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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Too much skin in the game, as duplications force retraction of psoriasis paper

with 3 comments

actadermA group of dermatology researchers from Egypt who passed around a psoriasis paper like a bottle of sunscreen at the beach have been burned (sorry) by a journal that caught them in the act.

Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina, Pannonica et Adriatica is retracting the 2009 article “Association of cytokine gene polymorphisms with psoriasis in cases from the Nile Delta of Egypt” after discovering that they were far from the first publication to print the paper.

Here’s the retraction notice (it’s a pdf):

We, the editors of the journal Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina, Pannonica et Adriatica, would like to retract the paper titled “Association of cytokine gene polymorphisms with psoriasis in cases from the Nile Delta of Egypt” (PubMed PMID: 19784523) published in our journal in 2009 due to duplicate publication. Namely, we discovered by chance that a paper very closely resembling the article “Association of cytokine gene polymorphisms with psoriasis in cases from the Nile Delta of Egypt” by A. Settin, H. Hassan, R. El-Baz, and T. Hassan published in this journal in 2009 (1) had been published by the same authors in the The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine in 2008 (2). In addition, after a PubMed search, we learned that a paper absolutely identical to the one in this journal was published 2 years later by the same authors in the Indian Journal of Dermatology in its May 2011 issue (3).

Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina, Pannonica et Adriatica

Acta Dermatovenerol

APA

References

1. Settin A, Hassan H, El-Baz R, Hassan T. Association of cytokine gene polymorphisms with psoriasis in cases from the Nile Delta of Egypt. Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Panonica Adriat. 2009;18:105-12.

2. Settin A, Hassan HA, El-Baz R, Hassan TA. Molecular study on cytokine gene polymorphism among cases of psoriasis. The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2008;31:222-32.

3. Settin AA, Hassan HA, El-Baz RA, Hassan TA. Association of cytokine gene polymorphisms with psoriasis in cases from the Nile Delta of Egypt. Indian J Dermatol. 2011;56:272-7.

The paper has been cited nine times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. We’ll be interested to see what the Indian Journal of Dermatology does about this case, since they are fans of publishing bans.

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3 Responses

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  1. Seems to beg the question how these researchers listed these publications in their CV’s. It is going to be pretty obvious to anyone reading a list of their publications that they have duplicates so what was the point.

    Phronesis

    September 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    • In 2012, I had seen alleged fraud by several Egyptian scientists. I wrote, on at least 5 occasions, to the president of the institute and his associates. Not a single care in the world, no response, no interest. If you ask me, there is a culture of fraud, and no penalty system, unless it is implemented by the journal or publisher. Of course, one would hope that this is the exception rather than the rule. However, political instability doesn’t make the situation better. Not to mention the love of peer review-less,m publish-instantly journals.

      JATdS

      September 6, 2013 at 9:44 am

  2. Well there used to be the scourge of plagiarism (and there still is although detection mechanisms are improving thanks to everything being online these days and better semantic searching and pattern recognition). But ‘self’-plagiarism is rich. Not only – what does it benefit them in their CV, one may also wonder what they wanted to gain – any citation rankings will either not benefit or blow such perpetrators out of the water immediately.

    Darragh McCurragh

    September 16, 2013 at 2:02 pm


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