Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

You’ve been dupe’d (again): Do these data look familiar? They are

with one comment

plant_growth_regulationWe can’t keep up with the growing number of retraction notices, so we’ve compiled a list of recent duplications to update our records.

1. Authors don’t always intentionally duplicate their own work, of course. The first paper on our list was retracted after the authors included a figure from a previous paper by accident, according to the publisher:

Synthetic seed technology for short term conservation of medicinal orchid Dendrobium densiflorum Lindl. Ex Wall and assessment of genetic fidelity of regenerants. Plant Growth Regulation. 2013. 70:297-303. Mohanty P, Das J. Cited four times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Retracted March 2014:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Publisher due to a violation of Springer’s Publishing Integrity. The Fig. 1 of the article has been duplicated from different research papers and led to some serious scientific flaw in the article.

When contacted, the journal clarified that the duplication was not intentional:

The corresponding author informed us, that while arranging the photoplates, this picture was reused by mistake by the first author (research scholar) which had already been published by him in another article. We have no further information on this case.

2. Even publishing in different languages isn’t enough to escape the dangers of duplication. This paper was retracted after it was brought to the journal’s attention that it was very similar to a previous publication by the authors, published in a Chinese journal:

Using BIM to Improve the Design and Construction of Bridge Projects: A Case Study of a Long-span Steel-box Arch Bridge Project. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems. 2014. 11:125. Liu W, Guo H, Li H, Li Y. Cited two times. Retracted July 2015:

The publisher retracts [1] following a reader’s report of double publication with regards to the published article. The publisher’s subsequent investigation of the reader’s claims confirmed that the majority of the results had indeed already been published in [2]. The original publication was not appropriately acknowledged in [1], nor were the editors notified of its existence by any other means. In addition, the journal’s plagiarism screening software raised no red flags during review, likely due to the fact that [2] is written in Chinese script.

Even though [1] is somewhat extended and improved in comparison with [2], it was ultimately determined that the newly added literature review and other slightly expanded sections do not constitute a new and original contribution, nor justify the publication of [1].

However, there has so far been no indication that the research presented in [1] should be brought into question by this retraction. As noted above, the immediate reason for this retraction is of purely ethical nature.

The publisher regrets any inconvenience this might have caused to the journal’s readership.

  1. Liu W, Guo H, Li H, Li Y. Using BIM to Improve the Design and Construction of Bridge Projects: A Case Study of a Long-span Steel-box Arch Bridge Project. Int J Adv Robot Syst. 2014;11:125. DOI: 10.5772/58442
  2.  Li H, Guo H, Gao Y, Liu W, Wei X. BIM-based Optimization of Design and Construction for Bridge Projects. Journal of Engineering Management. 2012;26(6):48-52.

The next few papers were all retracted due to their similarities with the authors’ previous work.

3. Organic Single-Crystal Transistors with Secondary Gates on Source and Drain Electrodes. e-Journal of Surface Science and Nanotechnology. 2008. 6:138-141. Hara K, Tominari Y, Yamagishi M, Takeya J. Cited 0 times. Retracted September 2015:

On July 30th 2015, the Editor-in-Chief sent a letter to the corresponding author of the above-mentioned manuscript [1] about the result of survey by the Editorial Committee of e-J. Surf. Sci. Nanotech. According to the letter, the Committee concluded that the abovementioned manuscript resembles the paper published in another journal [2] too much.

As a result of this report, all of the authors of the abovementioned manuscript have agreed to a complete retraction of the paper.

4. A low cost wireless data acquisition system for weather station monitoring. Renewable Energy. 2010. 35: 862-872. Benghanem M. Cited 18 times. Retracted January 2016:

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

This article has been retracted at the request of the editor-in-chief as it bears substantial similarity to another paper by the same author: Applied Energy, volume 86, issue 12, pp. 2651-2660 (2009), DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2009.03.026.

The Publisher regrets this similarity was not detected sooner.

5. Factors affecting the e-learning outcomes: An integration of TAM and IS success model. Telematics and Informatics. 2015. 32: 701-719. Mohammadi H. Cited 0 times. Retracted November 2015:

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief due to extensive overlap with a paper that had already appeared in Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 45, April 2015, Pages 359–374,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.07.044.

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.

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Comments
  • Professor Emeritus Ferrel Christensen (Philosophy of Scoence) July 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    For whatever one anecdote may mean, decades back the editor of a small journal begged me for an article. I didn’t want to publish anything worthwhile there, but didn’t want to hurt his feelings so suggested he could basically re-use one already in print–which he did. I reported it AS a re-print to my department wanting of course to get no “publish or perish” credit for such a thing, and they seemed OK with that. I can only suspect that today’s masses of NON-transparent duplication result partly from the much greater danger of perishing from weak publication records.

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