In 1932, Einstein famously retracted his “cosmological constant.” Now, more than 80 years later, a Brazilian healthcare journal bearing his name has retracted its first paper.
The authors of the review, about the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in hospitalized patients on ventilators, appear to made the genius move of trying to publish their paper in two different journals at once.
Here’s the top of an editorial announcing the retraction:
einstein registered (in the last issue) its first retraction, due to a case of duplicate publication: “Neuromuscular electrical stimulation in critically ill patients in the intensive care unit: a systematic review”, by Lucas Lima Ferreira, Luiz Carlos Marques Vanderlei and Vitor Engrácia Valenti. Our journal, like all peer-reviewed and indexed journals, asks authors to state unequivocally in their submission letter that the paper has not already been submitted to another journal. This letter is signed by all the authors, so we take this affirmation as a fact. In this case this fact was fiction…
The editors also cite a recent paper in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (paywalled) that found:
Brazilian scientific production has increased in the last ten years, but the quality of the articles has decreased.
We’ve asked the corresponding author of the retracted paper for more details, and will update with anything we learn.
Update, 11:20 a.m. Eastern, 3/17/15: As noted in a comment below, two of the authors of this paper alerted the editors that “the manuscripts were submitted by the first author without our knowledge.” Here’s the letter they sent in October.
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