The authors of a 2010 paper in the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery have retracted it after realizing that their colleagues at other institutions had already published a paper based on the same findings.
Here’s the retraction notice:
We are writing to retract the article “Anatomical Variability of the Maxillary Artery: Findings From 100 Asian Cadaveric Dissections,” which was published in the August 2010 issue of the Archives. The data reported in that article were generated by many persons, working in many different departments, and a number of articles were published based on these data. In preparing this most recent article, we were unaware that another article based on these data, written by some of our colleagues, reported substantial amounts of the same data as our article. Since our colleagues’ article was published 1 month before ours, we would like to retract our article. We regret any problems or confusion that the publication of our article, with its duplicate data, and our delay in reporting this to the Archives and its readers may have caused.
Here’s the article published first, “Topography of the third portion of the maxillary artery via the transantral approach in Asians,” from the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.
It’s not clear why it took two years for the Archives paper — which has been cited just once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge — to be retracted. Corresponding author Joo-Heon Yoon tells Retraction Watch:
We and [Journal of Craniofacial Surgery co-author] Dr. Kim collaborated together in 1999-2000 for two years. As soon as we found out that we had unintentionally duplicated data, we immediately contacted the Archives for a retraction. Since then, we fully cooperated with the Archives and did whatever was requested of us for the process of retraction. As this is a very embarrassing and perplexing first experience for me, I do not know why the retraction has taken two years. I just thought that this process at the journal took a long time. In fact, as there was no word from the Archives after last year, I contacted the Archives via email to ask how things were going.
Although none of it was intentional, as corresponding author, I take full responsibility for this mistake and I am deeply sorry that this occurred.
Once more I would like to state that there are no words that can express my regret regarding this matter.
We’ve contacted the editor of the journal, and will update with anything we learn.
If you’re feeling a bit of deja vu reading this post, it may be because we recently wrote about a two different dermatology groups, also in Korea, who had published on the same case study.