Four papers about gaming and virtual worlds become more virtual and less reality as they’re retracted

int j human-computer interactionThe International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction has retracted four papers about virtual reality for reasons that aren’t quite clear.

The common author of the studies is Dong-Hee Shin of Seoul’s Sungkyunkwan University. Here’s the retraction notice, which is signed by journal editors-in-chief Gavriel Salvendy and Julie Jacko:

Taylor & Francis is retracting the following four articles due to allegations of misuse of data and analyses. To ensure the integrity of papers published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, the allegations and responses of the lead author were considered, and the Editors have found a reasonable basis to retract these articles.

1. “The Evaluation of User Experience of the Virtual World in Relation to Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation” by Dong-Hee Shin, 25(6), pages 530–553, 2009.
2. “The Dynamic User Activities in Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games” by Dong-Hee Shin, 26(4), pages 317–344, 2010.
3. “Consumers’ Trust in Virtual Mall Shopping: The Role of Social Presence and Perceived Security” by Dong-Hee Shin and Youn-Joo Shin, 27(5), pages 450–475, 2011.
4. “Can 3DTV Create Immersive Environments?” by Dong-Hee Shin and Seon-Gi Baek, 28(5), pages 281–291, 2012.

As a result, the above-mentioned articles published in International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction have been retracted and should not be cited in the electronic or print version of the Journal.

Good on the editors for taking a tough stand, but it would have been even better if the retraction notice weren’t so opaque. What was the substance of the allegations? How exactly did the lead author respond? Has there been an institutional investigation?

We’ve asked c0-editor-in-chief Salvendy for more details, and will update with anything we learn. (The other editor-in-chief, Jacko, meanwhile, resigned her tenured faculty post at the University of Minnesota at the beginning of this year, after she and her husband faced fines and criminal prosecution for double-dipping salaries at their former institution, Georgia Tech.)

2 thoughts on “Four papers about gaming and virtual worlds become more virtual and less reality as they’re retracted”

  1. The idea of destroying evidence of misconduct by retracting flawed papers is worrisome. I believe that this should be approached by marking such work with a warning that clearly states the offense.

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