Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘plagiarism’ Category

Thirteen-year-old mathematics paper retracted for plagiarism

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A 2002 paper that investigates a kind of equation used to describe physical systems has been “has been detected to be a case of plagiarism.”

Here’s the abstract of the Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics (Zeitschrift für angewandte Mathematik und Physik) article, “Some blow-up results for a generalized Ginzburg-Landau equation,”

We investigate the blow-up of the solution to a complex Ginzburg-Landau like equation in coupled with a Poisson equation in ϕ defined on the whole space nn=1 or 2.

What did this paper plagiarize from?  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

August 20th, 2015 at 11:30 am

Gold nanoparticle paper crushed by “deliberate and fraudulent use of data”

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Biotechnology Letters has retracted a paper on a new gene delivery technique due to “the deliberate and fraudulent use of data in the paper that had previously appeared in other papers of these two authors.”

The journal’s Editor in Chief Colin Ratledge told us that someone tipped him off that one of the authors, University of Kalyani microbiologist Keka Sarkar, had been self-plagiarizing:

I can say that a person who was familiar with the work of Dr Sarkar got in touch with about their concerns about her publications and, in particular, her paper published in Biotechnology Letters.  They supplied a dossier of her publications showing the obvious duplications of figures and that she had been using the same figures in different papers to illustrate the results from supposedly different experiments.

He found that, indeed, multiple figures in the Biotechnology Letters had appeared in other publications of Sarkar’s, some prior to the paper’s October 2013 publication, and one after. The details are in the whole retraction note:
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Paper on natural ways to fight cancer stem cells nixed for plagiarism

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cover (1)Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents has retracted a 2015 review article about natural fighters of cancer stem cells for reproducing “content to a high degree of similarity without appropriate attribution or acknowledgement” from a handful of papers.

Although the editor and publisher pulled the paper, they did so with the cooperation of the authors, according to the retraction note: Read the rest of this entry »

“We copied verbatim”: Authors insist on retraction for their own spider paper

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Journal of ArachnologyThe authors of a 2015 paper about non-native spider populations in Chile are retracting it from the Journal of Arachnology because they copied the introduction of a 2011 paper verbatim.

The retraction was triggered by the first author, who “insisted on a full retraction in lieu of milder remedies,” according to the journal’s editor-in-chief.

The paper, “Alien spiders in Chile: evaluating Darwin’s naturalization hypothesis,” tested Darwin’s hypothesis that introduced species that are phylogenetically distant from native animals are more likely to thrive. It was published in April. Authors Andrés Taucare-Ríos and Ramiro O. Bustamante are both based at the University of Chile in Santiago.

The notice reads:

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Serbian journal cleans house with 16 retractions and 2 corrections after investigation

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Archives of Biological SciencesEditors at the Archives of Biological Sciences, the official journal of Serbian Biological Society, have unleashed a flood of retractions and corrections as part of an effort to fix the mistakes of the former editorial board.

The fixes 16 retractions and two corrections, by our count are in response to a formal investigation that took place last year, and ended with a call for a two-year suspension of the journal’s funding and the resignation of key management figures, including the editor-in-chief, Božidar Ćurčić (who resigned after the announcement).

Goran Poznanović, the new editor-in-chief at ABS, told us that the journal is invested in cleaning up past mistakes and will investigate every request.

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“Unethical behavior” breaks crystallography paper

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Molecules and Cells

A 2011 paper about the crystal structure of a transcription regulator has been pulled by Molecules and Cells for “unethical behavior by the authors.”

Unfortunately, we can’t say much more than that, because the notice doesn’t, either: Read the rest of this entry »

Serial plagiarizer notches three retractions

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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 publicly 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.)

Meanwhile, 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

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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:

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Two retractions cost economic historian book chapter and journal article

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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:

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Written by Shannon Palus

July 20th, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Paper cited by New York Times for key stat gets retracted

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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:

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