Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘renewable sustainable energy reviews’ Category

Renewable energy researcher with troubled record loses another paper

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renewable-sustainable-energy-reviewsA renewable energy researcher who recycled material in several papers — and has already agreed to withdraw 10 studies — has lost another paper.

In January, we reported that six of 10 papers flagged by an investigation into author Shyi-Min Lu have either been retracted or withdrawn. Now, Lu has lost another paper that was not among the previous ten — again, for reproducing figures from earlier works without seeking permission from original authors. This paper was on a hot topic: gas hydrates, considered to be a potential new energy source to replace oil in the 21st century.

The investigations into Lu’s work took place at the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Hsinchu, Taiwan, where he was formerly based, and the National Taiwan University, in Taipei, Taiwan, which fired Lu from his position at the university’s energy research center.

Here’s the retraction notice in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, issued last month: Read the rest of this entry »

You’ve been dupe’d: Results so nice, they’re published twice

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obesity surgeryWith retraction notices continuing to pour in, we like to occasionally take the opportunity to cover several at a time to keep up.

We’ve compiled a handful of retractions that were all issued to papers that were published twice by at least one of the same authors — known as duplication. (Sometimes, this can be the publisher’s fault, although that doesn’t appear to be the case in any of the following examples.)

So here are five recently retracted papers that were pulled because of duplication: Read the rest of this entry »

Paper calls water “a gift from God”

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renewableA paper about using solar energy to make water potable has been flagged for citing God.

The shout-out isn’t subtle; in fact, it’s the first sentence of the Introduction in “Solar still with condenser – A detailed review:”

Water is a gift from God and it plays a key role in the development of an economy and in turn for the welfare of a nation.

The paper itself contains a few similarities to a 2010 paper on the same topic, “Active solar distillation—A detailed review,” which also appeared in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. But that paper phrases the first sentence of the introduction slightly differently: Read the rest of this entry »

Renewable energy researcher recycled material, agrees to withdraw 10 papers

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S13640321Investigations at two institutions at Taiwan determined in 2013 that a renewable energy researcher duplicated his own work; the researcher agreed to pull 10 papers. A total of six have been withdrawn or retracted, two in November, 2015.

Shyi-Min Lu is the corresponding author on the two newly retracted papers, from Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. The retractions follow investigations at the Industrial Technology Research Institute, where Lu used to work, and National Taiwan University, his former employer. Lu admitted to committing offenses in 10 papers. He was fired from NTU, where he was a research assistant at the university’s Energy Research Center.

First author Falin Chen — also a co-author on the paper duplicated by the retractions — was not aware that the papers bearing his name had been submitted. He told us how he found out:  Read the rest of this entry »

Geothermal paper undermined by borrowing data without citing

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rsesAn international group of engineers lost a paper in November after the journal realized the majority of the data came from a government assessment of Australia’s energy resources without a citation.

The paper, published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, focused on geothermal energy, while the government report was far broader in scope. However, the lack of independent research was enough to sink the review. We covered another Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews retraction recently, making us wonder if this is part of a crack-down for the journal.

Here’s the notice for “A review of geothermal energy resources in Australia: Current status and prospects”: Read the rest of this entry »

Solar paper retracted after plagiarism and duplication come to light

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rsesTwo solar cell researchers at the University of New South Wales have lost a paper in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews after the discovery of “substantial overlap” with work by a UNSW graduate student.

The notice cites three sources for the plagiarism. One is an unpublished manuscript by UNSW student Matthew Wright, which he shared with the authors of the retracted paper for “research collaboration only.”

The other two are papers that Wright wrote with UNSW professor Ashraf Uddin, who co-authored the retracted paper with UNSW researcher Xiaohan Yang. Yang’s name also appears on one of the plagiarized papers. All of that suggests that the “substantial overlap” includes duplication as well as plagiarism.

According to Wright’s Google Scholar profile, Uddin has been a co-author on every one of his papers, suggesting that Uddin is Wright’s thesis advisor or P.I., though neither Wright nor Uddin responded to our emailed questions.

Here’s the notice for “Effect of thermal annealing on P3HT:PCBM bulk-heterojunction organic solar cells: A critical review”: Read the rest of this entry »

Elsevier retracting 16 papers for faked peer review

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Khalid Zaman

Fake peer reviews: They’re all the rage.

Sixteen papers are being retracted across three Elsevier journals after the publisher discovered that one of the authors, Khalid Zaman, orchestrated fake peer reviews by submitting false contact information for his suggested reviewers.

This particular kind of scam has been haunting online peer review for a few years now, as loyal Retraction Watch readers know. This one is a classic of the genre: According to Elsevier’s director of publishing services, Catriona Fennell, an editor first became suspicious after noticing that Zaman’s suggested reviewers, all with non-institutional addresses, were unusually kind to the economist’s work.

Elsevier has actually hired a full-time staff member with a PhD in physics and history as a managing editor to do the grunt work on cases like this. Flags were first raised in August, at which point the ethics watchdog went to town digging through all of Zaman’s other publications looking for suspicious reviews coming from non-institutional addresses provided by the scientist, an economist at COMSATS Information Technology Center in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Here’s the main notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Plagiarism makes renewable energy paper unsustainable

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rserHere’s a lesson for would-be authors of papers on power supplies:

Energy = Renewable; Journal articles = Not renewable

Too late for a group of engineers in Iran who borrowed too liberally from previously published work in their 2013 article in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

The paper, “A review of energy storage systems in microgrids with wind turbines,” reported that: Read the rest of this entry »

Saudi engineer loses second fresh water paper for plagiarism

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renewableenergycoverLast month, we covered the retraction of a paper by A.M.K. El-Ghonemy, of Al-Jouf University in Saudi Arabia. The engineer now has a second retraction in the same journal, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

Here’s the notice for “Waste energy recovery in sea water reverse osmosis desalination plants, Part-1: Review”: Read the rest of this entry »

Fresh water paper proves recycled, gets retracted

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rsercover313A Saudi engineer has lost his 2012 paper in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews for plagiarizing from two previously published articles, including one in the same journal.

The article, titled “Fresh water production from/by atmospheric air for arid regions, using solar energy: Review,” was written by A.M.K. El-Ghonemy, of Al-Jouf University.

According to the retraction notice:

Read the rest of this entry »