Authors plan to appeal Global Ecology and Biogeography retraction

The authors of a Global Ecology and Biogeography study originally published in November 2009 and retracted last week are appealing the decision with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Retraction Watch has learned.

We understand that the retraction was contentious and involved authorship issues. According to the brief retraction notice:

The following article from Global Ecology and Biogeography, ‘What caused the mid-Holocene forest decline on the eastern Tibet-Qinghai Plateau?’ by U.Herzschuh, H.J.B. Birks, L. Xingqi, C. Kubatzki, G. Lohmann, published online on 27 November 2009 in WileyOnline Library ( is hereby retracted because C. Kubatzki did not agree to publication.

Such authorship issues can be difficult, and are the subject of this COPE guide. They have come up before on Retraction Watch.

The paper has been cited twice, according to Thomson Reuters’ Web of Knowledge.

Several of the authors declined comment, citing the appeal they are about to submit. We could not reach Kubatzki. The editor of the journal referred us to publisher Wiley-Blackwell, and we were told that the relevant staffer is on vacation until the first week of January.

We’ll update when we hear more.

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