When you think of an administrative error, what comes to mind? Failure to tell an employee that the reason he didn’t receive a paycheck in July was because he was fired in June? Putting the wrong address on your business cards?
You’d probably have to go pretty far down the list before you reached something like this: “I used text from one of my previously published articles in a second paper.” And yet …
The journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change has retracted a 2012 article for precisely that reason. The paper, “Innovations research in India: A multidisciplinary literature review,” was written by Rajesh K. Pillania, of the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon, India.
According to the retraction notice:
This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and Author.
Due to an administrative error on the part of the author, this paper contains parts of a paper that had already appeared in Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 78 (2011) 1158–1163. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2011.02.006.
One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that their work is original and has not appeared in a publication elsewhere. Apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this overlap was not detected during the submission process.
Pillania was the author of the earlier article, and we’re guessing that he felt it would be okay to recycle his words in his review. That’s understandable, if unacceptable publishing practice, but it’s hardly an administrative error.
The study has yet to be cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.