Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Journal retracts paper for plagiarism, but mathematician author doesn’t agree

with 14 comments

jmathphysThe Journal of Mathematical Physics has retracted a paper by a prolific mathematician in Turkey who doesn’t agree that he plagiarized.

Here’s the notice, for “Homotopy perturbation method to obtain exact special solutions with solitary patterns for Boussinesq-like B(m,n) equations with fully nonlinear dispersion:”

The Editor wishes to retract the article1 because extensive passages in it, including results claimed to be new, are identical to material in a previously published paper by Yonggui Zhu. The author has not agreed to this retraction.

The paper has been cited four times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, including once by another paper by the author, and once by the retraction.

The author of the JMP paper, Ahmet Yildirim, earned his PhD in 2009 and has published an impressive 279 papers. We’ve asked why he didn’t agree to the retraction, and will update with anything we learn.

  • André van Delft (@AndreVanDelft) June 3, 2013 at 9:44 am

    It seems that Yildirim had two or three publications per week. I expect to hear a lot more of him soon at Retraction Watch.

    BTW. A lot of articles here end with something like “We’ve asked …, and will update with anything we learn”. Could you give some statistics: how many times have you requested more information; how many times has this been answered; what was the mean time to response?

  • Martijn June 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Note that his name is Yıldırım, not Yildirim. See also: and dotless I

    • genetics June 4, 2013 at 6:05 am

      True, but in western databases, quite often the name is transliterated to Yildirim with dotted i, probably because the dotless i is not easily accessible. In pubmed for instance, you will find both Yildirim with dotless and dotted i by simply searching with a dotted i.

  • forgottenman2013 June 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Reblogged this on The Firewall.

  • Will Smoot June 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    It is not “impressive” to publish 279 papers in such a short time. It is most likely harmful to the state of the scientific literature to dump whatever you can into it. Statements that buoy these outdated measurements of productivity hold us back. Once we stop being “impressed” by these sorts of metrics, there will be less incentive for recklessness, duplication, and plagiarism.

  • Toby White June 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    While floundering around, trying to get some vague idea of what a Boussinesq-like equation might be, I came across the following Arxiv comments on Yildirim’s work by F. Fernandez: .

    One normally doesn’t see strong language of that kind in math papers.

    If Fernandez is correct, there may be an analogy between developments in some areas in numerical methods research and the problems, familiar to RW readers, found in some natural products research. That is, it may be possible to generate hundreds of papers by running slight variations on a single procedure, or standard procedures on slightly different systems.

    • Jeffrey Hall June 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      The closing sentences of Fernandez’s wonderful note: “This is an interesting example of the quality of the JMP refereeing service. We should be grateful to be enlightened this way.”

      The rest of the note lives up to the last two sentences.

    • Ivan C June 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Being a researcher in this general area of mechanics and having previously studied Fernandez’s comment papers carefully, there is little doubt for me that he is 100% correct. Unfortunately, as he shows in the above preprint, the journals are not interested in mathematical facts. It is rather unfortunate.

    • genetics June 4, 2013 at 7:02 am

      The comment by Fernandez is a great read, even for a non-mathematician like myself. Coming from biomedical research, I love the predator-prey model that predicts the negative number of rabbits…..

      The salami tactics are annoying in any science. Interesting to see that you can use them in Maths as well in order to write a pile of papers without any meaning to the community. 100+ years ago, scientists would research for a decade and write a book about the results. O tempora o mores…..

  • Sylvain Bernès June 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    The link to the impressive list of 279 papers authored by Ahmet Yıldırım is a bit less impressive once one realizes that 120 papers are “in press”. Probably need to be updated.

  • George M June 4, 2013 at 5:17 am

    So far, paper [49] on his website is my favorite, but it appeared two years later and in another “journal” than indicated by Yıldırım.
    Compare [49], available at, with the article by Barari et al. (2008):

    Let’s just say they are remarkably similar…

    No wonder he is able to list 279 papers. Along the way, he just lost track when which paper appeared in which journal, it seems – if they did.

    About all the papers by Ahmet Yıldırım remind of the term “Mathturbation”, coined by the blogger “Tamino”, even though he related to climate change skeptics’ papers.

  • S. Parker November 9, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Once he finds a university to give him tenure, in spite of his rather naive attempt at CV-padding, we can expect a sharp decline in “productivity.” I can’t imagine any reputable university or private sector employer that would not see through this ploy, so I really wonder whom he thinks he is fooling. Chalk it up to youth I suppose.

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