Vacuum retracts paper on nanorods for plagiarism, image manipulation

vacuumWhat’s that sucking sound you hear from the journal Vacuum? Why, a retraction, of course.

The journal is pulling a 2012 paper by a group of researchers from India who stole images and used them in misleading ways — that’s data fabrication, kids.

Here’s the retraction notice for the article, titled “Microwave synthesis, characterization and humidity sensing properties of single crystalline Zn2SnO4 nanorods”:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and Author.

The authors have plagiarized Figure 2A from a paper that had already appeared in Science of Advanced Materials, Volume 2 (2010), Pages 432-437, Furthermore Figure 10 in the Vacuum article had been previously published in Materials Science and Engineering C 31 (2011) 840–844, However in the Vacuum publication the same results were presented for a different material in both Figure 2A and Fig. 10 compared to the original results. Therefore the editors have concluded that data fabrication is also involved.

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 apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.

You know what they say about Vacuum, by the way: Nature abhors it.

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