Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘plagiarism’ Category

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

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

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

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

A unicorn: Journal publishes euphemism-free plagiarism notice

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af journ biomed researchIt’s always nice when a journal editor actually uses words the way they’re meant to be used instead of employing euphemisms.

In 2009, the African Journal of Biomedical Research published an article on the differences in heart rates when people ran backwards versus forwards. Unfortunately, five years later, the journal found out the paper was a reproduction of a 1994 Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise paper. They contacted the authors and, when there was no response, published a straightforward and fairly detailed retraction.

According to managing editor Babafemi Olaleye, the original paper was received and handled by the founding editor of the journal. In April 2014, the managing editor of Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise emailed the journal, stating that the paper had been copied wholesale.

Here’s the notice for “Comparison of Cardio-Pulmonary Responses to Forward and Backward Walking and Running”: Read the rest of this entry »

“Unacceptable level of text parallels” loses neuroscientist a paper, but not her PhD

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maynoothWe should probably launch a new blog just on the euphemisms used for plagiarism.

A case of “inadequate procedural or methodological practices of citation or quotation” causing an “unacceptable level of text parallels” has sunk a review paper, but not a thesis, for a PhD who studied memory consolidation at Maynooth University in Ireland. According to a statement from the school, Jennifer Moore used “poor practice of citation and attribution” in both her thesis and in a review article published with her post-graduate P.I. in Reviews in the Neurosciences.

The review article, which has been cited four times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, will be retracted. Because there was no data fabrication and “no misleading of other scientists or laboratories,” the school will not be retracting the thesis nor taking away her PhD.

According to Google Scholar, the review has been cited 8 times. Moore now works as a neuropsychologist at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. We’ve contacted her for comment and will update if we hear back.

Here’s the notice for “Reconsolidation Revisited: A Review and Commentary on the Phenomenon”: Read the rest of this entry »

Serial plagiarist loses 13 papers

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NeoheliconAccusations of plagiarism spanning at least 14 years have finally caught up with Richard Lawrence Etienne Barnett, who has had 13 papers retracted from a journal he had guest edited.

The dean of the for-profit University of Atlanta has been accused of copying his own and others’ work a number of times, as we wrote in November.

Here’s the notice from Neohelicon editor Péter Hajdu: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

January 28th, 2015 at 9:30 am

New favorite plagiarism euphemism: “Inadvertently copied text”

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biodata miningPlagiarism earned genomics researchers an erratum, not a retraction, in BioMed Central journal BioData Mining.

We keep a list of best euphemisms for plagiarism, and this one is right up there.

Here’s the notice for “An iteration normalization and test method for differential expression analysis of RNA-seq data”: Read the rest of this entry »

Far from earth-shatteringly new: Plagiarism topples Chinese quake paper

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scientificreportsA group of scientists at the Chinese Earthquake Administration in Beijing have lost their 2014 paper in Nature Scientific Reports for lifting chunks of text from a previously published article.

The abstract of the paper, “Early magnitude estimation for the MW7.9 Wenchuan earthquake using progressively expanded P-wave time window,” states: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

January 26th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Authors get away with throwing quotation marks around plagiarized passages. Again.

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PNAS jan15Back in November 2013, we wrote about a correction in PNAS about a May 2012 paper by a group from Toronto and Mount Sinai in New York who, as we said at the time

had been rather too liberal in their use of text from a previously published paper by another researcher — what we might call plagiarism, in a less charitable mood.

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Written by amarcus41

January 21st, 2015 at 11:30 am