Engineering prof in Italy earns 26 retractions in one fell swoop

Antonio Orlandi

Antonio Orlandi, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of L’Aquila, in Italy, has had 26 papers retracted from a single journal, on a single day.

Orlandi’s retractions come with a twist: He was, until recently, the editor in chief of the journal where the articles appeared, IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility.

It’s not entirely clear why the papers were retracted. As we reported earlier this week, IEEE, aka the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, announced that it was retracting 29 papers from the journal after finding “evidence of systematic violation of IEEE’s policies governing peer review of articles,” and that it was ousting three editors from membership in the organization.

A commenter on that post found the recent retractions. IEEE declined to provide a list of the 29 articles, so we can’t be sure that these 26 are among them — although it seems likely.

All of Orlandi’s retractions consist of this vague statement:

After careful consideration, this article has been retracted due to irregularities in the peer review process.

With the more than two dozen retractions, Orlandi, who did not respond to a request for comment, has joined our leaderboard of authors with the most retractions in the world, coming in at #22.

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6 thoughts on “Engineering prof in Italy earns 26 retractions in one fell swoop”

  1. Has this site ever made a master list of journals where considerable retractions have occured?.. I am pretty sure it will have some interesting results..

  2. That retraction statement by IEEE is an embarrassment. But do any publishers/societies have systems in place at their journals to ensure that peer review policy is being followed? Do any have policy regarding conflict of interest when editors-in-chief submit their own manuscripts to themselves?

  3. “Orlandi’s retractions come with a twist: He was, until recently, the editor in chief of the journal…” While this connection is not in itself a rarity, it makes me wondering where his colleagues have been before, watching him break some kind of record? How about those budding talents in peer review abuse, where is the point when they come into the focus of one’s colleagues (and RW)?

  4. I checked a couple of those retracted papers. All of the ones I looked at were accepted within a week or so upon submission. That’s to me a clear indication of violating the peer review rules

    1. One of the retracted papers has been submitted on Dec 24 and published on Dec 25.

      It is a shame as it is a shame that none of the members of the EB, the IEEE, the whole community did not say anything about it? Also, is it normal that the EiC submits papers to her own journal?

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