Eighteen years ago, the Journal of Dermatology published an article, “A sulfated proteoglycan as a novel ligand for CD44,” by a group of Japanese researchers (the journal is the official periodical of the Japanese Dermatological Society).
The JoD is now retracting that paper because it overlaps with another article by the same group, published a few months earlier in a different journal.
Here’s the notice (behind a pay wall — tsk, tsk, Wiley):
The following article from The Journal of Dermatology, “A sulfated proteoglycan as a novel ligand for CD44” by Toyama-Sorimachi N. and Miyasaka M., published in Volume 21, Number 11 (November 1994), pp. 795–801, has been retracted by agreement between the authors, the journal’s Editor in Chief, Yoshiki Tokura, and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty. Ltd. The retraction has been agreed due to an error in the Japanese Dermatological Association-based editorial process which resulted in overlap between this article and the following article: “A novel ligand for CD44 is sulfatedproteoglycan” by Toyama-Sorimachi N, Miyasaka M. Int Immunol 1994; 6(4):655–660. The Editor would like to point out that there was no fault on the part of the authors.
The JoD version of the paper has been cited just 12 times in 18 years, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, while the International Immunology version has been cited 46.
We’re curious what went wrong with the association’s “editorial process” that might have allowed this duplication. If the authors really aren’t to blame, did this manuscript somehow end up published without them having submitted, let alone reviewed it? We’ve contacted the journal and will update with anything we find.