Plagiarism of textbooks, encyclopedia leads to physics retraction

eur phys plusA pair of Iranian physicists is facing the retraction of one of their papers after editors found out some of the work was plagiarized from two textbooks and an encyclopedia.

Here’s the notice:

It has come to the attention of the European Physical Journal Plus that the article “Crystal’s anisotropic properties and tensor representation: a discussion” by E. Talebian and M. Talebian, Eur. Phys. J. Plus 126, 128 (2011), should not have been published because it reproduces some work already published in:

– A.R. Verma, O.N. Srivastava, Crystallography Applied To Solid State Physics (New Age International, 1991) Chapt. 7;
– G. Bassani, G. Liedl, P. Wyder (Editors), Encyclopedia of Condensed Matter Physics (Elsevier, 2005) pp. 300–309;
– E. Fjær, R.M. Holt, A.M. Raaen, P. Risnes, P. Horsrud, Petroleum Related Rock Mechanics, second edition (Elsevier, 2008).

Consequently, this paper has been retracted by the European Physical Journal Plus and should not be cited or referred to in the future.

The 2011 paper has yet to be cited, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

The Bassani entry from the Encyclopedia of Condensed Matter Physics is actually cited in the paper, but we’re guessing the authors didn’t use quotation marks or some other way to mark the material. (The PDF has been taken offline). Ehsan Talebian’s response to our request for comment suggests the other problems were minor, too:

…we do not agree with the retraction. Because we used some sentences and change it, so the sentences are not the same. It can be corrected by add some needed references.

If you’re wondering, “Plus” is one of a number of European Physical Journal titles.

Hat tips: “Murray” and “CR”

5 thoughts on “Plagiarism of textbooks, encyclopedia leads to physics retraction”

  1. Hmmm….not sure if they just forgot quotation marks. They reference the chapter on piezoelectricity in the following sentence:
    “Twenty of the 32 crystal classes are the so-called piezoelectric classes, and crystals belonging to one of these classes (point groups) display piezoelectricity. All piezoelectric classes lack a centre of symmetry [23,24].”
    (it’s reference 23)

    Who would complain about that? Other than the apparently circular argument that crystals belonging to the piezoelectric classes display piezoelectricity (why else would they be classed as piezoelectric?)

    I think there is quite a bit more that came from ref 23, but where it wasn’t referenced.

    If interested in the pdf, just contact me. I still could download it and so have a copy.

  2. Yet another example of Doing_the_Right_Thing.
    However, could somebody explain, please,
    Why retractions are so-o-o-o swift for authors from China and/or Iran, but impossible when plagiarists are from the University of Toronto, for example?

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