Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Geothermal paper undermined by borrowing data without citing

without comments

rsesAn international group of engineers lost a paper in November after the journal realized the majority of the data came from a government assessment of Australia’s energy resources without a citation.

The paper, published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, focused on geothermal energy, while the government report was far broader in scope. However, the lack of independent research was enough to sink the review. We covered another Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews retraction recently, making us wonder if this is part of a crack-down for the journal.

Here’s the notice for “A review of geothermal energy resources in Australia: Current status and prospects”:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief.

This article contains substantial overlap with the following source: 2010 “Australian Energy Resource Assessment” (AERA) report published by Geoscience Australia and the Department of Resources Tourism and Energy (see: http://www.ga.gov.au/metadata-gateway/metadata/record/gcat_70142).

The corresponding author had obtained permission from Geoscience Australia to use this source in preparing a report to be published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. However, the Editor-in-Chief views the role of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews to publish original and previously unpublished research, and therefore deems the level of similarity with this previous work, coupled with lack of citation, to undermine the suitability of the article to be published in this journal.

We regret that this problem was not detected before the article was accepted for publication in the journal.

The paper has been cited six times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

We’ve reached out to the authors and editor, and will update if we hear back.

Hat tip: Doublegreen

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