Last week, we brought you the tale of a paper about camels that was rejected on submission, but published accidentally, and then retracted. It turns out this was not a unique occurrence.
An eagle-eyed Retraction Watch reader emailed us about another such paper, this one in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research. The study, “Growth of gold flowers on polyacrylonitrile fibers,” appears to have been published online on December 3, 2008. It now sports this retraction notice:
This article is retracted because it was published online erroneously. The Editor-in-Chief did not accept this paper for publication.
We’ve contacted the corresponding author, and the journal, to find out when the paper was retracted, since the citation doesn’t say, and for more details on how this happened.
Update, 11:45 a.m. Eastern, 1/16/12: Springer tells us the study was published online first, and only posted for a few months before it was retracted. Maria Bellantone, senior publishing editor, said:
We didn’t realize it immediately. We were making a table of contents for a coming issue, and this one was in our backlog. At one point, we placed it in an issue, and the editor chief said ‘I never accepted that.’
Bellantone said that she can’t remember any other similar cases since she started at Springer in 2007, working with a number of journals:
I would imagine this is quite a rare thing.
As it happens, the journal has been looking at the paper, because of a change in how they publish studies. As a result of that change, every piece of content will need to be in a print issue to be archived. That means the retraction notice will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal:
We can’t have it lingering around.
Hat tip: desantoos