A year ago today, Jennifer Powers, a co-author of a 2009 paper wrote to Springer Nature to alert the publisher to the fact that Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest: Research Trends and Emerging Features, a 2017 textbook by J. S. Singh and R.K. Chaturvedi, had plagiarized her work, and the work of others. A publisher representative responded six days later, saying they would look into the matter.
Then, for five months, crickets.
On January 23 of this year, Powers, of the University of Minnesota, sent another message asking for a progress report. Several days later, a Springer Nature staffer wrote to say they would provide an answer by mid-February.
Mid-February came and went, and the co-author sent another reminder, as did Jesse Lasky, of Penn State, another of the authors who said his work had been plagiarized. Back from Springer came this message:
H. L. Mencken once wrote that “It is impossible to think of a man of any actual force and originality, universally recognized as having those qualities, who spent his whole life appraising and describing the work of other men.” One wonders what linguistic Hell Mencken would have divined for Robert Cardullo.
Apparently, you can be a little bit pregnant. We’ll explain.
The other day we received an email from a researcher tipping us off to a remarkable admission from a journal in Pakistan about how much (as in, precisely how much) plagiarism it was willing to accept in its pages.
The publication, the Punjab University Journal of Mathematics, had approached the researcher (whom we’re not identifying, at their request) asking them to be a reviewer. When the scientist demurred, the following message arrived:
When it comes to plagiarism, there is apparently no statute of limitations.
That’s one lesson one might take from this tale of two papers, one published in 1984 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG), and the other published in 2000 in the Medical Journal of The Islamic Republic of Iran (MJIRI). Both are titled “The use of breast stimulation to prevent postdate pregnancy.”
So writes (in somewhat different words) Mina Mehregan, a mechanical engineer at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran. Mehregan and a colleague recently discovered that they’d been victimized by a group of unscrupulous reviewers who used the pretext of a long turnaround time to publish a hijacked version of their manuscript in another journal.
One would hope that researchers submitting abstracts for a meeting on research integrity would be less likely to commit research misconduct. But if the experience of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity is any indication, that may not be the case. Here, the co-organizers of the conference — Lex Bouter, Daniel Barr, and Mai Har Sham — explain.