Hey journals, it is possible to quickly correct the record

Even when a paper is obviously flawed, it can take years for journals to take action. Some never do. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

On April 27, a reader emailed the editors of two journals, noting that each had recently published a paper by the same group of authors that appeared strikingly similar.

Four days later, on May 1, a representative at Medicine, the journal that published the most recent version of the paper, wrote the reader back, saying the paper was going to be retracted.

A spokesperson for Medicine confirmed to us that the paper “Psychological Results of 438 Patients with persisting Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptoms by Symptom Checklist 90-Revised Questionnaire” has been retracted, and the notice will appear in the June 1 issue of the journal.

The retracted paper was published in February 2018; the article it appeared to copy from, “Psychological Results of 438 Patients with persisting Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptoms by Symptom Checklist 90-Revised Questionnaire,” was published online in September 2017 by the Euroasian Journal of Hepatogastroenterology.

The authors on both papers are based at Nanjing Medical University in China.

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