Paper on over-the-counter drugs goes over the line in borrowing text
The journal Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs has retracted a 2012 article on over-the-counter drugs by a trio of pharmacy researchers in India who decided to “reproduce content to a high degree of similarity” from other sources.
Here’s how the retraction notice puts it:
The publisher would like to inform readers the following article has been retracted from publication in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs:
S. K. Dubey, R. D. Ukawala, D. Jha, Prescription to over-the-counter movement and its regulations, Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs, Dec 2012, Vol. 29 (3–4); 57–64
This article has been found to reproduce content to a high degree of similarity from other published works.
The journal contacted the authors to investigate and received responses from R. D. Ukawala and D. Jha on behalf of all authors. It was agreed that several paragraphs of the text in the review article published in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs are word-for-word identical to the text published in other publications. Although references to these articles published were included by the authors, taking intact sentences or paragraphs from other published sources to this high extent is against the Journal’s policy on plagiarism, which can be found on our website: http://informahealthcare.com/userimages/ContentEditor/1255620151092/Authorship_Submissions_Plagiarism_Peer_Review.pdf
S. K. Dubey, R. D. Ukawala, D. Jha offer their sincere apologies to the authors and the publishers of the articles and given the circumstances accept the retraction of this paper. Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs published this article in good faith, and on the basis of signed statements of the corresponding author regarding the originality and ethical reliability of their work. The article is withdrawn from all print and electronic editions.
Anna Treadway (Head of Journals Publishing, Informa Healthcare
Now, we’re all for signed statements and other attestations of originality, but we must protest a moment here: Although the paper is no longer available online (that we can see), the abstract is. And it didn’t take us more than about 15 seconds and a few keystrokes in Google to find a virtually verbatim passage from said synopsis. Was a plagiarism check conducted prior to acceptance? We seriously doubt it.
Another red flag was that although the cribbed phrases were in excellent English, much of the abstract is barely intelligible. That ought to have triggered a more careful screening of the manuscript.