Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

More retractions for authors who duplicated — and did their own peer review

with 5 comments

spectroscopylettersAdd to the retraction pile for a pair of chemists in Iran who duplicated their work — and reviewed their own articles to boot.

The authors, Kobra Pourabdollah and Bahram Mokhtari, are affiliated with the Razi Chemistry Research Center in the Shahreza Branch of Islamic Azad University. In September, we reported on the retractions of three articles by the researchers in Synthesis and Reactivity in Inorganic, Metal-Organic, and Nano-Metal Chemistry.

Readers then alerted us to five other retractions in the Journal of Coordination Chemistry — although these papers did not appear (at least by the retraction notice) to have involved self-reviewing.

The duo now also has lost a 2012 article in Spectroscopy Letters: An International Journal for Rapid Communication. , which has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. According to the notice:

We, the Editor and Publisher of Spectroscopy Letters: An International Journal for Rapid Communication, are retracting the following article on the grounds of redundant publication:

Kobra Pourabdollah & Bahram Mokhtari, “Application of Fourier Transform Infrared in Flow Surveillance of Oil Wells” Spectroscopy Letters: An International Journal for Rapid Communication 45.8 (2012): 541–549.

We are now cognizant that the authors have reused and republished content from the aforementioned article in Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry (Print ISSN: 0749–1581; Online ISSN: 1097–458X), Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy (Print ISSN: 1386–1425; Online ISSN: 1873–3557), and Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (Print ISSN: 1388–6150; Online ISSN: 1572–8943) without adequate acknowledgement.

We have also ascertained that the aforementioned manuscript was self-reviewed by the authors.

These actions constitute a breach of warranties made by the authors prior to publication. We note we published the article in good faith based on these warranties, and censure these actions.

The retracted article will remain online to maintain the scholarly record, but it will be digitally watermarked on each page as RETRACTED.

We’re reasonably confident that we’ve yet to plumb the bottom here. Indeed, we found a retraction for “Inclusion of piperidine-modified nano-baskets towards rare earth metals,” which had appeared in the Journal of Inclusion Phenomena and Macrocyclic Chemistry. (Plagiarism being an “inclusional phenomenon” of sorts, we guess that’s somewhat appropriate.) According to the notice:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief due to a violation of Springer’s Publishing Principles. The entire article 10.1007/s10847-013-312-3 was found to be completely identical (with the exception of the title) to an unpublished article that was under review in another journal.

We also came across a withdrawn paper by Pourabdollah and Mokhtari, “Facilitated Transport of Chromium through Polymer Inclusion Membranes bearing Calix[4]arene,” in the Journal of Taibah University for Science. Of course, as is unfortunately customary with Elsevier’s “withdrawals,” this one says only:

This article has been withdrawn at the request of the author(s) and/or editor. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Retraction Watch readers may recall that Hyung-In Moon, a plant scientist in Korea, had 28 articles retracted for self-peer review. The Iran pair is up to 11 retractions, but only four of them were clearly for doing their on peer review.

  • James December 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    How do people do self-peer review?? The editors sent it to the authors for review??

    • Tibor December 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Editors were lazy to check the email addresses of “suggested reviewers” (usually provided by authors in the submission).

    • Biff Scooterson October 10, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      The authors recommend non-existent colleagues for reviewers with email addresses that the authors control.

  • E.L.S. October 11, 2015 at 8:46 am

    “This article has been withdrawn at the request of the author(s) and/or editor.”
    Well, which one is it, Elsevier?

  • E.L.S. October 11, 2015 at 9:17 am

    On the issue of Elsevier, and spectroscopy, when will Elsevier and the editors (and the authors, of course) address the many papers being questioned at PubPeer in this journal, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy?

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