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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Humbert, Humbert: Duplication topples matrix function paper

with 5 comments

jemsA pair of mathematicians from Egypt has lost their 2012 article in the Journal of the Egyptian Mathematical Society because they reused some of the material from a previous publication.

The article, with the Nabokovian title, “On Humbert matrix functions,” was written by A. Shehata and  M. Abul-Dahab. According to the introduction:

Humbert function of scalar coefficients and variables is appeared in [1,2]. Special matrix functions appear in the literature related to statistics [3,4]. Recently, Laguerre, Hermite and Gegenbauer matrix polynomials have appeared in connection with the study of matrix differential equations [5–7]. The primary goal of this paper is to consider a new system of matrix functions, namely the Humbert matrix function.

Not quite so new after all. As the retraction notice explains:

The authors have plagiarized part of a paper that had already appeared in Afrika Mathematika, 2012, 1–9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13370-012-0083-9. One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that their work is original and has not appeared in a publication elsewhere. Re-use of any data should be appropriately cited. As such 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.

The Afrika Mathematika paper, “On Humbert matrix functions and their properties,” was written by Shehata and Abul-Dahab, along with a third author from Egypt, Z. M. G. Kishka.

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Written by amarcus41

March 5, 2014 at 8:00 am

5 Responses

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  1. Thom

    March 5, 2014 at 8:10 am

  2. Interestingly, Nabokov was indeed suspected of having plagiarized the plot of “Lolita” from an older German short story with the same title and a similar story line.


    Rolf Degen

    March 5, 2014 at 9:30 am

  3. As a math referee, I would simply reject that kind of paper, plagiarized or not, on the grounds that the authors give no hint whatsoever as to why one should be interested in that kind of formulas.


    March 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm

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