One more paper down for sex researcher Weijmar Schultz

Weijmar Schultz
Weijmar Schultz

The fifth of six expected retractions for copyright infringement has arrived for a group of sex researchers led by Willibrord Weijmar Schultz, this one in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer of a 1992 article.

As we reported earlier this year, Schultz (whose 1999 paper on sex in an MRI won an Ig Nobel prize) and his colleague,  Mels F. Van Driel, were found not to have committed plagiarism by investigators at the University of Groningen. Instead, they were found guilty of “unintended and unknowing breach of copyright.”

But they were asked to apologize formally to a litany of people — from the editors involved to the sponsors of the research — for what the institution described as “unintended and unknowing breach of copyright” of the work of one Diana Jeffrey, whose 1985 dissertation evidently was very much worth reading.

Here’s the latest retraction notice:

The Editor of the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, is retracting the following article:

Weijmar Schultz WCM, Van de Wiel HBM, Hahn DEE, Bouma J. Psychosexual functioning after treatment for gynecological cancer: an integrative model, review of determinant factors and clinical guidelines. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 1992;2:281–290.

The Editor, Society, and Publisher received notice of an allegation of misconduct on the part of the Authors, namely, the Authors submitted the aforementioned paper to the journal without obtaining permission from Dr. Diana Jeffrey (formerly Dr. Diana Bransfield) regarding use of research from the following co-authored work in Sexual & Marital Therapy:

Bransfield DD. Psychosexual functioning after irradiation for gynecologic cancer. Dissertation Abstracts International. Vol. 45 (12-B, Pt 1), June 1985, pp. 3990–3991.

The Editor, Society, and Publisher find this allegation to be valid. These actions constitute a breach of warranties made by the authors with respect to originality. We note we received, peer-reviewed, accepted, and published this article in good faith based on these warranties, and censure these actions.

The retracted article will remain online to maintain the scholarly record, but it will be digitally watermarked on each page as RETRACTED.

Uziel Beller, MD
Editor in Chief

The paper had already been subject to a 2008 correction for some of the same reasons:

Correction to: Weijmar Schultz, W.C.M., Van de Wiel, H.B.M., Hahn, D.E.E. & Bouma, J. Psychosexual functioning after treatment for gynecological cancer: an integrative model, review of determinant factors and clinical guidelines, International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, 2, 281–290 (1992).

Since publication of this work, it has been brought to the attention of the Journal, that the following statement should not have been included in the article: “The review, to be considered as a sequel to an earlier report on the issue….” The “earlier report” was cited as Bransfield DD (1985). Psychosexual functioning after treatment for gynecologic malignancy (Doctoral Dissertation, Yeshiva University, 1984). Dissertation Abstract International 1985: 45 (12B): 3990. The article substantially drew upon the sources and organization of the Bransfield Dissertation, but it was not an authorized sequel of that work.

Additionally, the following two passages, both appearing on page 286 of the article, should have been attributed the Bransfield Dissertation and marked with quotation marks as follows:

“[The absence of statistical analysis:] two-thirds of the studies did not report [statistical analysis] of significant differences, [therefore] it is difficult to interpret their findings beyond their selected samples. [In] the majority the studies it is not [clear] whether significant differential treatment effects occurred [and whether] there were true differences between pre-[treatment] and post-treatment levels of sexual activity.”

“[Few] of the [post-treatment or pre-post-treatment] studies … compared the physical examination findings with the current level of sexual functioning. [In cases where] physical status has been assessed, sexual dysfunction was often associated with postcoital bleeding and/or vaginal shortening or stensosis.”

We hope this clarification will be beneficial to all authors and readers.

International Journal of Gynecological Cancer

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