Microbial reproduction: Plagiarism from Wikipedia, elsewhere leads to retraction of biotech paper

When is an advance not an advance?

Biotechnology Advances has retracted a 2008 review by researchers in India who allegedly stole chunks of their manuscript from several sources including journal articles, Wikipedia, and StateMaster.com, a statistics clearinghouse.

According to the notice, the article, titled “Microbial production of dihydroxyacetone”

has been retracted at the request of the editor as the authors have plagiarised part of several papers that had already appeared in several journals. One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that their work is original and has not appeared in a publication elsewhere. Re-use of any data should be appropriately cited. As such this article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and we apologise to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.From a limited, non-exhaustive check of the text, several elements of the text had been plagiarised from the following list of sources:

Dihydroxyacetone – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

StateMaster – Encyclopedia: Dihydroxyacetone

The paper was cited 11 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Update, 10:30 a.m. Eastern, 10/6/10: Thanks to a comment below from ktwop, aka Krishna Pillai, we’ve learned that Biotechnology Advances has recently retracted two other papers, “Nanosilver — The burgeoning therapeutic molecule and its green synthesis” and “Molecular imprinting in sol–gel matrix,” for similar reasons.  Read Pillai’s  blog about them.

0 thoughts on “Microbial reproduction: Plagiarism from Wikipedia, elsewhere leads to retraction of biotech paper”

  1. A few months ago I reviewed a paper on antibiotic resistance written by a Chinese research group of which large parts were copy-pasted from Wikipedia. I only found out because I checked Wikipedia for some background info on an antibiotic the authors were discussing.
    Should journals not be using systems similar to those that are already being used to check for plagiarism in student reports?

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