The author of a 2003 study on “the ethics of being first” is retracting it because it turns out he had already published it elsewhere — making it, well, not first.
Here’s the retraction notice for “Surgical Research and the Ethics of Being First,” the Journal of Value Inquiry paper:
This article has been retracted by the author as it was a duplication of the article “Surgical Research and the Ethics of Being First” by Isenberg JS which was published in the “Journal of the Philosophy of Surgery and Medicine” 2002; 1: 45–54.
According to this listing on Amazon, Isenberg — that’s Jeffrey Scott Isenberg, who now appears to be a researcher at Pitt — was the editor of that 2002 issue of the Journal of the Philosophy of Surgery and Medicine.
The paper has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
John Hacker-Wright, the editor of the Journal of Value Inquiry, tells us:
I really have no details besides those published in the retraction. As far as I know, the author contacted the Springer office to notify them that the article was a duplicate publication. As I took over the Journal only at the beginning of this year, I was not editor when the article was published.
The paper includes this passage:
For a surgeon, being first may well be tied to a way of life. The competitive environment of surgical training and education requires surgeons to attempt to excel. To rise above his surgical peers is a daily task that a surgeon consciously and unconsciously accepts. Even hidden within the prescription to engage in surgical research is the desire to be first.
And second, apparently.
Hat tip: Rolf Degen