Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Weekend reads: Trying unsuccessfully to correct the scientific record; drug company funding and research

with 43 comments

booksThere were lots of pieces about scientific misconduct, publishing, and related issues posted around the web this week, so without further ado:

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 25th, 2014 at 9:54 am

Comments
  • Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva January 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Frustration in dealing with errors in the plant (and allied sciences) science literature

    These are all important stories, but I would say that the one that relates most to plant scientists – except for the story on the Ronald lab – is in fact the story by Stefan Franzen. I wish to echo his frustration in my own attempts to show how the plant science literature is fraught with errors, but that there is currently little appetite to correct the literature for a few reasons. Many of my own colleagues and friends have been critical of me, even asking me “why” or “for what purpose”, and thus exposing oneself (and ones work and legacy) to critique is one of the greatest challenges that plant scientists face.

    a) Arrogance and fear among editors and editors-in-chief (EICs) who do not want to admit that their quality control (QC) – personal, professional or system-related – failed during the traditional peer review process. A corrigendum under their name would reflect poorly on their management and their legacy would be stained. Which editor wants to, frankly speaking, have a stain on their CV even long after they have left this earth?

    b) The failure to convince such editors and EICs that issuing an erratum (if the author brings forth the claim), a corrigendum (if the publisher recognizes that the error was theirs) is the morally and ethically correct thing to do. There seems to be a serious case of serial and wide-spread denial among plant scientists, or, even worse, a passive lack of will for change.

    c) The lack of desire by publishers to expose that their peer review systems have been fallible and weak, with inherent weaknesses, simply because perfection can only be achieved (if ever), where sample size tends towards infinity. And since most peer reviews in moderate to high IF journals in the plant sciences (IF = 1.0 to 3.5) rely on the “expert” opinion of usually not more than three individuals in a pool that probably contains several million, it is quite easy to understand how the system of traditional peer review is broken, imperfect, and open to abuse, errors and fraud. The current climate of retractions is trying to focus on the authors and scientists, while protecting their own backs and images, thus skirting deeper scrutiny of the current publishing model, which is fundamentally highly flawed.

    d) The real “crime” occurs when there are errors that have been pointed out by the academic community as factual, evidence-based information and critical analysis [1], but which the editors then fail to take into consideration, i.e., the active ignoring of the advice, the facts and the warning signals. Failure to act will be the ultimate down-fall of the reputation of an editor, of the fame of the journal, and the trust of a publisher. Unfortunately, however, if in fact an erratum, corrigendum, or retraction were to be issued for the level that I am personally observing in the plant sciences, then I am afraid that this could potentially wipe out an entire slice of the plant science literature, calling into question the validity of studies that referenced such flawed or erroneous studies. In some cases, the decision is made by the EIC, or by two or three editors. In other words, the fate of the correction of science lies in the hands of a tiny elite and dangerously powerful status quo. Such ego-centric decisions are fundamentally wrong, self-centered, and of course, fraught with bias. But this is one large reality that explains the resistance we are facing in the plant sciences.

    e) The fear by the community of the down-stream effects. No scientist wants their work to be remembered by an erratum, correction or in the worst case, retraction. But these three aspects need to form part of the quotidian landscape of science publishing. And retro-active analysis, and punishment – where merited – should be the mainstay of science moving forward. The equivalent of not assuming this position, no matter how unpalatable it is, is like using the internet thinking that one would be free of virus attacks, hacking, or spying. Naivety, ignorance, and inaction are making corrections to the plant science literature much more than just an uphill climb. In some cases, they are making corrections impossible. The human, intellectual and psychological firewall in place is massive.

    f) There is a lack of understanding of a basic principle that science is a constant conversation. A theory that was established 50 or 80 years ago, if valid at that time, should form part of the discussion even now. In some ways, I am very concerned about the aggressive wave of anti-science activists who are blindly looking at all problems, big and small, as being valid targets for retractions. Those that hate science will seek every means possible to retract anything related to science. Those that care about science want to see the issues resolved correctly, and fairly. Therefore, clear fraud should be punished with a retraction (and more), but “relatively minor” issues should face more lenient or rational punishment, such as an erratum or corrigendum. We are in a historical phase in science, I believe in which retractions seem to be as fashionable as the iPAD or Twitter, and everyone is trying to jump on the band-wagon, especially the skeptics and the critics who have now found a valid avenue to vent their frustrations. However, when we retract a piece of literature, in some ways, it is gone forever. So, we need to inculcate among our peers and editors, a new culture of change. If we can accept that errors are fundamental parts of – if not the essence of – science, then there is hope. And if we can accept that talking about errors, corrections and retractions as part of the everyday conversation [2], even in the literature, then this solidifies hope and breeds change.

    g) The lack of a solid support framework that involves an advice hub, a claims center, a counseling center, the acceptance of anonymity, and the decentralization of power. Although this may sound perfect, in fact it is extremely easy, and cheap, to achieve. This is because it only requires the consciousness of scientists, their time and their willingness to do what is right. Unfortunately, most scientists face that thing called reality! Long work hours and increasingly reduced pay and grants/funding, greater pressure for productivity, and increase scrutiny. Thus, there is little desire to offer their time, intellect and effort to conduct post-publication peer review (PPPR) [1] because it’s simply not convenient. From personal experience, I can say that PPPR is painful, time-consuming, exasperating, frustrating, and damaging (to others and to ourselves). The peer pool is already excessively squeezed, with few drops of additional effort and time to add to the need for precise scrutiny in PPPR. Thus, I believe that we have a real crisis in plant science in which the call for the need is not being met by the correct attitude of the base it is meant to be correcting (and assisting). The crisis is being further fueled by an aggressive attitude by retraction hard-liners that any error, small or large, is something that should be subjected to a retraction. I suspect that there is an underground agenda (but not yet reported on) that is using retractions, and the twisting of ethical values and guidelines, to achieve permanent damage to science, and to undermine its importance in society. This “underground” movement (hypothesis) would be counterproductive to the genuine efforts by real scientists, and real academics, who simply want to see unfairness in science and science publishing eliminated (or reduced as much as possible), and that recognize that one effective way of achieving this is through PPPR.

    The frustrations I feel about plant science relate not so much to the lack of retractions, but to the lack of acceptance that the literature has problems, and needs to be corrected. I was going to substantiate my claims with real examples, as I usually do, but I have decided to reduce them to two references only (to passive my critics who dislike my verbosity). When the time is right, more factual evidence will be released into the blogosphere. PubPeer and PubMed commons are useful tools, but when push comes to shove, the final message to our peers should be one of encouragement and active participation, and not one of fear.

    [1] http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpls.2013.00485/full
    [2] See a simple model for reporting publically on errors in the chrysanthemum literature, some of which merit retractions: http://retractionwatch.com/2014/01/07/journal-dumps-grain-paper-for-controversial-data/#comments

    • O Baptista March 30, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      Report of apparent data/paper duplication: Acta Horticulturae (International Society for Horticultural Science)

      Miguel, M.G., Duarte, F., Venâncio, F. and Tavares, R. 2002. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF THE ESSENTIAL OILS FROM THYMUS MASTICHINA OVER A DAY PERIOD. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 576:87-90
      http://www.actahort.org/books/576/576_15.htm
      http://wwwlib.teiep.gr/images/stories/acta/Acta%20576/576_15.pdf

      Miguel, M.G., Duarte, F., Venãncio, F. and Tavares, R. 2003. CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF THE ESSENTIAL OILS FROM THYMUS MASTICHINA OVER A DAY PERIOD. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 597:75-78
      http://www.actahort.org/books/597/597_8.htm
      http://wwwlib.teiep.gr/images/stories/acta/Acta%20597/597_8.pdf

      • O Baptista April 18, 2014 at 3:01 pm

        An update. The 2003 copy has been retracted. The official e-mail follows (e-mails redacted):

        From: Jozef Van Assche
        Sent: 04/01/14 04:10 PM
        To:
        Subject: Miguel (UALG): duplication report

        Dear Sir,
        Dear Dr. Paulo Baptista,

        I have been informed about your complaint to the ISHS President, Prof. Antonio Monteiro, on a so called duplicate publication of the article entitled ‘Chemical Composition of the Essential Oils from Thymus mastichina over a Day Period’, by M.G. Miguel, F. Duarte, F. Venâncio and R. Tavares.

        I hereby wish to inform you that this happened outside of the will of the authors.

        The contributions of the International Conference on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Budapest, Hungary, 8-11 July, 2001, were published in two volumes of Acta Horticulturae, AH 576 Volume I and AH 597 Volume II. The first Volume was published soon after the meeting as Acta Horticulturae 576, the second batch of papers was published as Volume II as Acta Horticulturae 597 some time later, and containing additional contributions of the symposium.

        For one reason or another, the Editors did not noticed that the paper of Dr. M.G. Miguel et al, was published in 576, and they also included it in the batch for 597. All this just by accident. This is this a human failure were the same article was published twice in the set of proceedings on the same meeting.

        We hereby are pleased to inform you that the article has been retracted from AH 597, and that the original stands in AH 576.

        We wish to thank you for bringing this to our attention and remain.
        Faithfully

        Jozef

        Jozef Van Assche
        Executive Director

        International Society for Horticultural Science
        PO Box 500 – 3001 Leuven 1 – Belgium
        Phone: +32 16229427 Fax: +32 16229450

        Visit our website at http://www.ishs.org
        The ISHS, dating from 1864 and formally constituted in 1959, has more than 7000 members representing over 140 countries. It is the world’s leading independent organization of horticultural scientists. ISHS publishes Acta Horticulturae, Chronica Horticulturae, and Scripta Horticulturae.

  • Jeanette Garwood January 25, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for all the brilliant posts you guys send out. I have a professional interest in bad behaviour, and Integrity officer status at my university, and Retraction Watch is so educative.

    Thank you so much for all your hard work :-)

    Jeanette (Oxford D.Phil 1991)

  • Nurse Dina January 26, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Stay on it guys. You are the only encouragement to me, a victim of plagiarism. Just when I think I can’t fight anymore, one of your posts will appear and keep me going.

    • Qui? February 7, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Report of apparent figure duplication: for EMBRAPA, SIVB, IVCDB, Acta Scientiarum, Authors, other parties

      Paper 1: Pinto de Carvalho ACP, Pinheiro MVM, Martins FB, Ferreira da Cruz FC, Otoni WC. Produção de mudas micropropagadas de antúrio (Anthurium andraeanum) cv. Eidibel por embriogênese somática. Embrapa Circular Técnica (Fortaleza) 2012;41:1-14
      Paper 2: Pinheiro MVM, Martins FB, Ferreira da Cruz FC, Pinto de Carvalho ACP, Jardim de Oliveira E, Otoni WC. Somatic embryogenesis in anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum cv. Eidibel) as affected by different explants. Acta Scientiarum Agronomy 2014;36:87-98.
      Paper 3: Pinheiro MVM, Martins FB, Ferreira da Cruz FC, Pinto de Carvalho ACP, Ventrella MC, Otoni WC. Maturation of Anthurium andraeanum cv. Eidibel somatic embryos from nodal segments. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Plant 2013;49( 3):304-312.

      We wish to make an anonymous report of potential figure duplication.
      Fig 2B, C and E of paper 1 seem identical to Fig. 3A, B and K of paper 2.
      Fig. 3B seems identical to Fig. 4A in paper 2 (rotated 90°)
      Fig. 3A, B, C and D of paper 1 seem identical to Fig. 4B, C, D and G of paper 2, with B and D of the former being cropped and size/proportion manipulated.
      Fig. Fig 6B in paper 1 seems identical to 4I in paper 2.
      Fig. 5E, F, G, H, J in paper 1 seem identical to Fig. 5E, F, G, H, J in paper 3.

      Paper 1 was not reported in paper 2 or paper 3, even though paper 1 appears as open access online and even though it is a formal publication of Embrapa Agroindústria Tropical. Figure duplication would thus also possibly constitute copyright infringement.

      Figure duplication and manipulation is a serious academic offense that distorts the accuracy of the academic record and we call on the retraction of the 2014 paper from Acta Scientiarum and the 2013 paper from In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Plant. We call on the authors, editors and publishers to take responsible action.

      See sections 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 of Springer 2013 Publication Ethics Manual for Editor and Authors:
      http://static.springer.com/sgw/documents/1393202/application/pdf/Publication_Ethics_Guide_for_Editors_from_Springer_27052013.pdf

      See clause 3 of Acta Scientiarum Agronomy:
      http://www.scielo.br/revistas/asagr/iinstruc.htm (“Author(s) should state that the manuscript, reporting original work, was not sent, in part or in whole, for publication to another scientific journal.”)

      AR Qui

      • Qui? February 18, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        Case 30

        Kalimuthu K, Prabakaran R (2013b) In vitro flowering from nodal explants of Ceropegia pusilla Wight and Arn. International Journal of Botany and Research 3(3), 35-42
        http://tjprc.org/journals.php?jtype=2&id=46 (no editor board)
        Kalimuthu K, Prabakaran R (2013c) In vitro and micropropagation for conservation of rare and threatened medicinal plant Ceropegia species – a review. International Journal of Biological Technology 4(2), 23-36
        http://www.gbtrp.com/journal/ijbt%20volume%20no%204(2).htm
        Kalimuthu K, Prabakaran R, Paulsamy S, Jeyaraman S (2014) Microtuberization of Ceropegia pusilla Wight and Arn. an endangered medicinal plant. European Journal of Medicinal Plants 4(1), 64-74
        http://www.sciencedomain.org/issue.php?iid=383&id=14
        Prabakaran R., Sasikala T., Kalimuthu K. (2013) Regeneration of shoots from callus of Ceropegia pusilla Wight and ARN. British Biotechnology Journal 3(3), 416-423
        http://www.sciencedomain.org/journal-home.php?id=11

        Apparent data duplication
        data in Table 2 of 2014 = data in Table 1 of Prabakharan et al. 2013
        data in Table 3 of 2014 = data in Table 4 of Prabakharan et al. 2013
        Notice how micromolar amounts are used by Prabakharan et al. 2013 and mg/l amounts in 2014

        Apparent figure duplication and manipulation
        1F of 2013b = 1E of 2013c = 1G of 2014
        1A of 2013c = 1A of Prabakharan et al. 2013
        1B of 2013c = 1B of Prabakharan et al. 2013
        1F of 2013c = 1F of Prabakharan et al. 2013
        1D of 2014 = 1C of 2013b
        1E of 2014 = 1C of 2013c
        1B of 2013b = 1D of Prabakharan et al. 2013 (tilted and twisted)

        Apparent plagiarism:
        2013 review copies the abstracts of most studies in the literature, and presents this as a review, listing the studies chronologically. Subsequently, this paper has already been retracted, 24 hours after we issued our report:
        IJBT Biotek Editor writes “Thank you for your advice. As the plagiarism is serious, we have retracted the article now on consulting with the consent editor and corresponding author. The retracted article link is given below for your reference.”
        http://www.gbtrp.com/journal/ijbt%20volume%20no%204%282%29kalimuthu%20abs.htm
        http://www.gbtrp.com/journal/ijbt%20volume%20no%204%282%29/ijbt150813104.pdf

        Apparent salami slicing and data/method duplication
        in vitro tuberization, shoot and flower induction already reported in 2013b (classical salami slice adding information to text in 2013b and data in tables in 2014 to feign originality; self-plagiarism exact text copied, see M&M section; values reported in molar amounts in 2013b and then in g/l amounts in 2014 to appear original, but are identical concentrations.

        • Qui? February 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

          Case 31

          Kondamudi R, Murthy, K.S.R. 2011. Micropropagation of Ceropegia pusilla Wt. & Arn. – an endangered and rare medicinal Asclepiad. Journal of Tropical Medicinal Plants 12: 41-48
          http://tropmedplants.com/article.php?aid=464 (no editor board)
          Kondamudi R, Vijayalakshmi V, Murthy, K.S.R. (2010) Induction of morphogenetic callus and multiple shoot regeneration in Ceropegia pusilla Wight and Arn. Biotechnology, 9: 141-148
          http://scialert.net/qredirect.php?doi=biotech.2010.141.148&linkid=pdf (ANSI; no editor-in-chief; http://scialert.net/eboard.php?issn=1682-296x)
          Murthy KSR, Kondamudi R (2010) Effect of cytokinins and auxins on in vitro flowering of endangered Ceropegia spiralis Wight and C. pusilla Wight & Arn. Phytomorphology. 60: 32-37
          Murthy KSR, Kondamudi R, Vijayalakshmi V (2010a) Micropropagation of an endangered medicinal plant Ceropegia spiralis Wight. J Agric. Tech 6: 179-191
          Murthy KSR, Kondamudi R, Pullaiah T (2010b) High frequency somatic embryogenesis in Ceropegia spiralis Wight – an endemic and endangered medicinal plant. Indian J. Biotechnol. 9, 414-418
          http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/10441/1/IJBT%209%284%29%20414-418.pdf (NISCAIR; IF = 0.477)
          Murthy KSR, Kondamudi R (2011) Rapid shoot regeneration from thin cell layer explants of an endangered medicinal asclepiad Ceropegia spiralis L. Plant Tissue Cult. Biotech. 21(1): 63-73
          http://www.banglajol.info/index.php/PTCB/article/view/9564 (BAPTC&B)
          Murthy KSR, Kondamudi R, Karuppusamy S. (2012) Microtuberization of Ceropegia spiralis Wight and Ceropegia pusilla Wt. and Arn. African J. Plant Sci. 6: 321-327
          http://academicjournals.org/article/article1380125590_Murthy%20%20et%20al.pdf (Academic Journals)

          Apparent data duplication
          20 shoot-related data points in Table 2 of Kondamudi and Murthy 2011 are identical to data in Table 3 of Kondamudi et al. 2010
          Data in Table 2 of Murthy and Kondamudi 2010 identical to data in Table 3 of Kondamudi and Murthy 2011
          Table 2 data of Murthy et al. 2010a = Table 1 data of Murthy et al. 2011
          Table 4 data of Murthy et al. 2010a = Table 1 data of Murthy et al. 2012

          Apparent figure duplication and/or manipulation
          Fig 1D of Kondamudi et al. 2010 identical to Fig. 1F of Kondamudi and Murthy 2011
          Fig. 1B of Murthy and Kondamudi 2010 identical to Fig. 1E of Kondamudi and Murthy 2011
          Fig 1B of Murthy and Kondamudi 2011 = Fig. 1B of Murthy et al. 2010a = Fig. 1Ce of Murthy et al. 2012
          Fig 1A of Murthy and Kondamudi 2011 = Fig. 1Cb of Murthy et al. 2012
          Fig 1D of Murthy and Kondamudi 2011 = Fig. 1Cc of Murthy et al. 2012
          Fig. 1G of Murthy et al. 2010a rotated 90° = Fig. 1i of Murthy et al. 2010b
          Fig 1A of Murthy et al. 2010a = Fig. 1A of Murthy et al. 2012
          Fig. 1F of Murthy et al. 2012 = Fig. 1D of Kondamudi et al. 2010
          Fig. 1E of 2012 repeated twice (self-plagiarism)

          This would also directly influence the claims of originality in the review written by this group:
          Murthy, K.S.R., Kondamudi, R., Reddy, M.C., Karuppusamy, S., Pullaiah, T., 2012b. Check-list and conservation strategies of the genus Ceropegia in India. Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv. 4(8), 304-315 (Academic Journals)

          • Qui? March 3, 2014 at 5:56 pm

            We reported this case on February 11, 2014. By March 3, 2014, the 2012b paper had been retracted, but without any notice. The paper just vanished.

            Raad MK, Zanjani SB, Shoor M, Hamidoghli Y, Sayyad AR, Kharabian-Masouleh A, Kaviani B. Callus induction and organogenesis capacity from lamina and petiole explants of Anthurium andraeanum Linden (Casino and Antadra). Australian J Crop Sci 2012a;6(5):928-937. (Southern Cross Publishing Group, Australia, listed at http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/)

            Raad MK, Zanjani SB, Sayyad AR, Maghsudi M, Kaviani B. Effect of cultivar, type and age of explants, light conditions and plant growth regulators on callus formation of anthurium. American-Eurasian J Agric Environ. Sci 2012b;12(6):706-712. (IDOSI Publications, Dubai, listed at http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/)

            Fig. 1 data of 2012a is identical to “Callus weight” column of Table 1 (2012b)
            Fig. 2 of 2012a is identical to Fig. 1 of 2012b
            Fig. 3 data of 2012a is identical to “Days to callus induction” column of Table 1 (2012b)
            Table 1 data of 2012a is repeated in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3

            Neither paper acknowledged the existence of the other paper.

            We wish to deposit this case here as a public record.

          • Qui? March 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm

            We wish to report an apparent partial duplication.

            Javad Sharifi Rad, Majid Sharifi Rad, Abdolhossein Miri (2013) Regulation of the Expression of Nitrate Reductase genes in Leaves of Medical plant, Foeniculum vulgare by Different Nitrate Sources. International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences 5 (24), 2911-2916
            http://ijagcs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2911-2916.pdf

            Javad Sharifi Rad, Majid Sharifi Rad (2013) Regulation of the Expression of Nitrate Reductase Genes in Leaves of Medical Plant, Foeniculum vulgare by Different Nitrate Sources. World Applied Sciences Journal 28 (9): 1311-1315
            http://www.idosi.org/wasj/wasj28(9)13/18.pdf

            Fig. 4 of IJCAS = Fig. 1 WASJ
            Fig. 1 WASJ = Fig. 2 WASJ = Fig. 3 WASJ = Fig. 4 WASJ

            This serves as a public record.

          • ABV Prasad March 3, 2014 at 6:04 pm

            I want to report a possible partial duplication.

            Sule WF, Okonko IO, Joseph TA, Ojezele MO, Nwanze JC, Alli JA, Adewale OG, Ojezele OJ (2010a) In vitro antifungal activity of Senna alata Linn. crude leaf extract. Research Journal of Biological Sciences 5 (3): 275-284 (Publisher: Medwell Journals)
            http://www.medwelljournals.com/fulltext/?doi=rjbsci.2010.275.284
            http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/medwelljournals/rjbsci/2010/275-284.pdf

            Sule WF, Okonko IO, Joseph TA, Ojezele MO, Nwanze JC, Alli JA, Adewale OG, Ojezele OJ (2010b) In-vitro antifungal activity of Senna Alata Linn. Crude leaf extract. Advances in Applied Science Research 1 (2): 14-26 (Publisher: Pelagia Research Library)
            http://www.pelagiaresearchlibrary.com/advances-in-applied-science/vol1-iss2/AdSSR-2010-1-2-14-26.pdf

            A third paper, 2011 published on the bark, has identical results (Tables 1, 3 and 4) as the 2010a and 2010b paper about leaves. Table 2 has similar data to the 2010a and 2010b papers:

            Sule W. F., Okonko I. O., Omo-Ogun S., Nwanze J. C., Ojezele M. O., Ojezele O. J., Alli J. A., Soyemi E. T., Olaonipekun T. O. (2011) Phytochemical properties and in-vitro antifungal activity of Senna alata Linn. crude stem bark extract. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 5(2), 176-183 (Academic Journals)
            http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1380554162_Sule%20et%20al.pdf

            All three publishers are listed on Jeffrey Beall’s http://www.scholarlyoa.com

          • T-bone steak March 27, 2014 at 1:29 am

            Mr. Prasad, I followed up on your lead. I contacted the editor boards of all three publishers and early in March, Pelagia Research Library retracted the Sule et al. 2010b paper. Not only does clicking the link above lead to an HTTP error, the journal issue web-page lists a gap: http://pelagiaresearchlibrary.com/advances-in-applied-science/vol1-iss2.html
            Unfortunately, this gap is not useful, or instructive about the problem, and the research community has no idea why the paper was retracted, so I indicated one clear case of a good, informative retraction notice, with a red stamp RETRACTED on the original PDF. I am not sure that they will take the trouble of making this change, but if they do, this would be a positive sign that we may start to be able to correct the literature, by placing pressure on authors and publishers simultaneously.

          • Bhavin July 24, 2014 at 10:09 am

            Dear Qyi?,
            Excellent detection, many of Murthy publications are from predatory journals

      • Qui? November 19, 2014 at 1:42 am
  • Nasraoui, Bouzid April 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    As the Editor-in-Chief of Tunisian Journal of Plant Protection (TJPP), I discover via a colleague of mine, that one scientific paper was published in 2009 at the same time in TJPP and in Journal of Biopesticides. The paper dealt with the “Efficiency of Spinetoram as a biopesticide to Onion Thrips (Thrips tabaci Lindeman) and Green Peach Aphid (Myzus persicae Sulzer) under laboratory and field conditions” with the first author “Mahmoud Farag Mahmoud”. Noting that is a case of a flagrante delicto of scientific honesty lack, TJPP withdraw from its website this paper simultaneously published in Tunisian Journal of Plant Protection 4 (2): 221-227 (2009) and Journal of Biopesticides, 2(2): 223- 227 (2009).

  • Science Society November 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    We wish to report a case of potential plagiarism.
    Thulasi Muneppa Sridhar, Chenna Reddy Aswath
    Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bangalore, India
    Review on Medicinal Plants Propagation: A Comprehensive Study on Role of Natural Organic Extracts in Tissue Culture Medium
    American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 3073-3088. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.520324
    http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=50185&

    The following sections are text that has been copied from the four sets of sources below, word for word, without attribution to the source, or without quotation marks, as follows:
    From [1], 707 words (or 10.9% of total)
    From [2], 373 words (or 5.7% of total)
    From [3], 960 words (or 14.8% of total)
    From [4], 192 words (or 3% of total) (including some self-plagiarism)

    [1] Molnár Z, Virág E, Ordog V (2011) Natural substances in tissue culture media of higher plants. Acta Biol Szeged 55:123–127.
    [2] George EF, Hall MA, Klerk G-J De (2007b) The components of plant Tissue culture media ll: organic additions, osmotic and pH effects, and support systems. In: George EF, Hall MA, Klerk G-J De (eds) Plant Propag. by Tissue Cult. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 115–173 + George EF, Hall MA, Klerk G-J De (2007a) The components of plant tissue culture media I: macro- and micro-nutrient. In: George EF, Hall MA, Klerk G-J De (eds) Plant Propag. by Tissue Cult. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 65–113
    [3] Yong JWH, Ge L, Ng YF, Tan SN (2009) The chemical composition and biological properties of coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) water. Molecules 14:5144–64. doi: 10.3390/molecules14125144
    [4] Other sources:
    Anonymous (2014) Plant Tissue Culture- Mavens Biotech Limited. http://www.mavensbiotech.com/Biotechnology/Plant Tissue Culture.html. Accessed 15 Oct 2014
    Lakshmi S, Benjamin J (2010) In vitro propagation of Hoya wightii ssp. palniensis KT Mathew, a highly vulnerable and endemic species of Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India. African J Biotechnol 9:620–627. doi: 10.5897/AJB09.846
    Mehta J, Kumar V, Syedy M, et al (2012) In vitro shoot regeneration of Bacopa monnieri ( L .) using cyanobacterial media- a novel approach and effect of phytoregulators on in vitro micropropagation. Asian J Plant Sci Res 2:699–706.
    Sivanesan I, Jeong BR (2007) Direct shoot regeneration from nodal explants of Sida cordifolia Linn. In Vitr Cell Dev Biol – Plant 43:436–441. doi: 10.1007/s11627-007-9090-1
    Sridhar TM, Aswath CR (2014) Influence of additives on enhanced in vitro shoot multiplication of Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.)—An important anti diabetic medicinal plant. Am J Plant Sci 05:192–199. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.51025
    Tanwer BS, Choudhary R, Vijayvergia R (2010) In-vivo and in-vitro comparative study of primary metabolites and antioxidant activity of Andrographis paniculata. J Chem Pharm Res 2:489–495.

    The publisher of American Journal of Plant Sciences, SCIRP, is listed on Jeffrey Beall’s list of “possible” predatory OA journals: http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/

    Finally, this study received the following funding: “The authors are thankful to Department of Biotechnology for providing financial assistance in the form of DBT sponsored Post Doctoral Fellowship (Dr .T. M. Sridhar).”

  • Tehran November 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    A case of apparent duplicate papers:
    Salwee, Y., Nehvi, F.A. (2014) Effect of Plant Growth Regulators on Microcorm Formation in Saffron (Crocus sativus L.). International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences Volume 3, Number 7, pp. 702-712
    ISSN: 2319-7706 http://www.ijcmas.com/Archives-20.php
    http://www.ijcmas.com/vol-3-7/Salwee%20Yasmin%20and%20F.A.Nehvi.pdf

    Salwee, Y., Nehvi, F.A. (2014) In Vitro Microcorm Formation in Saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Journal of Cell and Tissue Research Vol. 14(2), 4463-4470
    Received June 2014; No DOI
    ISSN: 0973-0028; E-ISSN: 0974-0910
    http://tcrjournals.com/tr_currentabstract.php?vid=57
    http://tcrjournals.com/uploads/7314136._Salvee.pdf

    Dr. Salwee Yasmin is at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajouri, India, and Prof. Firdos Ahmad Nehvi is Senior Scientist, Saffron Research Station, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) of Kashmir, India.

    There is a separate case of retraction caused by plagiarism by SKUAST researchers (Mushtaq Ahmad, Gul Zaffar, S.D. Mir, S.M. Razvi, M.A. Rather and M.R. Mir):
    http://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=rjmp.2011.630.649
    http://scialert.net/qredirect.php?doi=rjmp.2011.630.649&linkid=pdf
    The retraction notice states “Science Alert considers misappropriation of intellectual property and duplication of text from other authors or publications without clear and unambiguous attribution totally unacceptable. Plagiarism is a violation of copyright and a serious breach of scientific ethics. The Editors and Publisher have agreed to officially retract this article.”

  • Hyderabad November 9, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I report a retraction of an onion study:
    J.I. Córcoles, J.F. Ortega, D. Hernández, M.A. Moreno
    Use of digital photography from unmanned aerial vehicles for estimation of leaf area index in onion (Allium cepa L.)
    European Journal of Agronomy, Volume 45, February 2013, Pages 96-104
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S116103011300124X
    http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1161030112001463/1-s2.0-S1161030112001463-main.pdf?_tid=fc3cc9c0-684d-11e4-ac8a-00000aab0f26&acdnat=1415564668_7549d27073690fbb43946bd637c897f3
    The notice writes: “This paper has been retracted because a near identical version of this paper was published in the Journal Biosystems Engineering: J.I. Córcoles, J.F. Ortega, D. Hernández, & M.A. Moreno (2013). Estimation of leaf area index in onion (Allium cepa L.) using an unmanned aerial vehicle. Biosystems Engineering. 115: 31–42; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2013.02.002. This article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.”

  • Strelitzia Watch November 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Title: Genus: Strelitzia
    Authors: Marcos Ribeiro da Silva Vieira, Giuseppina Pace Pereira Lima, Damiana Cleuma de Medeiros, Ângela Vacaro de Souza, Emídio Cantidio Almeida de Oliveira
    Journal of Horticulture and Forestry Vol. 4(11), pp. 178-180, November 2012
    DOI: 10.5897/JHF12.025
    http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1379513573_Vieira%20et%20al.pdf

    There are two queries. First, the source of the photos in the four figures. Three of the photos / figures (2-4) are identical to images from the internet, without attribution to the source. To verify, simply add the Latin names of the three Strelitzia species into Google and Yahoo, click on images, and scroll down. Secondly, why does it require 5 individuals to write a 3-page review?

  • Vivek Kumar query November 17, 2014 at 1:08 am

    A case of potential partial (self-)plagiarism.

    Paper 1: Vivek Kumar (2014) Nanobiotechnology and its implementation in Agriculture. Journal of Advanced Botany and Zoology V1-I1.
    (research article on the PDF; editorial online) DOI 10.15297/JABZ.V1I1.02
    Received: December 28, 2013, Accepted: December 30, 2013, Published: January 3, 2014
    http://scienceq.org/archive.php?jname=abz&jid=abz0114462&tit=Nanobiotechnology and its implementation in Agriculture#.VGmFNJVxnIU
    http://scienceq.org/archive_user.php?jname=abz#.VGl9mpVxnIU (Publisher: ScienceQ*)

    Paper 2: Ram Prasad 1*, Vivek Kumar 1, Kumar Suranjit Prasad 2 (2014) Nanotechnology in sustainable agriculture: Present concerns and future aspects. African Journal of Biotechnology 13(6), 705-713 (review)
    DOI: 10.5897/AJBX2013.13554; Article Number – 1C0ABA342977
    1 Amity institute of Microbial Technology, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, Sector 125, Noida- 201303, UP, India
    2 Department of Environmental Biotechnology, Ashok & Rita Patel Institute of Integrated Study and Research in Biotechnology and Allied Sciences, New Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand-388121, Gujarat, India
    Received: 12 November 2013, Accepted: 16 January 2014; Published: 05 February 2014
    http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/AJB/article-abstract/1C0ABA342977
    http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/AJB/article-stat/1C0ABA342977 (total views: 603; downloaded: 2202)

    Problem/concern:
    The entire introduction of paper 2 (pp. 705-706) and parts of the conclusions (pp. 711-712) is identical, in most parts, word for word, to paper 1. Neither paper references the other, nor indicates the existence of the other.

    Paper 1 states “Vivek Kumar is working as Associate. Professor, Amity Institute of Microbial Technology, AMITY University, Noida, India. He did his Master’s and Doctoral degree in Microbiology. He has served as Microbiologist in Public Authority of Agricultural Affairs, Kuwait for 8 years. Guided many M.Sc/M.Tech students and guiding two doctoral degree students. Has published 51 research papers, 7 book chapters, 4 review articles and one book. He has delivered many research related lectures in conferences in India and abroad. He is recipient of “Young Scientist ward” in Agricultural Microbiology by Association of Microbiologists of India. His area of research interests are; plant-microbe-interactions, bioremediation, environmental microbiology and nanotechnology.”

    Dr. Kumar is on the board of editors at JABZ, the journal in which paper 1 was published:
    http://scienceq.org/editormenu.php?jname=abz#.VGmLl5VxnIU

    * Listed as predatory open access publishers on Jeffrey Beall’s blog. Both journals/publishers consider plagiarism to be a serious academic offense:
    http://www.academicjournals.org/publication_ethics
    http://scienceq.org/instruction_author.php#.VGmOqJVxnIU

  • Dendrobium concerns November 19, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Paper A (Springer)
    Padmaja Mohanty, Meera C. Das, Suman Kumaria, Pramod Tandon (2013) Cryopreservation of pharmaceutically important orchid Dendrobium chrysanthum Wall. ex Lindl. using vitrification based method. Acta Physiologia Plantarum 35: 1373–1379
    Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India
    http://www.nehu.ac.in/
    DOI 10.1007/s11738-012-1163-z
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11738-012-1163-z
    No citations

    Paper B (Springer)
    Padmaja Mohanty, Pynbeitsyon Nongkling, Meera C. Das, Suman Kumaria, Pramod Tandon (2013) Short-term storage of alginate-encapsulated protocorm-like bodies of Dendrobium nobile Lindl.: an endangered medicinal orchid from North-east India. 3 Biotech 3: 235–239
    DOI 10.1007/s13205-012-0090-4
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13205-012-0090-4 (open access)
    No citations

    Paper C (Springer)
    Padmaja Mohanty 1, J. Das 2 (2013) Synthetic seed technology for short term conservation of medicinal orchid Dendrobium densiflorum Lindl. Ex Wall and assessment of genetic fidelity of regenerants. Plant Growth Regulation 70(3):297–303
    1. National Research Centre for Orchids, Pakyong, 737106, Sikkim, India (http://www.nrcorchids.nic.in/)
    2. Plant Bioresources Division, Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), Sikkim Centre, Tadong, 737102, Gangtok, India (http://www.ibsd.gov.in/currentResearch.htm)
    DOI 10.1007/s10725-013-9801-z
    Erratum: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10725-013-9831-6
    http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/652/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10725-013-9831-6.pdf?auth66=1416229592_ab8f79c7a260625e009a76ff46ab3d55&ext=.pdf states “Due to an institutional conflict on research program, the corresponding author of the article would like to remove the fig 1 from the original publication of the article.” (Published online: 6 June 2013)
    Retraction: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10725-013-9801-z states “This article has been retracted at the request of the Publisher due to a violation of Springer’s publishing integrity. The figure 1 of the article has been duplicated from different research papers and led to some serious scientific flaw in the article.”
    Retraction notice: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10725-013-9871-y
    http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/883/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10725-013-9871-y.pdf?auth66=1416229764_7b3d67ec9fdd98a8796cff5a05661142&ext=.pdf
    No citations

    Paper D (Springer)
    Padmaja Mohanty, Meera C. Das, Suman Kumaria, Pramod Tandon (2013) High-efficiency cryopreservation of the medicinal orchid Dendrobium nobile Lindl. Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture 109(2):297–305
    DOI 10.1007/s11240-011-0095-4
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11240-011-0095-4
    No citations

    Six apparent figure duplications

    1) Fig 3D of Paper A is identical to Fig. 1B of Paper C
    False (unintended) conclusion: Dendrobium chrysanthum = Dendrobium densiflorum

    2) Fig. 3E of Paper B is identical to Fig 1A of Paper C
    Fig. 3B of Paper B is identical to Fig 1D of Paper C
    False (unintended) conclusion: Dendrobium nobile = Dendrobium densiflorum

    3) Fig. 3A of Paper B is identical to Fig 1C of Paper C
    False (unintended) conclusion: Dendrobium nobile = Dendrobium densiflorum

    4) Fig. 7G of Paper D is identical to Fig 3H of Paper B
    Fig. 7E of Paper D is identical to Fig 1E of Paper C
    False (unintended) conclusion: Dendrobium nobile = Dendrobium densiflorum

    Several figures have been duplicated across four manuscripts. This raises doubts about the correct plant material used in any of the in vitro experiments described in all four papers. Since several photos are duplicated and/or mixed up, there are also doubts about the validity of the interpretation of the data sets, and if they in fact refer to the plant that is being referred to in each title. The integrity of all four papers is thus in doubt, and a key question arises: which manuscript actually represents which Dendrobium species?

    Institutional profile (Tandon, Kumaria, Das):
    http://nehu.ac.in/Schools/Life%20Sciences/Botany/faculty.php
    Professional profiles:
    Pramod Tandon (Professor): http://nac.nic.in/members/pramod.php
    Suman Kumaria (Professor): http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Suman_Kumaria/publications?pubType=dataset
    Meera C. Das (Lecturer): http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Meera_Das/topics
    Padmaja Mohanty: not listed at NRCO: http://www.nrcorchids.nic.in/Personnel.html
    Pynbeitsyon Nongkling: after MSc (2008-2010) at NEHU, PhD candidate 2011-2012 (candidate no. 5):
    http://www.nehu.ac.in/Schools/Life%20Sciences/Botany/bot_151111.pdf (supervisor = H. Kayang)
    The institutional web-page of J. Das cannot be identified.

    There are now four PubPeer entries corresponding to Papers A to D:
    Paper A: https://pubpeer.com/publications/8448D8CF8D1F69936CDC1A35D9BBCC
    Paper B: https://pubpeer.com/publications/1CE3174266AF780AD6AB8EC0ABADE1
    Paper C: https://pubpeer.com/publications/1801EC08556E90F5026575FA1431B2
    Paper D: https://pubpeer.com/publications/C7D8632E7ED6D6F852A93D9A516A49

    • Meera C. Das November 20, 2014 at 4:32 am

      The following is my response to the commentary posts:

      Similar allegations were made earlier by the anonymous whistleblower to Springer Publications.

      I reproduce the decision of Springer:

      [Dear Dr. Das,

      I would like to inform you that the anonymous whistleblower has received the following response by my colleague Jacco Flipsen:

      “Following up to COPE standards, we have evaluated your retraction request related to duplication of figures. The case also has been evaluated by the Ethics group at Springer. We have come to the conclusion that the article in Plant Growth Regulation should not have been published because of figure duplication. This article will be retracted shortly; the authors have been informed. […]”

      So the article in Plant Growth Regulation will be retracted, all other papers are not affected.

      Kind regards
      Christina Eckey
      — 
Christina Eckey, PhD
      Springer
Senior Editor, Plant Sciences]

      I wish to put the matter straight. In fact I had complained to all the concerned Editors of Springer and officials of Institute of Bioresource Development (place of work of J. Das) and National Research Centre on Orchids (place of work of P. Mohanty) about the use of photographs from our earlier published work in the following publication:

      Paper C: Mohanty, P. and J. Das (2013)
      Plant Growth Regulation 70:297–303
      DOI 10.1007/s10725-013-9801-z

      Healthy criticism is always welcome, but a matter already decided by Springer needs no further clarification from my end. I will not engage in any form of correspondence in this matter henceforth.

      Meera C Das, Botany Department, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong 793022, India

  • Dendrobium concerns November 19, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Concerns about Vyas et al. 2009, 2011 and 2012 Dendrobium papers

    2009 paper
    Vyas, S., Guha, S., Bhattacharya M, Usha Rao, I. 2009. Rapid regeneration of plants of Dendrobium lituiflorum Lindl. (Orchidaceae) by using banana extract. Scientia Horticulturae 121:32-37 (Elsevier)
    Department of Botany, University of Delhi, Delhi, 110007, India
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304423809000107
    DOI: 10.1016/j.scienta.2009.01.012

    2011 paper
    S. Vyas, P. Kapoor-Pandey, S.Guha, I. Usha Rao. 2011. Synchronous plantlet formation by using banana extract and in vitro hardening in orchid, Dendrobium lituiflorum Lindl. Journal of Ornamental and Horticultural Plants 1(3): 175-184
    http://webzoom.freewebs.com/jornamental/vol%203/Shivani2.pdf
    No DOI

    2012 paper
    Vyas, S., Kapai, V.Y., Kapoor, P., Guha, S., Usha Rao, I. 2012. In vitro plantlet regeneration from protocorms of Dendrobium lituiflorum Lindl. and Cymbidium bicolor Lindl. and their acclimatization: effect of salts, sucrose, and banana extract. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology 87(5): 485-492
    http://www.jhortscib.org/Vol87/87_5/15.htm
    No DOI

    Similarities (suggesting partial duplication and salami publication):
    a) same orchid: Dendrobium lituiflorum
    b) same plant material: seed-derived protocorms
    c) same parameters assessed: banana extract
    d) same medium: Knudson’s C
    e) same acclimatization protocol: 9:1 (cocopeat : perlite)
    f) same stats analyses.
    g) The 1st line of the 2012 R&D paper states: “The present study indicated that the natural additive, BE, promoted plantlet regeneration and subsequent growth.” This fact alone nullifies the originality of this manuscript since this fact was already proved in the 2009 and 2011 papers.

    Concerns:
    a) Fig. 3E of the 2011 paper appears to be a photo of the same plants photographed in Fig. 7H of the 2009 paper (2009 paper in oblique view, 2011 paper in top view).
    b) For best protocorm development, in the 2009 paper, the authors recommend 10% BE, in the 2011 paper, 20% BE and in the 2012 paper 10% or 20% BE. Given the fact that this is identical plant material, why are different optimal levels recommended? Which concentration should orchid scientists use, and average of 15% BE? In the 2009 paper, the authors stated “A significant increase (p < 0.05) in protocorms with developing leaves and rhizoids (stage 4) with higher percentages of BE up to 10% (v/v) BE in KC medium was observed (Figs 3 and 7A).” However, studying Fig 3 it is clear that there was no significant difference between the effects of BE at 2.5, 5 or 10% on the percentage of protocorms in stage 4. Moreover they stated, that “The higher concentrations [of BA] proved to be inhibitory”. However, studying Fig. 2 it is clear that BA had no effect on germination, either stimulatory or inhibitory, because no significant differences were presented between the treatments or even relative to the control. If the data has not been correctly interpreted, then how accurate are the subsequent claims made in the subsequent 2011 and 2012 papers?
    c) For best plantlet development, in the 2009 paper, the authors recommend 12.5% BE, in the 2011 paper, 20% BE and in the 2012 paper 20% BE. Which concentration should orchid scientists use, considering that it is identical plant material?
    d) In all three papers, the English is very poor and riddled with serious grammatical errors. This makes interpretation of the data a little difficult to understand.
    e) In the 2011 paper, Figures 1A and 1C indicate the exact same parameters with completely different data. This is a serious fault that casts doubt on the validity of the data set. The negative values on the Y-axis make absolutely no sense (just as the paper from 2012). Most likely Fig 1A was about root and shoot number. In the 2010 and 2011 papers, the authors reference the Vyas et al (2009) paper in the text several times, but no paper is listed under Vyas et al (2009) in the reference list. What study and paper exactly were the authors referring to? Is there a fourth, unknown paper? The authors use a confusing term in their 2011 paper “the root length was clubbed into two categories”: what does this mean?
    f) The data on root and shoot length and number has been stretched over 2-3 papers (i.e., possible salami publication).
    g) In all three papers, it is not indicated if percentage values were transformed prior to analyses. What version of SPSS was used?
    h) Why are the authors so different despite almost the same parameters having been studied? This shows why it is important for journals to indicate clearly the authors’ contributions. In particular, the authors Kapai and Bhattacharya. Why is one author indicated as Kapoor-Pandey in the 2011 paper but only as Kapoor in the 2012 paper? Are these in fact the same individual? If yes, then this confuses metrics and accurate referencing.
    i) Finally, in the conclusion of the 2009 paper, the authors state “conservation of biodiversity.” However, biodiversity is not an issue in this paper. Surely, the authors meant “germplasm conservation” since the in vitro protocol generates clonal material which is the antithesis of biodiversity?

    Although the three papers do describe additional analyses and some differences (e.g. testing BA in the 2009 paper, data on Luffa sponge and agar-agar in the 2011 paper, or some new additives and another orchid, Cymbidium bicolor, in the 2012 paper), the similarities between all three papers are substantial (abstract, introduction, M&M, and R&D sections) and the main findings have already been published in the 2009 paper and thus should not, in my opinion, have appeared in the 2011 or 2012 papers as “original data”, which it is not. It is redundant data. At minimum, the authors had the responsibility of declaring the 2009 paper in the 2011 references, and the 2011 paper in the 2012 references, but they did not. Why did the authors not indicate the existence of these previous papers?

  • Qui? November 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    An update on the following case, and insight into why the 2012b paper suddenly vanished from the IDOSI web-site. Note that even though Dr. Hamidoghli claims that he was not aware of both of these papers, that the 2012a paper continues intact, without any notice, or expression of concern.

    Raad MK, Zanjani SB, Shoor M, Hamidoghli Y, Sayyad AR, Kharabian-Masouleh A, Kaviani B. Callus induction and organogenesis capacity from lamina and petiole explants of Anthurium andraeanum Linden (Casino and Antadra). Australian J Crop Sci 2012a;6(5):928-937.

    Raad MK, Zanjani SB, Sayyad AR, Maghsudi M, Kaviani B. Effect of cultivar, type and age of explants, light conditions and plant growth regulators on callus formation of anthurium. American-Eurasian J Agric Environ. Sci 2012b;12(6):706-712.

    Dr. Y. Hamidoghli, Dept. of Horticulture, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran, provided a formal explanation:
    “I shall thank you for your e-mail and notification, because I was not aware of the tow published articles. In 2011, Mr. Raad MK, Zanjani finished his Msc. thesis with me and Dr. M. Shoor as supervisors. According to your e-mail, Dr. Kavyani (I don,t know him) wrote! an article from this dissertation (in 2012) and added some other names as ”Authors” in the article. This article was published in AJCS. In the same year, he published another copy of this article, with some other names as authors, in American-Eurasian J Agric Environ. Sci Journal. Please be aware that all these publications were without my permission or awareness. Due to this plagiarism, I request the deletion of both articles from stated journals. Please include Dr. Kavyani and Dr. Ardashir Kharabian-Masouleh’s names in the black list so that this would not be repeated. Thank you for your cooperation sincerely Dr. Y. Hamidoghli”

  • Anthurium query November 19, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Gantait S, Mandal N, Bhattacharyya S, Das PK. In vitro mass multiplication with pure genetic identity in Anthurium andraeanum Lind. Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology 2008;18(2):113-122. (Publisher: Bangladesh Association for Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology)
    Department of Biotechnology, Instrumentation and Environmental Science, B.C.K.V., Mohanpur, W.B.‐741252, India
    http://www.baptcb.org/ptc/Full_article/ptc18_2_03.pdf (open access)
    No DOI

    Saikat Gantait, Nirmal Mandal. Tissue culture of Anthurium andraeanum: a significant review and future prospective. International Journal of Botany 2010;6(3):207-219. (Publisher: Science Alert*)
    Institutional address: as above.
    http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ijb.2010.207.219 (open access)
    DOI: 10.3923/ijb.2010.207.219

    Saikat Gantait, Uma Rani Sinniah. Morphology, flow cytometry and molecular assessment of ex-vitro grown micropropagated anthurium in comparison with seed germinated plants. African Journal of Biotechnology 2011;10(64):13991-13998. (Publisher: Academic Journals*)
    Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
    http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1380884655_Gantait%20and%20Sinniah.pdf
    DOI: 10.5897/AJB11.1855 (valid DOI?)

    Saikat Gantait 1, Uma Rani Sinniah 1, Nirmal Mandal 2, Prakash Kanti Das 3. Direct induction of protocorm-like bodies from shoot tips, plantlet formation, and clonal fidelity analysis in Anthurium andreanum cv. CanCan. Plant Growth Regulation 2012;67(3):257-270. (Publisher: Springer Science + Business Media)
    1. Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
    2. Department of Biotechnology, Instrumentation and Environmental Science, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, WB, 741252, India
    3. Department of Genetics, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, WB, 741252, India
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10725-012-9684-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s10725-012-9684-4

    In the 2012 paper, figure 3e of the acclimatized plants is identical to Fig. 1a of the 2011 paper

    Of concern is that the first five lanes of Fig. 1f of the 2010 paper are identical to the full gel indicated in Fig. 2A of the 2008 paper. The 2010 paper does not indicate whether it has used the same gel image from the 2008 paper. The first sample lane of the 2008 gel, labelled as P, refers to the mother plant. The first sample lane of the 2010 gel, labelled as C1, refers to a clone. The 2008 P lane appears to be identical to the C1 lane of the 2010 gel. It is evident that identical lanes cannot represent different samples.

    Authors and all journals were anonymously notified of these concerns in February, 2014.

    * Open access publishers considered to be “predatory” by Jeffrey Beall: http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/

    There is a PubPeer entry for this case:
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/7D433CBB6E3CF846EF798FA747B0F0#fb16726

  • Ceropegia query November 19, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Paper 1 (P-1)
    Publisher: Trans Stellar*
    Kalimuthu K, Prabakaran R (2013) In vitro flowering from nodal explants of Ceropegia pusilla Wight and Arn. International Journal of Botany and Research 3(3), 35-42
    Plant Tissue Culture Division, PG and Research, Department of Botany, Government Arts College (Autonomous), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
    http://tjprc.org/journals.php?jtype=2&id=46 (no editor board)
    http://tjprc.org/view-archives.php?year=2013_14_2&id=46&jtype=2&page=2
    No DOI (open access)
    No submission, acceptance or publication dates.
    Funding: “The authors extend their gratitude to the University Grants Commission (UGC File No 35-35/2008(SR) dt.19.03.2009), New Delhi of their financial assistance.”

    Paper 2 (P-2) (PDF watermarked “RETRACTED”)
    Publisher: Gyathri Publishers
    Kalimuthu K, Prabakaran R (2013) In vitro and micropropagation for conservation of rare and threatened medicinal plant Ceropegia species – a review. International Journal of Biological Technology 4(2), 23-36
    Institutional address as for P-1.
    http://www.gbtrp.com/journal/ijbt%20volume%20no%204(2).htm (if links problematic, search from root menu: http://gbtrp.com/ijbt.htm)
    No DOI (open access)
    No funding statement.
    Published: 15, August, 2013. No submission or acceptance dates.

    Paper 3 (P-3)
    Publisher: ScienceDomain International*
    Kalimuthu K 1, Prabakaran R 1, Paulsamy S 2, Jeyaraman S 1 (2014) Microtuberization of Ceropegia pusilla Wight and Arn. an endangered medicinal plant. European Journal of Medicinal Plants 4(1), 64-74
    1 Plant Tissue Culture Division, PG and Research Department of Botany, Government Arts College (Autonomous), Coimbatore-641018, India.
    2 Department of Botany, Government Arts College (Autonomous), Salem-636007, India.
    http://www.sciencedomain.org/issue.php?iid=281&id=13?aid=729
    http://www.sciencedomain.org/abstract.php?id=13?aid=729&aid=2256
    DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/5266 (open access)
    Funding: “The authors extend their gratitude to the University Grand Commission (UGC), New Delhi for their financial assistance.”
    Received 12th June 2013; Accepted 14th September 2013; Published 11th October 2013
    “Authors’ contributions: All the authors have cordially supported to the work and preparation of manuscript. Authors KK and RP have designed the entire study and protocols with interpretations of the results and prepared the first draft of the manuscript. Author SJ managed the analyses of the study and computational work respectively. Author SP guided in the entire research and documented the final draft of the manuscript. All the authors have read and approved the final manuscript.”

    Paper 4 (P-4) (PDF watermarked “UNDER INVESTIGATION”)
    Publisher: ScienceDomain International*
    Prabakaran R 1, Sasikala T 2, Kalimuthu K 1 (2013) Regeneration of shoots from callus of Ceropegia pusilla Wight and ARN. British Biotechnology Journal 3(3), 416-423
    1 Plant Tissue Culture Division, PG and Research Department of Botany, Government Arts College (Autonomous), Coimbatore-641018, India.
    2 Department of Botany, Government Arts College (Autonomous), Salem-636007, India.
    http://www.sciencedomain.org/issue.php?iid=217&id=11
    http://www.sciencedomain.org/abstract.php?iid=217&id=11&aid=1596
    DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2013/4048 (open access)
    Funding: “The authors extend their gratitude to the University Grand Commission (UGC), New Delhi for their financial assistance.”
    Received 25th March 2013; Accepted 10th June 2013; Published 29th June 2013
    “Authors’ contributions: This work was carried out in collaboration between the three authors. Author KK designed the study, performed the statistical analysis, and made the final draft of the manuscript. Authors RP and TS managed the literature searches, carried out the study under the supervision of author KK and wrote the protocol. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.”

    Apparent data duplication
    data in Table 2 of P-3 = data in Table 1 of P-4
    data in Table 3 of P-3 = data in Table 4 of P-4
    Notice how micromolar amounts are used by P-4 and mg/l amounts in P-3

    Apparent figure duplication and manipulation
    1F of P-1 = 1E of P-2 = 1G of P-3
    1A of P-2 = 1A of P-4
    1B of P-2 = 1B of P-4
    1F of P-2 = 1F of P-4
    1D of P-3 = 1C of P-1
    1E of P-3 = 1C of P-2
    1B of P-1 = 1D of P-4 (tilted and twisted)

    Apparent plagiarism:
    2013 review (P-2) copies the abstracts of most studies in the literature, and presents this as a review, listing the studies chronologically. Subsequently, this paper has already been retracted, 24 hours after we issued our report:
    IJBT Biotek Editor writes “Thank you for your advice. As the plagiarism is serious, we have retracted the article now on consulting with the consent editor and corresponding author. The retracted article link is given below for your reference.”
    http://www.gbtrp.com/journal/ijbt%20volume%20no%204%282%29kalimuthu%20abs.htm
    http://www.gbtrp.com/journal/ijbt%20volume%20no%204%282%29/ijbt150813104.pdf

    Apparent salami slicing and data/method duplication
    in vitro tuberization, shoot and flower induction already reported in P-1 (classical salami slice adding information to text in P-1 and data in tables in P-3 to feign originality; self-plagiarism exact text copied, see M&M section; values reported in molar amounts in P-1 and then in g/l amounts in P-3 to appear original, but are identical concentrations.

    Paper 5 (P-5) (PDF watermarked “UNDER INVESTIGATION”)
    Publisher: ScienceDomain International*
    Interestingly, another paper by the same authors, on the same plant, but on another aspect and in another journal by the same publisher, Sciencedomain.
    R. Prabakaran1, K. Kalimuthu1*, C. Vani2 and C. Brindha3 (2014) Angiogenesis and Antioxidant Activity of in vitro and in vivo Tuber of Ceropegia pusilla Wight and Arn. British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 4(5), 608-616
    1Plant Tissue Culture Division, PG and Research Department of Botany, Government Arts College (Autonomous), Coimbatore-641018, India.
    2Department of Biotechnology, Karunya University, Coimbatore-641 114, India.
    3Department of Microbiology PSG College of Arts and Science Coimbatore-641 014, India.
    http://www.sciencedomain.org/issue.php?iid=383&id=14
    http://www.sciencedomain.org/abstract.php?iid=383&id=14&aid=3262
    DOI: 10.9734/BJPR/2014/7481
    Funding: None declared.
    Received 18th October 2013; Accepted 24th December 2013; Published 12th January 2014
    “Authors’ contributions: This work was carried out in collaboration between all authors. Authors RP and C.B conducted the plant extraction, antioxidant assays, performed the statistical analysis and wrote the manuscript. Author KK participated in designing the experimental details and interpreting the work and revising the paper. Author CV conducted the in vivo CAM assay and critically revised the paper. All authors read, edited and approved the final manuscript.”

    There are three PubPeer entries:
    P-3: https://pubpeer.com/publications/465647BF634B1332302F3A5FFF4382
    P-4: https://pubpeer.com/publications/0878DCF9FB46DF7AE12D59B6F730A4
    P-5: https://pubpeer.com/publications/937ED73ED01C18847EE9F4A9256E42

    * Publishers listed as “predatory” by Jeffrey Beall at http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/

  • Das Eckey query November 20, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Dear Prof. Meera Das. You are kind and courageous to respond. It is healthy to have an open and frank discussion about your three papers. However, it appears as if there are about 150 errors and concerns with these three papers. How do you plan to address those errors? Also, can you or Christina Eckey kindly indicate who forms part of this “ethics group” at Springer that oversees such important decisions? Will Springer request you to address the approximately 150 comments, questions and concerns related to your three papers, and will a comprehensive erratum be published that addresses all the issues? Or will you and your co-authors voluntarily come forward to address the comments, and then request an erratum, or even an expression of concern?

    Does your statement “I will not engage in any form of correspondence in this matter henceforth” indicate that you are not prepared to respond to the concerns and queries and to correct the academic record? Do you feel that this would be the most responsible attitude towards the plant science community, especially orchidologists who would need to rely on accurate, clear and well-explained protocols to complete work on Dendrobium?

    Finally, your note was very curious. If we enter the name, Christina Eckey*, into the main scientific data-bases (Elsevier’s sciencedirect.com, Springer’s SpringerLink, Taylor and Francis Online, Wiley Online, PubMed, Walter deGryter), the data-bases turn up two very respectable papers from 2004** and 2005*** related to molecular phytopathology, when it appears as if Dr. Eckey appears to have obtained her PhD from Justus-Liebig-University. I am assuming that this experience in plant science is what allowed her to be given the position of Springer
Senior Editor, Plant Sciences. What experience has Dr. Eckey had in the past 8 years in plant science research that would then qualify her to make a scientifically validated judgment about orchid biotechnology? And what criteria are required to form part of the Springer “ethics group”? Perhaps Christina Eckey might like to come forward to explain these important issues since transparency underlies not only the peer review process, but also the decisions regarding retractions and errata. As equally as scientists are expected to trust the transparency of an editor board, so too, surely, should the scientific pool also request more transparency from Springer?

    * http://www.springer.com/biomed/contact?SGWID=0-1755214-0-0-0
    ** http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11103-004-0275-2
    Christina Eckey, Michael Korell, Katja Leib, Dagmar Biedenkopf, Carin Jansen, Gregor Langen, Karl-Heinz Kogel Identification of powdery mildew-induced barley genes by cDNA-AFLP: functional assessment of an early expressed MAP kinase Plant Molecular Biology May 2004, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 1-15
    *** http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168945204003814
    Carin Jansen, Michael Korell, Christina Eckey, Dagmar Biedenkopf, Karl-Heinz Kogel Identification and transcriptional analysis of powdery mildew-induced barley genes. Plant Science, Volume 168, Issue 2, February 2005, Pages 373-380
    Department of Phytopathology and Applied Zoology, Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Environmental Sciences, Justus-Liebig-University, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, D-35392 Giessen, Germany

  • Wheat query November 21, 2014 at 4:51 am

    C. L. Olliver, A. Grobler-Rabie, C. D. Boyd (1984) In Vitro Translation of Messenger RNA in a Wheat Germ Extract Cell-Free System. In: Nucleic Acids Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 2, pp 137-144
    Affiliation for all three authors: MRC Unit for Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, University of Stellenbosch Medical School, Tygerberg, South Africa
    Editor: John M. Walker
    DOI: 10.1385/0-89603-064-4:137
    Publisher and copyright holder: Humana Press
    http://link.springer.com/protocol/10.1385/0-89603-064-4%3A137

    Louise Olliver, Anne Grobler-Rabie, Charles D. Boyd (1998) In Vitro Translation of Messenger RNA in a Wheat Germ Extract Cell-Free System. In: RNA Isolation and Characterization Protocols Methods in Molecular Biology™ Volume 86, pp 229-233
    Ollivier and Grobler-Rabie: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Brunswick, New Brunswick, NJ
    No affiliation for Boyd.
    Editors: Ralph Rapley and David L. Manning
    DOI: 10.1385/0-89603-494-1:229
    Publisher and copyright holder: Humana Press
    http://link.springer.com/protocol/10.1385/0-89603-494-1%3A229

    An estimated 90-95% of the whole book chapter is identical. Only tiny fractions of the introduction (page 229, 1998 paper) and the notes (page 232, 1998 paper) are different. For the remainder, it is a word-by-word copy. The 1998 paper does not reference or acknowledge the 1984 chapter.

    When DOIs are entered into PubPeer, they reveal a “null” result, so unfortunately PubPeer entries cannot be created. Are these real or registered DOIs?

  • Wheat query 2 November 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    There is an update to the above post (Wheat query: 1984 and 1998 book chapters). Another two identical book chapters were discovered on the DOI/CrossRef web-site and have been analyzed. This comment complements the above one and also adds more details about the comparisons.

    C. L. Olliver, A. Grobler-Rabie, C. D. Boyd (1996) In Vitro Translation of Messenger RNA in a Wheat Germ Extract Cell-Free System. In: Basic DNA and RNA Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology™ Volume 58, 1996, pp 485-490
    Ollivier and Grobler-Rabie: MRC Unit for Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, University of Stellenbosch Medical School, Tygerberg, South Africa
    Boyd: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Brunswick, New Brunswick, NJ
    Editor: Adrian J. Harwood
    DOI: 10.1385/0-89603-402-X:485
    Publisher and copyright holder: Humana Press
    http://link.springer.com/protocol/10.1385/0-89603-402-X%3A485

    Louise Olliver, Anne Grobler-Rabie, Charles D. Boyd (2000) In Vitro Translation of Messenger RNA in a Wheat Germ Extract Cell-Free System. In: The Nucleic Acid Protocols Handbook 2000, pp 891-894
    Ollivier, Grobler-Rabie, Boyd: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Brunswick, New Brunswick, NJ
    Editor: Ralph Rapley
    DOI: 10.1385/1-59259-038-1:891
    Publisher and copyright holder: Humana Press
    http://link.springer.com/protocol/10.1385/1-59259-038-1%3A891

    The 1996, 1998 and 2000 chapters are 100% identical. The older chapters do not acknowledge the existence of any of the previously published chapters.

    An estimated 90-95% of the 1984 vs 1996/1998/2000 book chapters are identical. Only tiny fractions of the introduction (page 229, 1998 paper) and the notes (page 232, 1998 paper) are different. For the remainder, it is a word-by-word copy. The 1996/1998/2000 chapters do not reference or acknowledge each other, or the 1984 chapter.

    When the DOIs of the 1996/1998/2000 book chapters are entered into PubPeer, they reveal a “null” result, so unfortunately PubPeer entries cannot be created. However, a PubPeer entry was created for the 1984 chapter:
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/083EB54A0D6E64C345340CA4C8564D#fb16836

  • Plant tissue culture query November 21, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    P-1
    Trevor A. Thorpe History of Plant Tissue Culture. Plant Cell Culture Protocols Methods in Molecular Biology™ Volume 318, 2006, pp 9-32
    Editors: Victor M. Loyola-Vargas, Felipe Vázquez-Flota
    Publisher and Copyright Holder: Humana Press
    http://link.springer.com/protocol/10.1385/1-59259-959-1%3A009
    DOI: 10.1385/1-59259-959-1:009

    P-2
    Trevor A. Thorpe History of plant tissue culture. Molecular Biotechnology October 2007, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 169-180 Date: 27 Jun 2007
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12033-007-0031-3
    Publisher: Humana Press Inc.; Copyright Holder: not indicated.
    DOI: 10.1007/s12033-007-0031-3
    23 citations

    P-3
    Trevor Thorpe History of Plant Tissue Culture. Plant Cell Culture Protocols Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 877, 2012, pp 9-27 Date: 02 Apr 2012
    Editors: Víctor M. Loyola-Vargas, Neftalí Ochoa-Alejo
    Publisher: Humana Press; Copyright Holder: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
    http://link.springer.com/protocol/10.1007/978-1-61779-818-4_2
    DOI: 10.1007/978-1-61779-818-4_2

    P-4
    Trevor A. Thorpe Chapter 1 – History of Plant Cell Culture. Plant Tissue Culture (Third Edition), 2013, Pages 1-22
    Publisher and Copyright Holder: Elsevier Inc.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124159204000013
    DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-415920-4.00001-3

    P-1, p. 11: “This current article is based on an earlier review by the author (24) (used with permission from Elsevier).”
    P-2, p. 170: “This current article is based on an earlier review by the author [24] (used with permission from Elsevier).”
    P-3, p. 10: “This current article is based on an earlier review by the author ( 24 ) (used with permission from Elsevier).”
    P-4: no statement indicating any permission or reference to any of the previous chapters.

    In P-1, P-2 and P-3, reference 24 is referring to the following 2000 book chapter (extremely difficult to access):
    Thorpe, T. A. (2000). History of plant cell culture. Chap. 1. In R. H. Smith (Ed.), Plant tissue culture: Techniques and Experiments (2nd ed., pp. 1–32). California: Academic Press

    The concern:
    Except for the very brief, approximately 1 page introduction in all 4 chapters, the remainder of the chapter is identical, in most parts (estimated at 90-95%) word-for-word identical. Even section titles and sub-sections are identical. The slight differences that exist most likely reflect edits that each editor requested as the chapters got updated along the way.

    The requests/queries:
    1) Can the term “based on” be equated with the copying word for word?
    2) The author is kindly requested to publicly provide a copy of the three copyright permissions for P-1, P-2 and P-3.
    3) The author is kindly requested to indicate if the content of P-4, which is almost identical to that of P1, P-2 and P-3, is also identical, or similar in parts, to the 2000 book chapter.
    4) The author is kindly requested to make available, a copy of the 2000 chapter, without breaking any copyright laws (perhaps Academic Press could be so kind as to make the copy available in open access at PubPeer, for the purpose of verification of this case).
    5) The author is kindly requested to explain why the list of papers on his professional web-site listed below is incomplete, and does not list these apparent partial chapter duplications.
    6) The editors are kindly requested to also join in the conversation and provide their perspectives.
    7) If a scientist would like to reference a/the chapter entitled “History of plant cell culture”, but the content of the latter 4 (P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4) is almost identical, which of the four copies does the author recommend be used in the citation?
    8) The last part of the four duplicated chapters, entitled “The present” is “interesting” because the chapters span from 2006-2013, yet they say the exact same thing, except for P-2 and P-4 which provide a one sentence and a few-sentences update. See excerpt below of P-1(2006) vs P-3 (2012).*

    Prof. Trevor A. Thorpe:
    Biological Sciences Department, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada, T2N 1N4
    http://www.bio.ucalgary.ca/contact/faculty/thorpe.html
    B.Sc. Agriculture (Pomology), University of Allahabad, India, 1961
    M.Sc. Horticultural Science, University of California, Riverside, USA, 1964
    Ph.D. Plant Science – Plant Physiology, University of California, Riverside, USA, 1968

    Abstracts

    P-1: “Plant tissue culture, or the aseptic culture of cells, tissues, organs, and their components under defined physical and chemical conditions in vitro, is an important tool in both basic and applied studies as well as in commercial application. It owes its origin to the ideas of the German scientist, Haberlandt, at the beginning of the 20th century. The early studies led to root cultures, embryo cultures, and the first true callus/tissue cultures. The period between the 1940s and the 1960s was marked by the development of new techniques and the improvement of those already in use. It was the availability of these techniques that led to the application of tissue culture to five broad areas, namely, cell behavior (including cytology, nutrition, metabolism, morphogenesis, embryogenesis, and pathology), plant modification and improvement, pathogen-free plants and germplasm storage, clonal propagation, and product (mainly secondary metabolite) formation, starting in the mid-1960s. The 1990s saw continued expansion in the application of the in vitro technologies to an increasing number of plant species. Cell cultures have remained an important tool in the study of basic areas of plant biology and biochemistry and have assumed major significance in studies in molecular biology and agricultural biotechnology. The historical development of these in vitro technologies and their applications are the focus of this chapter.”

    P-2: “Plant tissue culture, or the aseptic culture of cells, tissues, organs, and their components under defined physical and chemical conditions in vitro, is an important tool in both basic and applied studies as well as in commercial application. It owes its origin to the ideas of the German scientist, Haberlandt, at the begining of the 20th century. The early studies led to root cultures, embryo cultures, and the first true callus/tissue cultures. The period between the 1940s and the 1960s was marked by the development of new techniques and the improvement of those that were already in use. It was the availability of these techniques that led to the application of tissue culture to five broad areas, namely, cell behavior (including cytology, nutrition, metabolism, morphogenesis, embryogenesis, and pathology), plant modification and improvement, pathogenfree plants and germplasm storage, clonal propagation, and product (mainly secondary metabolite) formation, starting in the mid-1960s. The 1990s saw continued expansion in the application of the in vitro technologies to an increasing number of plant species. Cell cultures have remained an important tool in the study of basic areas of plant biology and biochemistry and have assumed major significance in studies in molecular biology and agricultural biotechnology. The historical development of these in vitro technologies and their applications are the focus of this chapter.”

    P-3: “Plant tissue culture, or the aseptic culture of cells, tissues, organs, and their components under defined physical and chemical conditions in vitro, is an important tool in both basic and applied studies as well as in commercial application. It owes its origin to the ideas of the German scientist, Haberlandt, at the beginning of the twentieth century. The early studies led to root cultures, embryo cultures, and the first true callus/tissue cultures. The period between the 1940s and the 1960s was marked by the development of new techniques and the improvement of those that were already in use. It was the availability of these techniques that led to the application of tissue culture to five broad areas, namely, cell behavior (including cytology, nutrition, metabolism, morphogenesis, embryogenesis, and pathology), plant modification and improvement, pathogen-free plants and germplasm storage, clonal propagation, and product (mainly secondary metabolite) formation, starting in the mid-1960s. The 1990s saw continued expansion in the application of the in vitro technologies to an increasing number of plant species. Cell cultures have remained an important tool in the study of basic areas of plant biology and biochemistry and have assumed major significance in studies in molecular biology and agricultural biotechnology in the twenty-first century. The historical development of these in vitro technologies and their applications is the focus of this chapter.”

    * Excerpt from “The present”
    P-1, p. 20: “The current emphasis and importance of plant biotechnology can be gleamed from the last two International Congresses on Plant Tissue and Cell Culture and Biotechnology held in Israel in June 1998, and in the United States in June 2002. The theme of the Israeli Congress was Plant Biotechnology and In Vitro Biology in the 21st Century and the theme of the last Congress was Plant Biotechnology 2002 and Beyond. The proceedings for these two congresses (194, 195) were developed through a scientific program that focused on the most important developments, both basic and applied, in the areas of plant tissue culture and molecular biology and their impact on plant improvement and biotechnology. They clearly show where tissue culture is today and where it is heading (i.e., as an equal partner with molecular biology), as a tool in basic plant biology and in various areas of application. In fact, progress in applied plant biotechnology is fully matching and is without doubt stimulating fundamental scientific progress, which remains the best hope for achieving sustainable and environmentally stable agriculture (196). Indeed, the advancements made in the last 100 yr with in vitro technology have gone well beyond what Haberlandt and the other pioneers could have imagined.”

    P-3, p. 19-20: “The current emphasis and importance of plant biotechnology can be gleamed from the last three International Congresses on Plant Tissue and Cell Culture and Biotechnology held in Israel in June 1998, in the USA in June 2002, and in China in August 2006. The theme of the Israeli Congress was Plant Biotechnology and In Vitro Biology in the 21st Century ; the theme of the 2002 Congress was Plant Biotechnology 2002 and Beyond , while the theme of the 2006 Congress was Biotechnology and Sustainable Agriculture 2006 and Beyond. The proceedings for these three congresses ( 194– 196 ) were developed through scientific programs that focused on the most important developments, both basic and applied, in the areas of plant tissue culture and molecular biology and their impact on plant improvement and biotechnology. They clearly show where tissue culture is today and where it is heading (i.e., as an equal partner with molecular biology) as a tool in basic plant biology and in various areas of application. In fact, progress in applied plant biotechnology is fully matching and is without doubt stimulating fundamental scientific progress, which remains the best hope for achieving sustainable and environmentally stable agriculture ( 197 ) . Indeed, the advancements made in the last 100 years with in vitro technology have gone well beyond what Haberlandt and other pioneers could have imagined.”

    There are two PubPeer entries (the other two papers’ DOIs could not be linked to PubPeer):
    P-2: https://pubpeer.com/publications/5E8393A80298AD8B1FEA9210CC368D#fb16846
    P-4: https://pubpeer.com/publications/19294ED07445E31E5855FB46F8786E#fb16847 

  • Balanites query November 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Paper 1
    Siddique, I., Anis, M., 2009. Direct plant regeneration from nodal explants of Balanites aegyptiaca L. (Del.): a valuable medicinal tree. New Forests 37:53–62. doi:10.1007/s11056-008-9110-y (Springer Science + Business Media)
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11056-008-9110-y
    20 citations

    Paper 2
    Anis, M., Varshney, A., Siddique, I. 2010. In vitro clonal propagation of Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del. Agroforestry Systems 78:151–158. DOI: 10.1007/s10457-009-9238-6 (Springer Science + Business Media)
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10457-009-9238-6
    6 citations

    Paper 3
    Varshney A. 2012. PhD thesis (Studies on micropropagation and biochemical analysis in Balanites aegyptiaca Del)
    Open access (all thesis chapters): http://ir.inflibnet.ac.in:8080/jspui/handle/10603/11369
    (issued September, 2013)

    Paper 4
    Varshney, A., Anis, M., 2013a. Evaluation of clonal integrity in desert date tree (Balanites aegyptiaca Del.) by inter-simple sequence repeat marker assay. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 35:2559–2565. DOI:10.1007/s11738-013-1292-z (Springer Science + Business Media)
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11738-013-1292-z
    2 citations

    Paper 5
    Varshney, A., Anis, M., 2013b. Direct plantlet regeneration from segment of root of Balanites aegyptiaca Del. (L.)- A biofuel arid tree. International Journal of Pharma and Bio Sciences 4(2):987–999 (section biological science, paper No. 117).*
    http://www.ijpbs.net/archive-issue.php?issueid=22
    http://www.ijpbs.net/cms/php/upload/2343_pdf.pdf

    Paper 6
    Varshney, A., Anis, M., Aref, I.. M., 2013. Control of bioregulants on plant resurgence in vitro from mature seeds of Egyptian Myrobalan Tree (Balanites aegyptiaca Del.)- a plant affluent in saponins. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research 22:23–28. (Global Research Online**)
    http://globalresearchonline.net/journalcontents/v22-1/05.pdf

    Paper 7
    Varshney, A., Anis, M., 2014a. Synseed conception for short-term storage, germplasm exchange and potentialities of regeneration genetically stable plantlets of desert date tree (Balanites aegyptiaca Del.). Agroforestry Systems 88:321–329. DOI: 10.1007/s10457-014-9685-6 (Springer Science + Business Media)
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10457-014-9685-6
    No citations

    Paper 8
    Varshney, A., Anis, M., 2014b. Trees: Propagation and Conservation: Biotechnological Approaches for Propagation of a Multipurpose Tree, Balanites aegyptiaca Del. Springer, New Delhi, India, p. 116. DOI:10.1007/978-81-322-1701-5 (Springer Science + Business Media)
    http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-81-322-1701-5

    * Listed as “predatory open access publishers” by Jeffrey Beall: http://scholarlyoa.com/individual-journals/
    ** Listed as “predatory open access publishers” by Jeffrey Beall: http://scholarlyoa.com/publishers/

    The symbol = is used next to denote “identical to”.

    Fig. 2C (paper 5) = Fig. 1C (paper 6) = Fig. 1E (paper 4) = Fig. 4.18c (paper 8)
    Table 4 (paper 5) = Table 4 (paper 6) = Table 4.28 (paper 8)
    Problem: shoots are from root segments in the presence of 5 µM BA + 1 µM NAA (Fig. 2C), those from Fig. 1C are from seeds germinated in the presence of GA3, those in Fig. 1E are from nodal explants from mature trees in the presence of 12.5 µM BA + 1 µM NAA, while those in Fig. 4.18c are rooted shoots in the presence of 2 µM IBA.
    Issue 1: how is it possible for the exact same shoots to be derived from three completely different and distinct biological tissues and sources and in response to completely different plant growth regulators?
    Issue 2: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements acknowledges the existence of the same figure in any of the other sources.
    Issue 3: Materials and method section. Paper 8 used 3-4 cm shoots while in paper 5, 4-5 cm shoots and in paper 6, shoots with expanded leaves are used (but no size specified).

    Fig. 1D (paper 6) = Fig. 1F (paper 4) = Fig. 4.20b (paper 8)
    Problem: plants are from seedlings (Fig. 1D), but those from Fig. 1F are from nodal segments. The source of plants in Fig. 4.20b is not specified, only the age (four-month-old plantlets).
    Issue 1: how is it possible for the exact same plants to be derived from at least two completely different and distinct biological tissues?
    Issue 2: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements acknowledges the existence of the same figure in any of the other sources.

    Fig. 1C (paper 4) = Fig. 4.2a (paper 8)
    Problem: shoots from nodal explants derived from mature trees (Fig. 1C), but those from Fig. 4.2a are from cotyledonary nodes (i.e., from seed-derived shoots).
    Issue 1: how is it possible for the exact same shoots to be derived from two completely different and distinct biological tissues?
    Issue 2: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements acknowledges the existence of the same figure in each of the sources.

    Fig. 1B (paper 6) = Fig. 4.6a (paper 8)
    Problem: intact seedlings from seeds (Fig. 1B) are also shoots from seedling-derived nodal explants (Fig. 4.6a).
    Issue 1: how is it possible for the exact same plants to be derived from two completely different and distinct biological tissues?
    Issue 2: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements acknowledges the existence of the same figure in each of the sources.

    Fig. 1A-D (paper 5) = Fig. 4.8a-d (paper 8)
    Issue: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements of paper 8 acknowledges the existence of the same figure in paper 5.

    Fig. 2A (paper 5) = Fig. 4.9a (paper 8)
    Issue: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements of paper 8 acknowledges the existence of the same figure in paper 5.

    Fig. 2B (paper 5) = Fig. 4.10a (paper 8)
    Issue: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements of paper 8 acknowledges the existence of the same figure in paper 5.

    Fig. 1A (paper 6) = Fig. 4.12b (paper 8)
    Issue: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements of paper 8 acknowledges the existence of the same figure in paper 5.

    Fig. 1B (paper 2) = Fig. 4.16a (paper 8)
    Issue: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements of paper 8 acknowledges the existence of the same figure in paper 2.

    Fig. 3B,C,D (paper 7) = Fig. 4.21b,c,d (paper 8)
    Issue: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements acknowledges the existence of the same figure in each of the sources.

    Fig. 1E (paper 1) = Fig. 4.18b (paper 8)
    Issue: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements of paper 8 acknowledges the existence of the same figure in paper 1.

    Fig. 2D (paper 5) = Fig. 4.19b (paper 8)
    Issue: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements of paper 8 acknowledges the existence of the same figure in paper 5.

    Fig. 1E (paper 5) = Fig. 4.22d (paper 8)
    Issue: none of the text, figure legends, or acknowledgements of paper 8 acknowledges the existence of the same figure in paper 5.

    Other queries and concerns about this set of 8 closely-linked papers:
    a) Why are the ISSR banding patterns in Fig. 2 of paper 4 so different from those in Fig. 4.27 (paper 8) when the exact same primers have been used? Admittedly, the samples may be different, but these are not clearly explained in paper 8.
    b) Why has paper 8 not referenced paper 4 and paper 6, even though paper 8 was published in 2014 while papers 4 and 6 were published in 2013?
    c) In Fig. 1E of paper 1, the figure legend states “in vitro rooted plantlet on MS + IBA (1.0 µM) + activated charcoal (0.5%)”. However, the use of activated charcoal at this concentration would clearly stain the medium black. There is thus clearly a problem with the description of the medium, or of the results. In the PhD thesis (paper 3), the description for the exact same figure states “In vitro rooted shoots cultured on half strength MS medium with 2.0 μM IBA after 4 weeks” (chapter 4, p. 71).
    d) In paper 4, the materials and method section clearly states that the medium is “half-strength MS medium supplemented with IBA (1 µM)” but in the figure 1E caption this is specified as “MS + IBA (1 µM)”. The same figure in paper 5 states that the rooting medium is “half strength MS medium with 2.0 µM IBA”. That indicates clearly a discrepancy between the media used, and thus an error in the methods reported.
    e) See materials and method section of paper 2. “Healthy, small twigs (3–4 cm) of B. aegyptiaca were collected from 20 years old healthy mature tree growing at Arid Forest Research Institute (AFRI) campus Jodhpur, India.” Distance from Jodhpur to Aligarh (authors’ institute) by air is 528 Km and by road 648 Km according to a trip website http://www.makemytrip.com/routeplanner/jodhpur-aligarh.html. It is surprising how only 3-4 cm small twigs can be preserved for long and over such a great distance, although how the material was preserved over this period is not explained. In this case, experience indicates that generally fresh samples of explants are used and experiments are performed in the early morning. However, it is possible to keep material on ice, but regeneration efficacy is poor in comparison with freshly collected plant material and the chance of contamination by endophytes is higher. Or, if a sample is collected from far away, 2 to 2.5 meter branch (for tree species) and 20 to 50 cm twig (for shrub) from same mother plant and placed in 200 mg/l IAA for 5 h, for rooting, then transplanted. Only mother plants that regenerate (after about 4 months) are used as the source of explants, not freshly collected material. Regrettably, none of these fine-scale but essential details are indicated in the materials and method section, which only mentions that the experiment is repeated in triplicate but the number of replicates are not mentioned anywhere in the text.
    f) Chapters 2 and 3 of the thesis (paper 3) are identical to chapters 2 and 3 of the book (paper 8), without attribution. The reference list at the end of both book chapters does not reference paper 3, the Varshney thesis. Paper 3, chapter 1 is approx. 90% identical to paper 8, chapter 1. Paper 3, chapter 2 is approx. 90% identical to paper 8, chapter 2. Vast tracts of text in the thesis (paper 3, chapter 2) as well as in paper 8, chapter 2 (estimated at about 30%) appear to be copied from George et al. (2007), without acknowledgement. Paper 3, chapter 3 is almost identical to paper 8, chapter 3, the same for chapter 4 and chapter 5.
    g) Plagiarism software was not used, and values represent rough estimates by crude line-by-line comparisons.

    Funding:
    a) Paper 1: “Authors gratefully acknowledge the University Grants Commission, New Delhi for financial assistance and the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi, for providing research support under DST-FIST Program.”
    b) Paper 2: “This research is supported by a Grant from the University Grants Commission (2006–2009), New Delhi. Authors gratefully acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi for providing research support under DST-FIST (2005) Program.”
    c) Paper 3: “Financial support from UGC in the form of Project Fellow in a major research project on Balanites aegyptiaca (2007-2009) and Non-Net fellowship (2011-2012) is greatly acknowledged.”
    d) Paper 4: “Authors gratefully acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology, and the University Grant Commission, Govt. of India, New Delhi for providing research support under DST-FIST (2005) and UGC-SAP DRS-I (2009) Programs, respectively.”
    e) Paper 5: “Authors also gratefully acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi for providing research support under DST- FIST (2005), UGC – SAP DRS-I (2009) Programs respectively.”
    f) Paper 6: “Authors gratefully acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology, and the University Grant Commission, Govt. of India, New Delhi for providing research support under DST-FIST (2005) and UGC-SAP DRS-I (2009) Programs, respectively.”
    g) Paper 7: “Research support from the Department of Science and Technology (Govt. of India) New Delhi under the DST-FIST (2011) and UGC-SAP (2009) Programmes are duly acknowledged.”
    h) Paper 8: “The research support and assistance rendered by the Department of Science and Technology and the University Grant Commission, Govt. of India, New Delhi, in the form of DST-FIST (2011–2016) and UGC-DRS-I (2009–2014) programs is duly acknowledged. The award of Young Scientist under DSTFAST TRACK scheme to Ankita Varshney is also gratefully acknowledged.”

    Mohammad Anis 1,2; Ankita Varshney 1; I. Siddique (not listed at 1); I. M. Aref 2.
    1. Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Botany, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 202 002, India
    2. Department of Plant Production, College of Food & Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia

    1. Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Botany, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 202 002, India
    http://www.amu.ac.in/dfacultylist.jsp?did=40
    2. College of Food & Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University
    http://ksu.edu.sa/Deanships/DeanshipofGraduateStudies/Pages/CollegeofFoodSciencesandAgriculture.aspx

    There are four PubPeer entries:
    Paper 1: https://pubpeer.com/publications/62D5875E85F2922AC08EACE9862FBB#fb16868
    Paper 2: https://pubpeer.com/publications/9323C402F8E2469B36B285C3DC26FE#fb16878 
    Paper 4: https://pubpeer.com/publications/8089001C1AFA6E8AA4B6D868D68E78#fb16879 
    Paper 7: https://pubpeer.com/publications/B3EF31732E35DA552F0D786E90C375#fb16880 

    Paper 8 DOI could not be read by PubPeer.

  • Science Society November 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Till date Professor Pramod Tandon has published 21 Research Papers on Dendrobium according to Google scholar data base.
    Are there problems in any of those papers?
    http://scholar.google.co.in/scholar?as_q=Dendrobium&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_occt=title&as_sauthors=%22Pramod+Tandon%22&as_publication=&as_ylo=&as_yhi=&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5

    Professor Pramod Tandon is a Big Name in the Field of Plant Tissue Culture
    He received Padma Shri award in 2009 in the field of Science and Engineering. He has been nominated as member of the high-profile National Advisory Council (NAC) in June 2010
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pramod_Tandon

  • Post a comment

    Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.