If it seems that we write “irony alert” often, well, can you blame us? The Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries (we’ll call it JLPPI for short) has retracted a paper it published earlier this year for plagiarism from multiple sources.
The article, “FTA vs. Tripod-Beta, which seems better for the analysis of major accidents in process industries?” was written by two occupational health researchers at Hamadan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. According to the abstract:
In the present study, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to compare Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) with Tripod-Beta in order to determine the superior technique for analysis of major and complex accidents in process industries. This research was carried out in three main steps. In the first step, two major accidents were analyzed applying FTA and Tripod-Beta to find out the causal factors of the accidents. In the second step, a number of criteria were developed for the comparison of the two techniques. Finally, using AHP, the techniques were prioritized in terms of the criteria to choose the superior one. The result of the study showed that FTA with the total priority of 0.624 is superior to Tripod-Beta with the total priority of 0.35. The main purpose of this study is to compare the FTA vs. Tripod-Beta to find out the superior technique for analyzing major and complex accidents. When a rapid accident analysis is required and sufficient monetary resources are not available, Tripod-Beta can be a better technique than FTA. FTA can be a more appropriate technique, when more accurate, detailed and quantitative results are expected.
But as the retraction notice explains:
This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief.
The authors have plagiarized parts of the following papers:
1) A comparison of accident analysis techniques for safety-critical man-machine systems <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169814199000220>/International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics/Volume 25, Issue 4/May 2000/Pages 327–347/Tom Kontogiannis, Vrassidas Leopoulos, Nikos Marmaras-http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0169-8141(99)00022-0.
2) Comparison of some selected methods for accident investigation <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389404000834>/Journal of Hazardous Materials/Volume 111, Issues 1–3/26 July 2004/Pages 29–37/Snorre Sklet-http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2004.02.005.
3) Comparison of techniques for accident scenario analysis in hazardous systems <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0950423004000658>/Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries/Volume 17, Issue 6/November 2004/Pages 467–475/Nivolianitou, Z.S, Leopoulos, V.N. and Konstantinidou, M-http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jlp.2004.08.001.
We’ll argue that for JLPPI, if not the authors, this loss was preventable. The journal belongs to Elsevier, which means it ought to have access to plagiarism-detection software. And all three journals from which the Iranian duo plagiarized (including JLPPI itself) are in Elsevier’s stable.