Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘MDPI’ Category

Author loses five recent papers for copying multiple figures, unspecified “overlap”

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Two journals have retracted five recent papers by a researcher in Saudi Arabia after discovering extensive overlap, which one journal called plagiarism.

In one retracted paper, all schemes and figures are copies from other publications; in another, more than half of the figures are lifted. The journal that retracted the other three papers did not provide details about the nature of the overlap.

All five retracted papers—originally published within the last 15 months—have the same corresponding author: Soliman Mahmoud Soliman Abdalla, a professor of physics at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

According to a spokesperson for Polymers, readers flagged two papers in July 2017; both were retracted in August.

The spokesperson for Polymers told us that the journal ran the papers through the plagiarism detection software, iThenticate, but found “no significant levels of copied text.” The journal says it missed the overlap because:

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Written by Victoria Stern

November 2nd, 2017 at 8:50 am

More than half of plant toxicity paper isn’t original, journal says

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Plagiarism and duplication can be deadly to a paper in any dose. In the case of a study on the toxicity of nanoparticles to plants, the publisher has presented the precise amount of plagiarism and duplications that ultimately felled the paper.

Specifically, according to Nanomaterials, 56% of Potential Impact of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Exposure to the Seedling Stage of Selected Plant Species” was taken from other work.

Here are more details from the retraction notice, published last year:

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Written by Shannon Palus

August 9th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Researcher faked emails for co-authors, submitted paper without consent

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A material science journal has retracted a paper after discovering that the first author faked email addresses for co-authors to submit the paper without their permission.

The journal, Materials, also discovered that the 2016 paper had plagiarized material from a 2013 paper previously published in Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A.

Here’s the retraction notice for the paper: Read the rest of this entry »

Journal flags duplicated text by gynecologic cancer researcher with 13 retractions

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When journals discover duplicated material, many choose to retract — but a cancer journal recently faced with the same dilemma involving a researcher with multiple retractions under his belt has instead decided to flag the paper with an expression of concern.

An editor told us that Cancers considered retracting the paper, by gynecologic cancer researcher Noriyuki Takai, but decided not to because the paper

contains some novel content that is of interest to the scientific community.

Epigenetic Therapy in Human Choriocarcinoma,” published in 2010, has been cited once, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science, and self-plagiarizes from other publications by Takai and his co-author, Hisashi Narahara. Both are researchers at Oita University in Japan.

Here’s the expression of concern:

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You’ve been dupe’d: Meet authors who like their work so much, they publish it twice

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When our co-founders launched the site in 2010, they wondered whether there would be enough retractions to write about on a regular basis. Five+ years and three full-time staffers later, and we simply don’t have the time to cover everything that comes across our desk.

In 2012, we covered a group of duplication retractions in a single post, simply because duplications happen so frequently (sadly) and often don’t tell an interesting story. So in the interest of bookkeeping, we’re picking up the practice again.

Here are five unrelated retractions for your perusal: all addressing duplications, in which the same – or mostly the same – authors published the same – or mostly the same – information in two different – or sometimes the same – journals.

So, on the buffet table we offer the following entrees: Read the rest of this entry »

Retraction strikes power grid paper with “almost identical” content to previous study

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EnergiesAn electrical engineering paper published in April has been retracted because of similarities to a 2012 paper from different authors, including “almost identical” data in two of the papers’ tables.

The authors were unable to provide the original numbers for the suspect tables, along with a pair of “similar” figures, which bore a striking resemblance to ones presented in the same 2012 paper. Corresponding author Tao Jin at Fuzhou University in China requested the withdrawal “in order to repeat the experiments and obtain new data.”

Energies posted the retraction October 1.

Here’s it is, in full:

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Written by Ross Keith

October 22nd, 2015 at 11:30 am

Paper on chemtrails, a favorite subject of conspiracy theorists, retracted

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A paper claiming to expose the “tightly held secret” that long clouds trailing from jets are toxic coal fly ash — and not, as the U.S. government says, primarily composed of harmless ice crystals — has been retracted.

The paper is called “Evidence of Coal-Fly-Ash Toxic Chemical Geoengineering in the Troposphere: Consequences for Public Health,” and was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in August. Author J. Marvin Herndon — a geophysicist, and self-described “independent researcher” — also distributed a press release about the findings.

The abstract explains:

The author presents evidence that toxic coal combustion fly ash is the most likely aerosolized particulate sprayed by tanker-jets for geoengineering, weather-modification and climate-modification purposes and describes some of the multifold consequences on public health.

The detailed retraction note, authored by the academic editor of the paper, Paul B. Tchounwou, a biologist at Jackson State University, points out some errors with the science, and notes that the “language of the paper is often not sufficiently scientifically objective:” Read the rest of this entry »