Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Faked data, plagiarism, no co-author okays…yeah, this paper’s been retracted

with 2 comments

A researcher in South Korea has retracted a 2016 paper on which he is listed as senior author because a former student wrote and published the article without his permission.

According to the retraction notice, the former student also fabricated data and plagiarized “a substantial amount of material” from previous papers published by the senior and middle author.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Oleaginous yeast-based production of microbial oil from volatile fatty acids obtained by anaerobic digestion of red algae (Gelidium amansii),” published in the Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering in April 2016 and retracted in January:

The Editors of the Korean Journal of Chemical Engineering have retracted this paper on request of the senior named author, Professor Jong Moon Park. The paper was written and submitted to KJCE by the corresponding author, Tsolmonbaatar Batbileg, former student of Prof Park, without the knowledge or permission of Prof Park. The second named author, Dr Xu Xu, was also unaware of the writing or submission of the manuscript. The paper contained fabricated data and a substantial amount of material plagiarised from the following published articles: Production of biodiesel from carbon sources of macroalgae, Laminaria japonica Bioresource Technology 169 (2014) 455–461 Xu Xu, Ji Young Kim, Yu Ri Oh, Jong Moon Park Bioconversion of volatile fatty acids from macroalgae fermentation into microbial lipids by oleaginous yeast Chemical Engineering Journal 264 (2015) 735–743 Xu Xu, Ji Young Kim, Hyun Uk Cho, Hye Rim Park and Jong Moon Park Professor Park apologizes to the readers of KJCE for the unethical actions of Mr Batbileg.

We reached out to senior author Jong Moon Park, from Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea, as well as the journal’s editor-in-chief Do-Heyoung Kim. We also contacted the paper’s corresponding author, Tsolmonbaatar Batbileg, now at Queensland University. (Park advised Batbileg on his Masters thesis, “Production of Biodiesel from non-pretreated red algae (Gelidium amansii) using with oleaginous yeast,” published in 2015.)

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Comments
  • rfg March 1, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Probably not as bad as a former (emphasis) student who published a paper without my knowledge while a current student.

    Not all graduate students or post-docs are saints. Shocking.

    Glad to see Lee Rubin getting support in a dispute with a current student from former students.
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6327/806.1

  • Darrel Francis March 2, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Nearly a full house!
    If only he had arranged for himself to be the reviewers of the paper, it could have been a masterpiece!

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