Plagiarism: It’s just an “approach” to writing papers, right?
We’ve heard a lot of rationalizations for plagiarism on this beat — “I didn’t know I had to cite that text”; “That author said it better than I ever could”; etc. — but here’s a new one for the wall of shame.
Chemistry – A European Journal is retracting a 2012 article, “A New Indicator for Potassium Ions at Physiological pH by Using a Macrocyclic Luminescent Metal Complex,” by a group of Chinese authors who used the cut-and-paste method to put together their manuscript. That’s not unusual. But the notice is:
The following article from Chemistry—A European Journal, A New Indicator for Potassium Ions at Physiological pH by Using a Macrocyclic Luminescent Metal Complex by Xi Yan, Shasha Lv, and Rong Guo, published online on December 7, 2012 in Wiley Online Library (http://www.wileyonlinelibrary.com/10.1002/chem.201202925) and in print (Chem. Eur. J.2013, 19, 465–468), has been retracted (February 21, 2013) by agreement between the authors, the Journal Editor-in-Chief Neville Compton, and Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co KGaA. The retraction has been agreed due to the fact that the paper was constructed by copying a number of passages from the paper entitled “A Highly Selective Luminescent Sensor for the Time-Gated Detection of Potassium” by Aurore Thibon and Valérie C. Pierre, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (J. Am. Chem. Soc.2009, 131, 434–435). The authors apologize for this approach.
Sorry, but plagiarism is an “approach” to writing the way armed robbery is an approach to banking (well, not quite, but you get the idea).
Update, 12 a.m. Eastern, 5/7/13: Stuart Cantrill points us to this earlier example of the same “approach” by the authors of this retracted paper, as covered by SeeArrOh in February. In that case, involving a paper in Dalton, the paper earned an “Addition.” SeeArrOh also pointed out the problems in the now-retracted paper in January.