Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Serial plagiarist’s retractions upped to 14

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We’ve done some digging, run the numbers, and present to you a new member of our leaderbcov200hoard: orthopedic researcher Bernardino Saccomanni. Nine newly unearthed retractions of his make for a total of 14.

We first reported on Saccomanni’s work back in 2011, and identified him as a “serial plagiarist.” In the years since, he’s continued to rack up retractions for papers on the likes of ligament reconstruction and shoulder pain. On every paper, he is listed as the sole author.

Bernardino Saccomanni’s most recently listed affiliation on the papers is “Ambulatorio di Ortopedia, via della Conciliazione.” He sometimes also lists his affiliation as Gabriele D’ Annunzio University Chieti, even though, as we learned a few years ago, he hasn’t worked there for many years.

There’s a lot to cover here, so stick with us:

1) First up, “A new test for acromio-clavicolar pathology” was published in the Journal of Clinical Orthopedics and Trauma and cited zero times according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the retraction note:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief.

The author has plagiarized part of a paper that had already appeared in J Shoulder Elbow Surg, 20 (2011) 73-76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2010.05.023.

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 date on the note is 2013; we’re not sure if that’s for the paper or the note).

2) “ACL prosthesis: any promise for the future?” was published in Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy and cited 17 times. The note, from 2012:

The corresponding author Dr. Bernardino Saccomanni submitted this article [2] to Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy (KSSTA). The article was published in the journal in 2010. It has been brought to our attention that this article has major similarities to an article published in the McGill journal in 2008 [1]. A duplicate publication with an obvious case of plagiarism has thus taken place. The editors of KSSTA, who act according to the COPE Code of Conduct, consider this an infringement of professional ethics, and therefore the decision has been taken to retract this article published in KSSTA. An apology is extended to our readers, the authors of the article in the McGill journal, as well as the readers, and editorial and publishing staff of the journal.

3) Here’s the note, from 2012, for “Corticosteroid injection for tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis: a review of the literature,” which was published in Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine and cited 3 times:

This article has been retracted due to plagiarism.

4) And the note, from 2010, for “Early outcome of arthroscopic Bankart’s repair for Recurrent traumatic anterior shoulder instability,”published in the Journal of Clinical Orthopedics and Trauma, and cited zero times:

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

The authors have plagiarized part of a paper that had already appeared in J Ortho Surg Res, 6:28 (2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1749-799X-6-28. 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.

5) This note, from 2012, for “Graft fixation alternatives in anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction,” which was published in Musculoskeletal Surgery and cited zero times, is also very short:

This article has been retracted due to plagiarism.

6) As is the note, from 2012, for “Inflammation and shoulder pain–a perspective on rotator cuff disease, adhesive capsulitis, and osteoarthritis: conservative treatment,” published in Clinical Rheumatology:

This article has been retracted due to plagiarism.

7) Here’s the note, from 2011, for “Localized synovial hypertrophy in the anteromedial compartment of the osteoarthritic knee,” cited 12 times, published in Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine:

This article has been withdrawn due to plagiarism. The original work is McGuire DA (2006). Meniscal Impingement Syndrome Versus Localized Synovial Hypertrophy? Arthroscopy 22:1368.

8) And the note, from 2012, for “Osteoid osteoma and osteoblastoma of the spine: a review of the literature,” also published in Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine, has been cited 12 times.

This article has been retracted due to plagiarism.

9) Last, but not least, the note from 2012 for “Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty: a review of the literature,” which was published in the European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatologyhas been cited 18 times:

This article has been retracted due to copyright violation.

We’ve reached out Saccomanni, via an email address on the papers, and we’ll update this post if we hear back.

Additional reporting by Alison Abritis 

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