Citing “authorship” issues, a parasitology journal has retracted a paper by a Kenyan scientist which showed that Limburger cheese and milk cream may be effective mosquito bait.
The paper, by Eunice Owino, of the University of Nairobi, was published online in Parasites & Vectors this June but retracted in late August after the editors quickly learned that Owino had neglected to list several other authors on her manuscript.
According to Chris Arme, a parasitologist and editor-in-chief of the journal, the article began to smell like Lim … well, you know, immediately:
We were alerted to the authorship issue upon publication of the article. Ms. Owino was the only author, so until the article was published, we had no idea that other scientists were involved in the work conducted for this article. We were alerted by Owino’s Masters’ supervisor on the day of publication.
In an e-mail interview, Arme told Retraction Watch that the problems with the paper do not affect its scientific merit. Once the authorship issues have been resolved, “the editor is happy to consider a revised manuscript,” he said.
For her part, Odino said her omitted co-authors—who included her master’s thesis adviser—were to blame in the incident. Reached by email, Odino told Retraction Watch:
This work was done in collaboration with them. [T]he paper was to be prepared in 2006 and I worked on the draft and sent it to them. They kept [quiet] and after some time asked for the data to reanalyse and kept [quiet] with the data again. Until this year I decided to go it alone then when I have done everything and the paper has been published they decide to raise issues like the data was not well analysed and I removed their names.