The Journal of Theoretical and Applied Physics has retracted a 2012 paper by a pair of Iranian cosmologists who failed to adequately cite one of the critical references on which they based their work.
We think that falls under the broader category of plagiarism — after all, as Heisenberg famously postulated, the same text cannot simultaneously appear in two published articles under different authorship. Or something like that.
The paper in question, “Torsion of space-time in f (R) gravity,” deals with, as this Wikipedia entry states:
a type of modified gravity theory which generalizes Einstein’s General Relativity. f(R) gravity is actually a family of theories, each one defined by a different function of the Ricci scalar. The simplest case is just the function being equal to the scalar; this is General Relativity. As a consequence of introducing an arbitrary function, there may be freedom to explain the accelerated expansion and structure formation of the Universe without adding unknown forms of dark energy or dark matter.
Both authors, Majid Mohsenzadeh and Ebrahim Yusofi, are affiliated with Islamic Azad University, in Qom, which happens to be where the journal and two of its top staff are based.
According to the retraction notice:
This article is retracted by the Editor as it fails to cite a key source paper: Sotiriou T, Faraoni V: f(R) theories of gravity. Rev. Mod. Phys. 82, 451–497 (2010). doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.82.451
This is a violation of publication ethics which, according to the Springer Policy on Publishing Integrity, warrants a retraction of the article and a notice to this effect to be published in the journal.
However, the Sotiriou/Faraoni paper does appear in the list of references for the retracted article. The problem is that the Iranian authors plucked virtually verbatim text from the other source and passed it off as their own.
From the retracted article:
But if we decided to be faithful to the geometrical interpretation of the independent connection Γλμν, then this would imply that we would define the covariant derivatives of the matter fields with this connection and, therefore, we would have SM=SM(gμν,Γλμν,ψ), where ψ collectively denotes the matter fields.
And from the plagiarized paper:
but for the moment let us consider what would be the outcome if we decided to be faithful to the geometrical interpretation of the independent connection Γλμν: this would imply that we would define the covariant derivatives of the matter fields with this connection and, therefore, we would have SM=SM(gμν,Γλμ,ψ).