Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘plagiarism’ Category

Serial plagiarizer notches three retractions

without comments


The chips are starting to fall from investigations into the works of Mustapha Marrouchi, a former English professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) — he’s lost three papers from the journal College Literature.

Things began unraveling for Marrouchi last year when an investigation by the Chronicle of Higher Education found lifted material in his books, essays, and peer-reviewed papers. (It’s worth scanning the comparisons to text from Salman Rushdie, John Updike, and other authors.)

Then an investigation by the UNLV found that 23 out of 26 of his papers published between 2008 and 2013 contained instances of plagiarism. He was later fired.

Now, the fallout continues, with the retraction of three works published in 2010 and 2011 in College Literature. All papers were for plagiarism uncovered as the result of a UNLV investigation (presumably, the same one).

The retracted papers are: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

July 28th, 2015 at 11:30 am

“Part of a paper that had already appeared”: Materials paper pulled for plagiarism

without comments

1-s2.0-S1387181115X00035-cov150hMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials has retracted a 2015 paper after it was discovered the authors “have plagiarized part of a paper that had already appeared.”

The paper, “Ionic liquid assisted synthesis of flexible and super-hydrophobic porous gels,” described the synthesis of a form of flexible aerogels “through a facile one-pot preparation,” according to the abstract. According to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge it has been cited zero times.

Here is the retraction note, in full:

Read the rest of this entry »

Two retractions cost economic historian book chapter and journal article

with one comment

markets and morality

Francisco Gómez Camacho has lost an introduction in The Journal of Markets and Morality of a 2005 issue “for improper use of published material without attribution, as well as a a chapter in a collection of 13 scholarly essays  by Brill Publishers due to “serious citation issues.”

The introduction — to a translation of another scholars’ work, Luis de Molina’s Treatise on Money — is no longer in the online version of The Journal of Markets and Morality. On the cover page, and in the table of contents, of the treatise, references to the introduction are crossed out. Where it once was in the text — page 5 of the PDF of the treatise — is a short retraction notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

July 20th, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Paper cited by New York Times for key stat gets retracted

without comments

the-new-york-times-logoA paper that had served as the key aspect of an April New York Times article about a recent surge of violence against immigrants in South Africa has since been retracted for plagiarism.

The research, which appeared in the Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, had served as the source of the newspaper’s statement that the country is “home to about five million immigrants.” That figure was later quoted in other media outlets about the issue.

However, a 2011 census put the number closer to 2.2 million immigrants, according to the non-profit fact-checking organization Africa Check. After issuing a report about the discrepancy, which also quotes experts who say the numbers are unlikely to have doubled by 2015, Africa Check contacted the Times. As Africa Check reports:

Read the rest of this entry »

ASU professor is demoted, will correct book following “unattributed and poorly paraphrased material”

with 7 comments

91993Matthew Whitaker at Arizona State University is revising a textbook about modern African-American history after it was found to contain “unattributed and poorly paraphrased material,” according to a statement from the author.

The revised version of the book Peace Be Still: Modern Black America from World War II to Barack Obama will include “a statement of apology and admission of error.”

As a result, Whitaker has been demoted to Associate Professor (from full Professor), costing him $20,000 per year in salary and stipend, according to The Arizona Republic. His previous salary was $163,530.

In addition,

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

July 13th, 2015 at 2:45 pm

“Proven plagiarism” extracts paper on keeping teeth healthy in outer space

with 3 comments

12548Aeronautic dentistry seems like a fairly unique field, but a review article about keeping teeth healthy in outer space has been retracted from the International Journal of Stomatology & Occlusion Medicine for not being quite unique enough.

Aeronautic dentistry: an upcoming branch,” a review article, appears to have lifted pieces of other works “verbatim and without citation,” according to a representative from the journal’s publisher.

According to the first author, any plagiarism was purely accidental:

The amount of material which seems to be plagiarised was not done intentionally.

The retraction note is a single line: Read the rest of this entry »

Plagiarism identified in computer face recognition paper

without comments

A paper about computerized facial recognition has been pulled because “most of the contents of this article is plagiarized from an article under consideration elsewhere,” according to the retraction statement.

Applications of computer face recognition include surveillance and criminal identification. The authors propose a new method for picking out facial features in the original 2013 article, “Pose invariant face recognition using biological inspired features based on ensemble of classifiers.”

The retraction note offers few details on what went wrong. Here it is, in full:

Read the rest of this entry »

Asphalt paper paved over for allegedly plagiarizing a student’s thesis

with 2 comments

PSTThe publishers of the journal Petroleum Science and Technology have retracted a paper because one of the authors “did not agree to co-author this manuscript,” and did not even communicate with the other three authors.

According to one involved party, the problem is bigger than just lack of communication: The paper, “Fatigue and Low Temperature Fracture in Bitumen Mastic,” authored by a dean of civil engineering in Iran, was “copied word for word” from a Canadian student’s master thesis, according to the student’s advisor.

Three of the authors on the paper are engineers at the Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University in Tehran, Iran, including the dean of civil engineering, Saeed Ghaffarpour Jahromi. The fourth author, B. J. Smith, is listed as a member of the Department of Chemistry at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Megan Scudellari

June 2nd, 2015 at 11:30 am

Geology dust-up: Second sand paper swept away for duplication

without comments

GeomorphologyCiting an “abuse of the scientific publishing system,” the editors of Geomorphology have retracted a paper from a quartet of geologists in China for containing “significant similarity” to four other papers.

It is the second recent retraction for the group: In a loop of self-plagiarism, the Geomorphology paper was cited as a source of copied material in a retraction last month from Sedimentary Geology.

This most recent retraction is of a January 2014 paper, “The influence of sand bed temperature on lift-off and falling parameters in windblown sand flux,” analyzing the rise and fall of windblown sand based on the temperature of the sand bed.

Here is the full text of the notice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Megan Scudellari

May 27th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Highly cited cancer researcher pulls review for “similar text and illustrations”

with 4 comments

AbdomImaging_ak8The author of a 2006 review article published in Abdominal Imaging has retracted it because it hews too closely to previously published articles.

The review described the latest imaging techniques used in cancer, focusing on genitourinary conditions.

Here’s the full text of the retraction notice for “New Horizons in Genitourinary Oncologic Imaging”:

Read the rest of this entry »