Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Retraction after education researcher tries to repeat a grade–er, paper

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AEHEAn education journal has yanked a 2014 article by a pair of scholars in Asia after discovering one had already published a “substantially similar” article.

The article, “Dynamic nature of washback on individual learners: the role of possible selves” in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, is about how taking a major English test influenced learning in Chinese undergraduate students. Author Ying Zhan is listed at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, in mainland China; Zhi Hong Wan, at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Here’s the notice:

The following article has been retracted from publication in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education: Ying Zhan and Zhi Hong Wan (2014) Dynamic nature of washback on individual learners: the role of possible selves, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Vol. 39:7,821–839. DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2013.872769.

The Editor of Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education and its Publishers, Taylor & Francis Ltd. have been alerted to a violation of ethical and professional standards, whereby the work of Ying Zhan and Zhi Hong Wan was found to be substantially similar to an earlier published work: Washback effects from a high-stakes examination on out-of-class English learning: insights from possible self theories, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, Vol. 21:1,71–89.

This represents a breach of the Warranties made by Ying Zhan and Zhi Hong Wan to the Editor and the Proprietors in the Article Publishing Agreements.

The Editor and the Publishers of Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education accepted the article in good faith and welcome this opportunity to correct the Scholarly Record.

The duplicated paper lists Zhan and Stephen Andrews, of the University of Hong Kong, as authors. From the abstract, it seems the second paper merely eliminated some data that were included in the first article.

We emailed Zhi Hong Wan for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

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