjr.birjournals.org/site/misc/edboard.xhtml

      • stpnrazr February 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

        Ah, thanks! Except I then checked a few British journals I am more familiar with, and they had editors-in-chief. Maybe there is more honor in some journals than others.

  • Chip_MoMo (@Chip_Molly) February 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Retrocaecal cystic teratomas are not unusual. What would be unusual would be malignancies from immature components of the teratoma, something also well described. So overall this incident has very little impact on e medical literature.

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