Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘plagiarism’ Category

Genetics journal isn’t down with O.P.D. – stealing other people’s data

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GMR logoGenetics and Molecular Research, an online-only journal, has retracted two articles about gastric cancer by a group of Iranian researchers who appear to have put their own names on other people’s data.

Both articles were published in 2014. One was titled “Absolute quantification of free tumor cells in the peripheral blood of gastric cancer patients;” the other, “ZNF797 plays an oncogenic role in gastric cancer.” The list of authors on the two papers isn’t identical, but both papers share a few in common, including the same two last authors: F. Ghasemvand and S. Heidari-Keshel.

It turns out, Saeed Heidari-keshel wasn’t down with other people’s data, and alerted the journal to the problem.

Here’s more from the retraction notice for the first article, which was found to be “substantially equal” to another paper: Read the rest of this entry »

University finds Dutch economist guilty of misconduct; he responds

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Peter Nijkamp

The Free University of Amsterdam found Peter Nijkamp, one of the nation’s leading economists who has lost several papers for self-plagiarism, has been found guilty of “questionable research practices,” according to the newly released results of an investigation.

Nijkamp has published a strongly worded criticism of the report (at least according to Google Translate, since his writing is in Dutch).

According to independent student publication Ad Valvas, the commission, led by Jaap Zwemmer, a professor emeritus at the University of Amsterdam, found Nijkamp was guilty of “questionable research practices.” University rector Frank van der Duyn Schouten, on the other hand, said in an official statement that there was “insufficient basis” to claim questionable research practices for each article.

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Written by Cat Ferguson

March 20th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Warning: plagiarism may be hazardous to your safety paper

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12 Process Safety and Environmental Protection (once)A paper on making emergency evacuations more efficient at facilities that handle hazardous materials has been retracted for plagiarism.

According to the Process Safety and Environmental Protection retraction notice, the 2013 paper, by a group at Tsinghua University in Beijing, plagiarized part of a 2007 article by Greek researchers called “Modeling emergency evacuation for major hazard industrial sites.” (The 2007 article has been cited 46 times, according to Google Scholar.)

Here’s the notice for “Emergency Response Plans Optimization for Unexpected Environmental Pollution Incidents using an Open Space Emergency Evacuation Model” (paywalled): Read the rest of this entry »

Manufacturing paper assembled “almost entirely” from someone else’s 1999 thesis

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saeijmmThe SAE International Journal of Materials and Manufacturing has retracted a paper after realizing the authors ripped off a 1999 PhD thesis.

According to the notice, the 2014 paper — about the best ways to set up manufacturing cells in the automobile industry — “is almost entirely taken” from a Durham University, UK student’s PhD thesis. The thesis, “Computer-aided design of cellular manufacturing layout,” was written by Yue Wu. We were unable to track him down after he left the University of Exeter‘s Manufacturing Enterprise Center.

Here’s the notice for “Reengineering the Layout: A CMS Methodological Approach”: Read the rest of this entry »

Biofuels paper burned by “improper citation methods” – ie, plagiarism

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crestCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology (CRESThas retracted a paper on biofuels for “improper citation methods.”

Given the journal’s track record, we’re guessing this is just another euphemism for plagiarism. (Also because the retraction notice flags a “breach of warranties made by the authors with respect to originality.”) In 2013, CREST retracted two papers for failing to use “proper citation,” which earned it top billing in our Lab Times column about publishers’ seemingly allergic reactions to the P-word.

Here’s some of the notice for “Promising Unconventional Pretreatments for Lignocellulosic Biomass”, which described new ways to process plant biomaterials into fuel: Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese heavy metal contamination paper purged for data theft

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Environmental_Monitoring_and_AssessmentAn environmental journal has retracted a paper about pollution in China after it discovered the authors lifted the dataset from another group.

The authors of the study — which chronicled the degree of heavy metal pollution on the banks of the Pearl River Delta — didn’t have permission to use the data. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment‘s notice doesn’t suggest the data are inaccurate.

The heavy metals in the soil come from the many manufacturing plants in the area, including those that provide the West with blue jeans, phones, and other electronics. The pollutants’ effects are wide-reaching: According to the South China Morning Post, industrial outfits discharge huge volumes of toxic chemicals into the Pearl River, including arsenic, copper, cadmium, and mercury.

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Acid studies burned by duplication test in corrosion papers

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ldis20.v034.i07.coverPetroleum engineers in Iran have lost a pair of papers in the Journal of Dispersion Science and Technology for duplication and misuse of data.

The authors, whose various and varying affiliations include the National Iranian Oil Company, the Iranian Offshore Oil Company and Karaj Azad University, appear to have plagiarized not once, but twice: Two 2014 papers are both “substantially similar” to a 2013 paper, all published in the same journal. Which says plenty about both parties, we think.

What’s more, both retracted papers lifted data from a 2013 article in another journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, “without proper citation.”    Read the rest of this entry »

Rebirth of ovary article prompts retraction from OB lit

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ejoglogoThe European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology has retracted a 2014 paper on polycystic ovary syndrome for self-plagiarism.

In the notice, the journal states that “significant portions” of the findings in “Association of anti-Mullerian hormone and small-dense low-density lipoprotein cholesterol with hepatosteatosis in young lean women with and without polycystic ovary syndrome” already appeared in another paper. Three authors appear in both publications, all based at the University of Ufuk (don’t think too hard about that name) in Ankara, Turkey. Read the rest of this entry »

Math paper subtracted for plagiarism

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Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 1.02.16 PMISPACS’ Journal of Nonlinear Analysis and Application, whose website promises “very fast publication,” has pulled a paper for ripping off an article posted on arXiv.org.

Their plagiarism wasn’t exactly subtle. Here’s the abstract from the paper on arXiv.org:

We introduce and study the class of weak almost limited operators. We establish a characterization of pairs of Banach lattices E, F for which every positive weak almost limited operator T:EF is almost limited (resp. almost Dunford-Pettis). As consequences, we will give some interesting results.

And here’s the abstract from the retracted paper:

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IP lawyer/plagiarist’s PhD thesis under review

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Dr Angela Adrian

Dr Angela Adrian

The Queen Mary University of London has withdrawn the PhD thesis of an intellectual property lawyer who was previously accused of plagiarism.

We first covered Angela Adrian last year, when she lost three papers on how to apply intellectual property laws and ideas in the age of the internet. (The irony did not escape Adam, who linked to Alanis Morissette’s ballad “Ironic.”) She is now the chief knowledge officer for reputation management firm Icondia, which helps the rich and famous “protect their unique and priceless individuality in the 21st century.”

It’s not clear what the investigation entails; a spokesperson for the school declined to give details “at this stage.” The thesis — about strengthening personality and property rights in the world of online gaming — is unavailable on the university website. Instead, this message is displayed when you try to access it at Queen Mary Research Online (QMRO):   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

February 10th, 2015 at 11:30 am