Frontiers papers on GMO debate, diabetes retracted for improperly cited text
The author of a review article on diabetes has been forced to retract the paper after it emerged that he failed to properly credit some of the text — an omission we generally associate with the word plagiarism.
The article, “Colonic flora, probiotics, obesity and diabetes,” was written by Paul Marik, of Eastern Virginia Medical School, and appeared in July 2012 in Frontiers in Endocrinology. It has been cited once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Here’s the retraction notice:
The corresponding author (Paul E. Marik) and the journal wish to retract the 11 July 2012 article cited above.
While all parties are convinced of the value of this work, this Mini Review was found to contain text that was improperly cited.
We regret this inconvenience and apologize to the readers of Frontiers in Endocrinology.
Now, we certainly have seen this movie before, but in this case there’s a twist. Marik is listed as being an associate editor of the journal, which at the very least ought to imply a familiarity with proper citation practices. And he also is listed as a writer for the journal.
Marik tells us by email:
This whole episode has been very unfortunate….and the Journal took a very hard position.
The editors thought that I did not cite the material I included in my review correctly.
We also emailed Aaron Vinik, the chief editor of Frontiers in Endocrinology, for comment and will update this post if we hear from him. Vinik is also a colleague of Marik’s at EVMS.
Meanwhile, another Frontiers title, Frontiers in Plant Genetics and Genomics, is retracting an article by a leading geneticist, Krishna Dronamraju, for similar problems.
The paper, an opinion piece titled “GMO debate: inconclusive,” had appeared in July. But now comes this:
The journal wishes to retract the Opinion article cited above. Based on information reported after publication, this article was found to contain substantial sections that were taken verbatim from previous publications without proper quotation and citation.
The Journal and Chief Editor have decided to retract the article in its entirety and apologize to the readers of Frontiers in Genetics.
Of course, what’s not clear from this notice is whether the text in question came from Dronamraju’s own work or that of other scientists.