Journal retracts two chemistry papers for plagiarism

commnonlinscinumsimCommunications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation has retracted a pair of articles by a group of chemists from Iran and the United States after finding evidence of plagiarism in the papers.

The researcher team included authors from Islamic Azad University, Ferdowski University of Mashhad and, perhaps somewhat incongruously, Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

The first paper, “An analytical approach to the stability of solitary solutions of cubic–quintic coupled non-linear Schrödinger equations,” appeared in 2009 and has been cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. (Question: is an article that will ultimately be retracted for plagiarism considered to exist in a state of un-retracted retractionness, such that by detecting the plagiarized text the article immediately ceases to be?):

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and the authors.

The authors have plagiarized part of a paper that had already appeared in the Iranian Journal of Physics Research 6(4) (2006) 245–251. 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.

The second paper, “An analytical approach to the solitonic solutions in the three-component plasma of the positive ion–electron–positron and investigating the effect of positron increase on the solitonic wave characteristics,” which also came out in 2009 and has been cited twice, has a similar notice:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and the author.

The authors have plagiarized part of a paper that had already appeared in the Iranian Journal of Physics Research 5(4) (2005) 225–234. 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.

This marks at least the third retraction in the journal for this group. In 2011, they lost “An analytical approach to the Klein–Gordon and the Dirac relativistic oscillators in a non-commutative space under a constant magnetic field”:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and Author. Please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy). Reason: The authors have plagiarized part of a paper that had already appeared in Iranian Journal of Physics Research. 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 we apologize to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.

Robert Erik Sammelson was the author from Ball State. We have tried to reach him for comment and will update this post if we hear from him.

11 thoughts on “Journal retracts two chemistry papers for plagiarism”

  1. Incidents of “ghost co-authorship” have occurred previously. How should academics proceed when they know that a foreign author is only honorary or has been invited to hop up on the wagon? Another puzzle in this ANARCHY!

  2. The Robert Sammelson you link to is an organic chemist, so it’s hard to see what he could have to do with “cubic–quintic coupled non-linear Schrödinger equations” (whatever that is).

    1. Organic chemists often have an interest in determining certain basic properties of their molecules (like their conformation but also their spectral properties). Various methods are available to calculate these properties, and many involve solving Schrödinger equations. So, it is not that odd.

      1. Yeah, it can happen… but there is a difference between getting involved in quantum chem calculations, and developing new methodology. In any case, Sammelson certainly doesn’t advertise his Qchem contributions on his website/publication list. So I stick by my assessment: it sounds fishy.

        1. I know a few folks that do TEM research for small molecule electronics. You usually need a physics theory group to do the quantum calculations, a physical chemist/experimental physics group to take the measurements with the electron microscope, and a synthetic group to actually make the molecules.

          I’d agree that a synthetic chemistry group doing theory sounds a bit….odd.

  3. Taking advantage of the topic of this post, I would like to ask for the opinion of the RW community about the following papers:

    A) PMID: 23398928 (http://www.translational-medicine.com/content/11//36) vs PMID: 23636800 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13277-013-0817-9)

    Emphasis to the table I of both papers and the results associated with it. Take also a look to the IF image on the Tumor Biol paper (Fig 5a vs c).

    B) PMID: 23832541 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13277-013-0955-0) vs PMID: 22878614 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1245/s10434-012-2560-7) vs PMID: 23778524 (http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v109/n1/full/bjc2013273a.html).
    Emphasis to the tables.

    In all the cases the authors used the same original samples (cases of tumors) and identical/very similar results were presented, however, the difference among the papers is that different markers were studied by IHC. In A) no citation to the other paper is present. In B) there was a citation in one of the papers to another, but it failed to report that the same samples were studied in the same manner and that the first part of the results section is redundant.

    Another interesting thing is that these five papers were all published in 2013. I wonder if the redundant results were not detected by the editors because the related paper was not published yet. Submitting more than one paper containing redundant data to different journals at the same time could be considered an approach in order to not be caught by the editors? Smart idea!

    Dear Ivan, can these issues be considered for “ask to RW section”.

    1. What is so wrong about this re-use of data? As someone alien to the field, it sounds to me like both cases did two different studies on the same data, which sounds fine to me.

      Though it doesn’t seem to be the case here, it could even be that the papers were submitted in parallel (which means they cannot cite each other, obviously).

      However, regarding A; it lists:
      Received: 24 January 2013
      Accepted: 30 January 2013
      Which seems particularly suspicious. Especially for a journal. Maybe it should be ‘Received: 24 January 2012’?

      1. Dear Rens,
        what do you think is the reason for the authors not cite themselves in the case of papers in A) tumor biol vs j transl med?
        Why would anybody lose the opportunity to improve his H factor? For sure, it should exist a good reason…

  4. There is an interesting comment on the website of the plagiarized journal:
    http://ijpr.iut.ac.ir/index.php?slc_lang=en&sid=1

    I quote:
    “PLAGIARISM

    12/26/2012 With the help of Dr. Paul Abbott, University of Western Australia, we realized that Alireza Heidari et al. with a fake affiliation of “Institute for Advanced Studies, Tehran 14456-63543″ have published or submitted 40 articles in international journals. Most of these articles are translation from Iranian Journal of Physics Research articles.

    Most of the journals already have retracted the plagiarized articles from their website. We are grateful to Paul Abbott and the journals which acted quickly.”

    So, it looks like Ivan and Adam missed a few 😉

    1. Some of the ones that were missed:
      A New Approach to Decoherence Effects of Spontaneous Emission and Cavity — http://ccsenet.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/announcement-of-retraction/

      A New Approach to the Characteristics and Short-Channel Effects of Double-
      Gate Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistors using MATLAB: A Numerical Study — http://www.znaturforsch.com/aa/v68a/68a0318.pdf

      Flux Dynamics in Y358 Superconductors — http://www.mdpi.com/1996-1944/5/5/882‎

      The Computation of Scalar Curvature in the Four-State Mixed Spin Model and
      the Investigation of Its Behavior: A Computational Study — http://www.doaj.org/doaj?func=fulltext&aId=1021131

      An Analytical Investigation of Hot and Thermal Quasi-particles in D-wave
      Superconductors: A New Approach and Study — ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/apr/article/download/16768/11277

      The Structure Functions in the Weak and Semileptonic Decay of Meson B to the Mesons D and D*: A Computational Study — http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=17701

      Design Of A New Diffractive Optical Element For Flattening The Gaussian High-repetition-rate Transversely Excited Atmospheric-pressure Co2 Laser Beam Using An Iterative Angular Spectrum Algorithm Through Matlab — http://rockyourpaper.org/article/design-of-a-new-diffractive-optical-element-for-flattening-the-gaussian-high-repetition-rate-transversely-excited-atmospheric-pressure-co2-laser-beam-using-an-iterative-angular-spectrum-algorithm-through-matlab-announcement-of-retraction-2d02d27f2cabd440ec9fd145eb4c21a6

      1. “..realized that Alireza Heidari et al. with a fake affiliation of “Institute for Advanced Studies, Tehran 14456-63543″ have published or submitted 40 articles in international journals”

        More retracted articles, in addition to the ten listed above.

        11. An Analytical And Numerical Approach To The Self-consistent Method For Computing The Proportion Of F2n/f2p Using The 3he And 3h Nucleuses’ Structure Function And Emc Ratio
        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=17109

        12. The Computation of Scalar Curvature in the Four-State Mixed Spin Model and the Investigation of Its Behavior: A Computational Study
        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=17102

        13. A New Approach to the Ground State of Superfluid Fermi Gas near the Feshbach Resonance of d-Wave
        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=17687

        14. The Structure Functions in the Weak and Semileptonic Decay of Meson B to the Mesons D and D*: A Computational Study
        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=17701

        15. The Study and Investigation of Electron Trajectories in Free Electron Laser with Realizable Helical Wiggler and Ion Channel Guiding: A Computational Study
        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=18205

        16. New Approach to Simulating the Absorption of Gamma Radiations Using the Monte-Carlo Method: A Computational Study
        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=18200

        17. The Investigation and Study of Hydrogen Atom in Spherical Cavity Using B-Spline Basis Functions: A Mathematical Approach
        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=25413

        18. An Analytical and Numerical Investigation of the Optical Vortex Solitons: A Computational Study
        http://ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/apr/article/view/13258

        19. An Analytical Investigation of Hot and Thermal Quasi-particles in D-wave Superconductors: A New Approach and Study
        http://ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/apr/article/view/16768

        20. A new approach to decoherence effects of spontaneous emission and cavity dissipation on stimulated Raman adiabatic passage in an optical cavity: A computational study
        http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/apr/article/view/16767

        21. A New Approach to Mesons’ States and Their Dependence on Spin and Isospin: A Mathematical Study
        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=19267

        22. Investigation and Study of the Effects of Hyperfine Interaction on the Mass of Baryons N and Δ
        http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=20190

        and so on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.