Plant journals uproot duplicate publications that authors used as a hedge
One article, “Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation and efficient regeneration of a timber yielding plant Dalbergia sissoo Roxb,” appeared online last June in the journal. The authors were from institutions in Orissa.
According to the retraction notice, the paper was a case of “thanks, but no thanks.” What’s worse, the researchers seem to be under the impression that they’ve done nothing wrong. Because they said so.
The manuscript has been withdrawn by the authors after it was pointed out by the editor that it was already published elsewhere. The letter of retraction from the authors states: “Now that the earlier version of our paper has already been printed in the “J. Plant Studies” in its recent issue (Vol. 2, No. 1, 2013), we are writing to the Chief Editor of the PMBP to withdraw the article (DOI 10.1007/s12298-012-0120-z) before it is finally printed in the Journal in order that an undesirable duplication would be avoided and our professional ethics be upheld. On behalf of all the co-authors, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you”.
But the Journal of Plant Studies evidently decided it wasn’t going to let its version — titled “Optimization of Factors Influencing Agrobacterium-Mediated Genetic Transformation of Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. – A Timber Yielding Tree Legume” — stand, either. Unfortunately, all we have about that matter is this unhelpful notice:
The editorial board announced this article has been retracted on April 3, 2013.
If you have any further question, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(We encourage our readers to contact email@example.com for more information.)
If the timing of all this has you confused, you’re not alone. We’re not sure, but it looks like the authors first published online in PMBP in 2012, then saw the other paper appear in print in the Journal of Plant Studies in March 2013. That article was retracted a month later, and now we have the retraction of the PMBP paper. We think.
We thought this might be an example of fishing for a better impact factor, but that doesn’t appear to the case. PMBP has an impact factor of .56, according to the journal, while the Journal of Plant Studies doesn’t seem to have any impact factor. The latter is published by the Canadian Center for Science and Education, which has threatened to sue Jeffrey Beall for including it on his list of possibly “predatory” publishers.