The 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This article has been retracted at the request of our honorary editors.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 .
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.