Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘education’ Category

After lawsuit threat, journal forces author to heavily revise education paper

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Under threat of a lawsuit, an education journal changed its mind about publishing a paper that it had already accepted after peer review.

Last summer, Education Policy Analysis Archives, published by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, informed San Francisco State University professor Stanley Pogrow that the journal would be publishing his paper criticizing a widely used reform intervention for schools in poor districts called Success For All.

According to Success For All‘s website, the program is currently used in more than 1,000 schools in 48 states and received just over $10.5 million in grant funding in 2015. In 2010, the program was one of four recipients of the U.S. Department of Education’s $50 million Investing in Innovation Scale‑up grant.

Yet when Success For All’s co-developer, Robert Slavin at Johns Hopkins University, read a pre-publication draft of the paper, he threatened the journal with legal action if they published it. According to Slavin, the manuscript contained “libelous” and “defamatory” statements.

Subsequently, ASU declined to publish the accepted paper, and instead told Pogrow they would only publish a revised piece on the methodology used to evaluate which school interventions are effective — and thus should receive public funds. The revised paper does not directly mention Success For All or Slavin in the text (although it cites past articles by Pogrow criticizing the program). The revision, which Pogrow agreed to, “gutted the article,” he told us.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Megan Scudellari

March 15th, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Can you plagiarize by mistake? In three papers?

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Journal of Asian Public Policy An author who claimed that he accidentally plagiarized material in a retracted paper has lost two more — again, for plagiarism.

Earlier this year, we shared a 900-word statement in which Christopher S. Collins at Azusa Pacific University explained he unintentionally plagiarized a paper by taking notes on it — including writing down whole sentences — and using them in his own paper, forgetting the original source. Did the same thing happen three times?

We’re asking ourselves that question after finding two more retractions for Collins for plagiarism. One lists five different sources that he incorporated without attribution.

Here’s the retraction notice for “A higher education learning profile in the Asia-Pacific,” published in the Journal of Asian Public Policy:

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Written by Shannon Palus

October 26th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Journal retracting at least nine articles by education researcher

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JAASEPA investigation in Singapore has failed to turn up primary data that formed the basis for 11 papers from one author about special education.

In addition, a forensic investigation at Noel Chia’s institution — the National Institute of Education in Singapore, part of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) — suggested that some signatures providing parental consent might not be authentic. The investigation was also unable to authenticate the Malaysia-based organization Chia said collected the data on his behalf.

Nine of the papers appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP), which has declared it plans to retract every article Chia has ever published with them (we’ve counted an additional nine papers).

Much of the information we know about the case stems from the unusually detailed — 3,000 word — retraction notice from JAASEP:

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Mistaken plagiarism? Journal retracts education paper that inadvertently included others’ work

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An education journal is pulling a 2014 paper about how US funding partnerships in Africa could alleviate local poverty, after the author admitted to mistakenly lifting sentences from work presented at a 2012 conference.

Author Christopher S. Collins at Azusa Pacific University took full responsibility for the plagiarism, and told us he suggested the journal retract the paper — but also proposed alternatives, such as adding the plagiarized author as a co-author, or publishing “an error sheet” that cites the material in the sentences in question.

If it’s hard to imagine how someone could plagiarize another researcher’s work by mistake, Collins explained what happened in a 900-word statement, in which he also told us how he is moving forward professionally and personally.

Here’s how some plagiarized sentences ended up in Can funding for university partnerships between Africa and the US contribute to social development and poverty reduction?” in Higher Education, according to Collins:

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Written by Shannon Palus

March 17th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Retraction after education researcher tries to repeat a grade–er, paper

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AEHEAn education journal has yanked a 2014 article by a pair of scholars in Asia after discovering one had already published a “substantially similar” article.

The article, “Dynamic nature of washback on individual learners: the role of possible selves” in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, is about how taking a major English test influenced learning in Chinese undergraduate students. Author Ying Zhan is listed at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, in mainland China; Zhi Hong Wan, at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Dissertation in transition: Plagiarism leads to delisting of education thesis, lost PhD

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ccjThe author of a doctoral dissertation on veterans education has lost the paper — and a mention of the work in a roster of theses — because he lifted text from a previously published dissertation from a student at another institution.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

September 11th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Linguistics retraction fails to speak clearly

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ccse logoThe Canadian Center of Science and Education has put out a truly useless retraction for a paper published in June 2010 in their journal English Language Teaching.

Here’s the notice for “A Solution to Plato’s Problem: Faculty of Language as A Complex Non-Linear System”:

The editorial board announced this article has been retracted on August 18, 2010.

If you have any further question, please contact us at: elt@ccsenet.org

So we tried that email. We had a very odd back and forth with editorial assistant Gavin Yu, who responded to a request for more details with the following: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Cat Ferguson

August 19th, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I know you are but what am I? School program paper pulled for duplication

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sciworldjrnlAn article on youth development programs in Hong Kong has been retracted for its similarity to another article on youth development programs by the same authors.

The paper, “Process Evaluation of a Positive Youth Development Program in Hong Kong Based on Different Cohorts,” appeared in 2012 in The Scientific World Journal, and was written by a pair of researchers with appointments in Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, and the United States. It has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

According to the abstract: Read the rest of this entry »

Education researchers retract paper for differences in “positionality”

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Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 4.03.27 PMHere’s an odd one from the University of Western Australia’s education journal, Education Research and Perspectives: A paper was retracted at the request of the authors, both UWA professors, because the participants “may have differed significantly from others in terms of their positionality,” whatever that means.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

The “sins and virtues of authors span a rather colorful palette”: New editor yanks plagiarized paper

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scientometricsWhat a difference a new editor can make.

Consider the case of a paper in Scientometrics that came to the attention earlier this year of Jeffrey Beall.

Beall, a research librarian and scourge of the predatory publishing world, had previously posted on his blog about his frustrations with the journal’s seeming indifference to the word theft. (He also helped bring about another plagiarism retraction we covered earlier this year.)

The article was titled “Educational reforms and internationalization of universities: evidence from major regions of the world,” and was written by a group from China and Pakistan.It has been cited just once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, by another paper in Scientometrics.

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