Springer Nature took eleven months to retract a plagiarized book, then made it disappear without a trace

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:

Continue reading Springer Nature took eleven months to retract a plagiarized book, then made it disappear without a trace

Critic up to 18 retractions for plagiarism

Robert Cardullo

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.

Continue reading Critic up to 18 retractions for plagiarism

Up to 19% plagiarism is just fine, journal tells authors

Punjab University

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:

Continue reading Up to 19% plagiarism is just fine, journal tells authors

Compression plagiarism: An “under-recognized variety” that software will miss

Michael Dougherty

If you’re interested in plagiarism in the scholarly literature nowadays, you’ve probably come across the name Michael Dougherty. Dougherty’s efforts to root out plagiarism has led to dozens of retractions, including several by a prominent priest. In a new paper in Argumentation, Dougherty, author of the recent book Correcting the Scholarly Record for Research Integrity: In the Aftermath of Plagiarism, has coined a new term: “compression plagiarism.” We asked him more about the phenomenon, which Dougherty says “is invisible to unsuspecting readers and immune to anti-plagiarism software.”

Retraction Watch (RW): You define a term that is new to us: Compression plagiarism. What is compression plagiarism, and why is it particularly problematic? Continue reading Compression plagiarism: An “under-recognized variety” that software will miss

Plagiarism prompts retraction of 25-year-old article by prominent priest

Fr. Thomas Rosica

Retraction Watch readers may have heard about Fr. Thomas Rosica, a priest who recently apologized for plagiarism and resigned from the board of a college. The case, which involved Rosica’s speeches and popular columns, prompted at least two observers to take a look at his scholarly work.

One of those observers was Michael Dougherty, who has a well-earned reputation as the plagiarism police squad in certain fields and recently published Correcting the Scholarly Record for Research Integrity: In the Aftermath of Plagiarism. Dougherty wrote a letter to the journal in question, Worship, on February 20th.

In the letter, which we have posted here, Dougherty writes: Continue reading Plagiarism prompts retraction of 25-year-old article by prominent priest

Journal to retract article from 2000 that plagiarized one from 1984

Image by Nick Youngson via Image Creator CC BY-SA 3.0

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.”

Here’s the abstract of the AJOG article, written by two researchers at the Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, California: Continue reading Journal to retract article from 2000 that plagiarized one from 1984

A reviewer stole a manuscript and published it himself. But you wouldn’t know it from this retraction notice.

The Taylor & Francis logo

Fish off someone else’s peer review!

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.

In a guest editorial for the Journal of Korean Medical Science — which wasn’t involved in the heist — Mehregan began by noting the toll that protracted peer review can take on authors: Continue reading A reviewer stole a manuscript and published it himself. But you wouldn’t know it from this retraction notice.

Total recall: Brazilian journal issues “total retraction” of plagiarized paper

We’ve seen partial retractions, and retract-and-replacements, but here’s a first (cue timpanis): The Total Retraction.

A Brazilian journal has pulled a 2018 paper on food security for plagiarism — at least, that’s what really happened; the stated reasons are a bit sauced up.

According to the notice: Continue reading Total recall: Brazilian journal issues “total retraction” of plagiarized paper

Even potential participants of a research integrity conference commit plagiarism, organizers learn

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.

Recently the 430 abstracts submitted for the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity (WCRI) were peer reviewed. After an alarming report of apparent plagiarism from one of the 30 reviewers, text similarity checking was conducted on all the abstracts received using Turnitin. This identified 12 suspected cases of plagiarism and 18 suspected cases of self-plagiarism. Abstracts with a Turnitin Similarity Index above 30% (ranging from 37% to 94%) were further assessed and labelled as potential self-plagiarism if overlapping texts had at least one author in common. Continue reading Even potential participants of a research integrity conference commit plagiarism, organizers learn

Cribbing from Kribbe: UK criminology prof loses four papers for plagiarism

Anthony Amatrudo

A professor of criminology at Middlesex University London has had four papers retracted because at least three of them cribbed significantly from a PhD thesis written by someone named Kribbe.

Three of the four retractions for the professor, Anthony Amatrudo, appear in International Journal of Law in Context. One of the notices reads: Continue reading Cribbing from Kribbe: UK criminology prof loses four papers for plagiarism