Plant journal retracts paper for plagiarism — of another study in the same journal

s horticulturaeScientia Horticulturae, a plant journal published by Elsevier, has retracted a paper after realizing it was a graft of another that appeared in its pages.

Here’s the notice for “Water stress effects on Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) yield and oil essential components,” by Farshid Vazin, Islamic Azad University, Gonabad, Iran:

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (

This article has been retracted at the request of the editors.

The article includes content plagiarised from the following article that has already been published:

Water deficit effects on Salvia officinalis fatty acids and essential oils composition by I. Bettaieb, N. Zakhama, W. Aidi Wannes, M.E. Kchouk, B. Marzouk, Sci. Hortic. 120/2 (2009) 271–275,

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.

That’s right: Vazin plagiarized a 2009 paper in Scientia Horticulturae in a 2013 paper in…Scientia Horticulturae. Where’s plagiarism detection software when you need it?

Hat tip: Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva

21 thoughts on “Plant journal retracts paper for plagiarism — of another study in the same journal”

    1. This is a historic moment and actually a reason to celebrate rather than to be demoralized. For one reason. Scientia Horticulturae represents the oldest and (at least in the eyes of horticultural scientists) most respectable horticultural journal in the world, by far, despite it’s relatively low IF relative to medical journals, for exmaple. It also represents some of the most conservative ideologies in plant science publishing, as reflected by several key editors on that board. If plagiarism was not detected in the latest issue of this journal, then this implies that it was also not searched for in all previous 162 volumes. This is SERIOUS and demands a deep and thorough investigation of all papers published there in the last few years. There can be no doubt that other cases of plagiarism exist. The question is why this paper from Iran and from Islamic Azad University (which has made news before at RW) was singled out? Can anyone suggest a FREE plagiarism detector (other than Google Scholar) that is easy to use, i.e., where one can just copy-paste a chunk of text and get a read-out. There is no way that justice can be served evenly in this Elsevier journal unless the peer community provides free tools for us to do independent quality control and post-publication peer review. One of the problems with the plant science community overall is that it is extremely conservative, and remains quite reluctant to change. I see this on a daily basis with the status quo. It sees the problems, but many key players are happy to have a traditional don’t-ask-too-many-questions system in place, without ruffling too many feathers. What this historic retraction does is very suddenly usher in an age of change. It is the Fukushima jolt that the horticultural science community required. A thorough investigation of papers in this journal will surely be the key to establishing a new mantra for the plant science and publishing community. Radical change is coming very soon to plant science publishing, no doubt.

        1. Despite multiple indications to the editor board of this journal, and to Elsevier Ltd. management, including the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Reed-Elsevier, Mark Seeley (, since at least 2010, that the information on the pages of this journal continue to be contradictory, and thus false, including the definitions of authorship, absolutely nothing is done about correcting and/or standardizing the errors and the documents. This is an excellent example of senior managerial mismanagement, and corporate and editorial irresponsibility at the highest level of science publishing for three reasons:
          a) Scientia Horticulturae is the leading/premier horticultural journal in the world;
          b) It has a 40-41 year publishing history and a 5-year impact factor (2012; JCI) of 1.730 (;
          c) Elsevier Ltd. is the leading science publisher globally.

          The underlying message for me is simple: they just don’t care about the accuracy of the information, but are quick to retract papers and call out authors when it comes to their carelessness.

          Allow me to indicate exactly why such small differences are potentially a fraudulent situation.

          Set 1 information (26 March, 2014; verbatim):

          “Scientia Horticulturae Editorial Board
          J.P. Bower
          S.C. Debnath, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
          W.W. Guo, HuaZhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, China
          T. Moriguchi, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
          B. Pennisi, University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia, USA
          D. Schwarz, Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, Grossbeeren, Germany
          Founding Editor
          S.J. Wellensiek
          Editorial Board Members
          G.H. Barry, XLnT Citrus Company, Helderberg, Cape Town, South Africa
          R.I. Cabrera, Texas A&M University, Dallas, Texas, USA
          G. Colla, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
          C. de Kreij, Research Floriculture & Glasshouse Vegetables, Hoofddorp, Netherlands
          M. Dorais, Université Laval, Québec, Canada
          G.C. Douglas, Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Dublin 19, Ireland
          R.L. Geneve, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
          A. Gunes, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey
          W.P. Hackett, University of California at Davis, Davis, California, USA
          V. Kesavan, Department of Agriculture Western Australia, Carnavon, Western Australia, Australia
          C. Lovatt, University of California at Riverside, Riverside, California, USA
          A. Monteiro, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Lisboa Cedex, Portugal
          P. Mooney, Sardi, Urrbrae, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
          R.E. Paull, University of Hawaii at Mãnoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
          F. Pliego Alfaro, Universidad de Malaga, Málaga, Spain
          J.V. Possingham, Possum’s Vineyard, Unley Park, South Australia, Australia
          L. Rallo, Universidad de Cordoba, Córdoba, Spain
          M.S. Reid, University of California at Davis, Davis, California, USA
          D. Savvas, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece
          R.R. Sharma, IARI, New Delihi, India
          L. Tian, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), London, Ontario, Canada
          D.W. Turner, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia
          X. Wang, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
          G.E. Welbaum, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA, USA

          Set 2 information (from the Editorial Board PDF, also dated on March 26, 2014, Volume 168):

          Dr. John Bower, Horticultural Consultant, Agassiz, British Columbia, Canada
          Dr. Samir C. Debnath, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
          Prof. X.X. Deng, Huazhong Agricultural University, National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Shizhishan Street No. 1, Wuhan, Hubei, P.R. China
          Prof. Takaya Moriguchi, National Institute of Fruit Tree Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8605, Japan
          Bodie Pennisi, Associate Professor and Extension Landscape Specialist, Dept. of Horticulture University of Georgia Griffin Campus, 1109 Experiment St. Cowart Bldg., 103, Griffi n, GA 30223
          Dr. Dietmar Schwarz, Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops. Theodor-Echtermeyer-Weg 1, 14979 Grossbeeren, Germany
          S.J. Wellensiek
          G.H. Barry, XLnT Citrus Company, Cape Town, South Africa
          R.I. Cabrera, Texas A&M University, Dallas, TX, USA
          G. Colla, Universita degli Studi della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy
          C. de Kreij, Research Floriculture & Glasshouse Vegetables, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands
          M. Dorais, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada
          G.C. Douglas, TEAGASC, Dublin, Ireland
          R.L. Geneve, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA
          W. Guo, Huazhong Agricultural, University China
          A. Gunes, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey
          W.P. Hackett, Univ. California, Davis, CA, USA
          E. Heuvelink, Agric. Univ. Wageningen, Wageningen, Netherlands
          V. Kesavan, Department of Agriculture, Carnavon, WA, Australia
          C.J. Lovatt, Univ. California, Riverside, CA, USA
          A.A. Monteiro, Inst. Superior de Agronomia, Lisbon, Portugal
          P. Mooney, Plant Research Centre, Waite Research Precinct, Adelaide, South Australia
          R.E. Paull, Univ. Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA
          F. Pliego Alfaro, Univ. Málaga, Málaga, Spain
          J.V. Possingham, Possum’s Vineyards, Unley Park, Adelaide, Australia
          L. Rallo, Univ. Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain
          M.S. Reid, Univ. California, Davis, CA, USA
          D. Savvas, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece
          R.R. Sharma, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India
          L. Tian, Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, London, Ontario
          D.W. Turner, The Univ.W. Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia
          X. Wang, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Beijing, China

          Please compare the lists VERY carefully, person by person, line for line. Is this correct? Is this honest? Is this ethically acceptable especially when the publisher has been informed ample times of these discrepancies? I think not. Yet, there seems absolutely no way to convince Elsevier that this is fundamentally wrong. We are in 2014, not 1994, accuracy, precision, timely correction are all aspects that make up an efficient, transparent and trustworthy company. If such basic issues cannot be done responsibly and professionally, then what can we conclude about te academic process and peer review? My experience has told me that serious problems exist with select members of the editor board, with the peer process, and with the review management and decision making. But each of these issues will be recorded here, one by one, to consititute a public repository of this information for the horticultural/plant science community, who deserve to get such insight.

    1. In October 2013, I reported to RW the very first ever retraction in the world’s No. 1 horticultural journal, Scientia Horticulturae, published by Elsevier. At around the same time, Dr. Michael Kane was substituted by Dr. Samir Chandra Debnath, after pressure from my official complaints to the journal and publisher. At the same time, I made many pointed but important queries that truly ruffled the feathers of both the status quo editor board and the publisher. I claimed, among many things, that the literature in that journal contained papers with some serious problems that had not been addressed, despite my official complaints and letters of concern. In fact, most of my emails were ignored. In addition, two new editors-in-chief were suddenly ushered in at the end of 2013, and I questioned how these individuals were so suddenly vetted, and recruited to the editor board. I felt that as a long-serving author who had supported this journal and publisher, for about a decade, that such issues were important to discuss openly, because they underlie the quality-control issues in the most important horticultural journal on this planet. When I and my publishing collaborators started to receive e-mails which I believe were a bid to victimize, silence and alienate me, I decided to call on the resignation of Dietmar Schwarz and Samir Debnath. I also questioned the validity of the Elsevier staff member Emma Granqvist, who failed to respond to any of my queries. I felt that my valid concerns, which, if addressed, could fortify the quality of the journal and the trust by the horticultural community in this journal, its editor board and publisher, especially in these very turbulent times in science publishing. I honestly felt that my ideas would be of valuable assistance to Elsevier. Instead, I was met with a banning from the journal. In October, 2013, I reported to RW a historical day: the first retraction from the world’s premier horticultural journal. On April 14, 2014, history was again made.

      I was the first plant scientist (possibly) to ever have been banned from Scientia Horticulturae. If there are others, then Elsevier has the responsibility of showing such cases publically, so that they may be analyzed.

      However, my claims and facts, as documented on another RW page (, reveal dozens of what I think are contradictions, power plays and suspect activities by several members of the editor board. Between April 14 and April 25, there was a sudden disappearance of no less than 8 editors, and the sudden appearance of 11 new editors, on the official masthead. Considering that the editor board consists of, excluding the 6 editors-in-chief, 29 editors (at least on April 28, 2014;, this suggests that my claims and revelations have resulted in a sudden radical change to more than 65% of the editor board. Never in the 40+ year history of this journal has such radical change ever occurred. And, from what I have seen from the editor board of most IF-carrying plant science journals, such a revolutionary change has also never occurred in the history of plant science journals (I call on publishers to refute my claim with detailed cases). And I claim it is because of my public exposure of the bias, contradictions (in ethics and professionalism, or lack thereof) by the editor board members and publisher, the inclusion of questionable information on public PDFs and web-sites, and wha I think is suspect authorship of select editor board members. It is, I think, because one complaining and conscientious member of the horticultural community decided to finally expose the rot within this institutionalized sector of science that such radical change has occurred. I have suffered tremendously, physically and psychologically, for years now because of my conflicts with Elsevier Ltd and with the editor board members of Scientia Horticulturae, but may my banning serve as testament that sacrifices can cause change.

      Despite these changes, Elsevier continues as if nothing has changed. Business as usual. This then leaves countlessly more questions unanswered, in addition to the dozens of unanswered questions on the other RW page:
      1) Why was my banning from Scientia Horticulturae a story at RW?
      2) Why has no member of Elsevier management come to RW to publically address the concerns that I have posed and which can affect any Scientia Horticulturae author in the future? Doe Elsevier honestly believe that the official response provided to RW (and thus the horticultural community) “the letter speaks for itself” actually addresses this clear scandal?
      3) Why has no editor in chief or editor yet made any public statement, or come forward?
      4) How are new editors vetted and recruited. It is obvious that many of the editors who suddenly disappeared (sacked or resigned?) were UNDERQUALIFIED. Yet, they were editor board members, in some cases, for more than 10 years.
      5) Why was there no negotiation? Surely, simple professional pen and transparent dialogue to address my claims and concerns would have avoided this PR fiasco? Does Elsevier seriously believe that expelling one of their staunchest supporters will somehow silence currently silent critics or potentially future vocal critics?
      6) What are the actual functions and responsibilities of EICs and editors in Scientia Horticulturae? What do they actually do?
      7) Can I safely assume that Elsevier has used its online submission system to amass a data-base of reviewers who are explored, for free, to ensure the scientific quality of papers, and that the editors, in essence, do (or have done) nothing except serve as “brand names” to attract new authors and feign academic excellence?
      8) Elsevier Ltd. is the highest paying COPE member. Why is COPE silent and why have they not come out publically? Can we conclude that the power of money (as membership) trumps the power of ethics?
      9) Why has no notice of my banning been published in the latest issue of Scientia Horticulturae? Why has no editorial been published that explains these conflicts and provides frank, open, honest and transparent perspectives from the editors to reassure the horticultural community that this is a journal that is not run by the impact factor, but is run by a team of professionals? Do the editors and the publisher honestly believe that this issue is not central to all its authors?
      10) What does Thomson Reuters think about this story?

      It is important for all Scientia Horticulturae authors to become aware of this story. It is important for them to share of their grievances publically, especially when they have not received suitable or any responses, ether by the editor board or by the publisher. And, I have a few pieces of advice for Elsevier and Scientia Horticulturae:
      a) Embrace post-publication peer review as part of your publishing model. There are problems with papers you have published. These need to be corrected. You cannot continue to sweep complaints under the carpet because at some point, the carpet will rip open and expose a massive pile of hidden complaints.
      b) Allow authors to complain, and have a suitable PR person to deal with authors who are not so diplomatic with their language or complaints. Their complaints are valid, but they are not always trained to deal with PR-related issues. Authors can be or feel victimized by small or large issues, but issues nonetheless. Elsevier should have a more effective system to deal with author complaints and offer author rights, especially where conflicts between authors and editors seems to be unresolvable. Banning authors is not a viable long-term solution. Addressing dissent is.
      c) Explain publically and in a transparent way how processes are conducted. For example, how are editors vetted and recruited? Under what circumstances are papers flat-out rejected? Why can authors not challenge rejection decisions made by EICs?

      For now, Elsevier Ltd is lucky. Because many plant and horticultural scientists milk the impact factor to gain financial rewards (either as salaries or as research grants). If this silly concept, the impact factor, were to be removed from the publishing equation, then there is no doubt that dozens of competing horticultural journals without an impact factor, would attract wider authorship and thus readership. The fact that there is this powerful and unhealthy marriage between Elsevier and Thomson Reuters will only provide short-term security. Once more and more scientists start to wake up and stop supporting the “game”, and once shareholders start to appreciate that the foundations of this business model are based on sand, then we will see a real game-changer. My banning and the historical upheaval of the Scientia Horticulturae editor board is only the warning shot.

      To my critics, I state, history must never be forgotten, or buried:

  1. A 2015 corrigendum appears for a 2007 paper:
    Corrigendum to “Characterization of wild Prunus yedoensis analyzed by inter-simple sequence repeat and chloroplast DNA” [Sci. Hortic. (2007) 121–128]
    Mark S. Roh a, Eun Ju Cheong b, Ik-Young Choi c, Young Hee Joung d
    a US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Arboretum, Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
    b US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Plant Disease Research Unit, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
    c Seoul National University, CALS, NICEM, San 56-1 Sillim-9-dong Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-921, Republic of Korea
    d Cheonnam National University, School of Biological Science & Technology, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea

    Scientia Horticulturae Volume 190, 16 July 2015, Pages 211

  2. Please compare these two papers.

    Mweetwa, A.M., Welbaum, G.E., Tay, D. (2008a) A preliminary investigation on the effect of seed physiological stage, concentration and duration of exposure to calcium hypochlorite on in vitro germinability and seedling development of Phalaenopsis amabilis orchids. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 782:99-106.

    Mweetwa, A.M., Welbaum, G.E., Tay, D. (2008b) Effects of development, temperature, and calcium hypochlorite treatment on in vitro germinability of Phalaenopsis seeds. Scientia Horticulturae 117(3), 257–262
    DOI: 10.1016/j.scienta.2008.03.035


  3. Please compare these four papers.

    Davies, L.J., Brooking, I.R., Catley, J.L., Halligan, E.A. (2002a) Effects of constant temperature and irradiance on the flower stem quality of Sandersonia aurantiaca. Scientia Horticulturae 93(3–4): 321-332
    DOI: 10.1016/S0304-4238(01)00344-2

    Davies, L.J., Brooking, I.R., Catley, J.L., Halligan, E.A. (2002b) Effects of day/night temperature differential and irradiance on the flower stem quality of Sandersonia aurantiaca. Scientia Horticulturae 95(1–2): 85-98
    DOI: 10.1016/S0304-4238(02)00026-2

    Catley, J.L., Brooking, I.R., Davies, L.J., Halligan, E.A. (2002a) Temperature and light requirements for Sandersonia aurantiaca flowering. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 570: 105-112

    Catley, J.L., Brooking, I.R., Davies, L.J., Halligan, E.A. (2002b) Temperature and irradiance effects on Sandersonia aurantiaca flower shape and pedicel length. Scientia Horticulturae 93(2): 157–166
    DOI: 10.1016/S0304-4238(01)00324-7

    PubPeer: (Davies et al. 2002a) (Davies et al. 2002b) (Catley et al. 2002b)

  4. Please compare these two papers.

    Scientia Horticulturae 128(2) (2011) 124-130
    Adventitious shoot regeneration in a bioreactor system and EST-PCR based clonal fidelity in lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.)
    Samir C. Debnath
    doi: 10.1016/j.scienta.2011.01.012

    Canadian Journal of Plant Science (2011) 91: 147-157
    Bioreactors and molecular analysis in berry crop micropropagation – A review
    Samir C. Debnath
    doi: 10.4141/CJPS10131


  5. Please compare these two papers.

    Scientia Horticulturae Volume 88, Issue 3, 4 May 2001, Pages 235-241
    Flower colours and pigments in hybrid tuberose (Polianthes).
    Kuang-Liang Huang, Ikuo Miyajima, Hiroshi Okubo, Tsai-Mu Shen, Ta-Shiung Huang
    DOI: 10.1016/S0304-4238(00)00213-2

    Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 570, 367-371 (2002)
    Breeding of Colored Tuberose (Polianthes) and Cultural Experiments in Taiwan
    Kuang-Liang Huang, Ikuo Miyajima, Hiroshi Okubo, Tsai-Mu Shen, Ta-Shiung Huang


  6. Please compare these two papers.

    HortScience 29(10):1191–1194. 1994
    Low-temperature storage for quality preservation and growth suppression of broccoli plantlets cultured in vitro
    Chieri Kubota, Toyoki Kozai

    Scientia Horticulturae Volume 61, Issues 3–4, March 1995, Pages 193–204
    Low-temperature storage of transplants at the light compensation point: air temperature and light intensity for growth suppression and quality preservation
    Chieri Kubota, Toyoki Kozai
    DOI: 10.1016/0304-4238(94)00717-T

    1. Please compare these two papers, also by Toyoki Kozai.

      Yulan Xiao, Toyoki Kozai (2004) Commercial application of a photoautotrophic micropropagation system using large vessels with forced ventilation: plantlet growth and production cost. HortScience 39(6): 345-356.
      American Society for Horticultural Science

      Kozai, T., Nguyen, Q.T. and Xiao, Y. 2006. A Commercialized photoautotrophic micropropagation system using large vessels with forced ventilation: Plant growth and economic benefits. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 725:279-292
      DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2006.725.35
      International Society for Horticultural Science

    2. Please compare these two papers, also by Toyoki Kozai.

      Closed Transplant Production System at Chiba University
      Changhoo Chun, Toyoki Kozai
      In: C. Kubota and C. Chun (eds.), Transplant Production in the 21 st Century, pp. 20-27.
      Department of Bioproduction Science, Faculty of Horticulture, Chiba University,
      Matsudo, Chiba 271-8510, Japan.
      © 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers
      DOI: 10.1007/978-94-015-9371-7_2

      A Closed-Type Transplant Production System
      Changhoo Chun, Toyoki Kozai
      N. Morohoshi, Atsushi Komamine (eds.), Molecular Breeding of Woody Plants (vol 18), pp. 375–384
      © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
      DOI: 10.1016/S0921-0423(01)80094-0


    3. Please compare these three papers, also by Toyoki Kozai.

      Kozai, T., Chun, C., Ohyama, K. (2004). Closed systems with lamps for commercial production of transplants using minimal resources. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 630, 239-254
      DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2004.630.30

      Toyoki Kozai (2005) Closed systems with lamps for high quality transplant production at low costs using minimum resources. In: T. Kozai, F. Afreen, S. M. A. Zobayed (eds) Photoautotrophic (sugar-free medium) micropropagation as a new propagation and transplant production system. Chapter 17, pp: 268-303 (web-site states 275-311).
      DOI: 10.1007/1-4020-3126-2_17 (cannot be linked to PubPeer)

      Kozai, T., Ohyama, K., Chun, C. (2006). Commercialized closed systems with artificial lighting for plant production. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 711, 61-70
      DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2006.711.5


  7. Queries pertaining to 23 papers by the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Samir C. Debnath, were made in the past fortnight at PubPeer, as follows. I contacted Dr. Debnath just prior to Christmas to request that he address these multiple issues.

    Today (January 4, 2016), a comment appears at PubPeer* stating: “Errata will be published”

    Debnath (2003):
    Debnath (2006):
    Debnath (2007):
    Debnath (2007):
    Debnath (2008):
    Debnath (2009):
    Debnath (2009):
    Debnath (2010):
    *Debnath (2011):
    Debnath (2011):
    Debnath (2011):
    Debnath (2012):
    Debnath et al. (2012):
    Debnath et al. (2012):
    Debnath (2014):
    Debnath (2014):
    Debnath (2014):
    Debnath (2014):
    Debnath (2014):
    Debnath (2015):
    Debnath (2015: erratum):
    Goyali et al. (2015):
    Debnath (2016):

    1. From the Office of the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture, in defense of Dr. Debnath:

      “This letter is in response to your email to Minister MacAulay regarding your complaint against an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientist. The Minister has asked me to respond on his behalf. All AAFC employees are subject to the AAFC Code of Values and Ethics. Given the specific nature of their work, our scientists also hold themselves to the highest scientific ethics and integrity standards set out by AAFC Science Ethics Policy Framework. The Framework implementation is overseen by the Science and Technology Branch’s Science Ethics Committee. AAFC does not take allegations of scientific misconduct lightly. All AAFC science publications are reviewed both individually by AAFC management, and by the journals in which they are published, and from time to time as a body of a scientist’s individual work. No issues with Dr. Debnath’s work have ever been found by such reviews. We also have an obligation to our employees to protect them, and the Department from unsubstantiated claims of misconduct. As you have given us no cause to further investigate Dr. Debrath’s publications at this time, we ask that you desist from spreading innuendo regarding his work.”

  8. Today, I received an email from Dr. Debnath, from his official email, in which only one sentence was written, as follows.

    On Thursday, January 21, 2016 12:04 AM, “Debnath, Samir” [redacted] wrote:
    “The contract of Samir Debnath as an Editor-in-Chief of Scientia Horticulturae was ended on December 31, 2015.”

    This email was sent to me by Dr. Debnath hours after after I sent a formal query to the ISHS and Scientia Horticulturae about two papers, one of which involves Scientia Horticulturae.


  9. Kindly observe these two papers.

    Scientia Horticulturae Volume 136, 1 March 2012, Pages 43–49
    In vitro somatic embryogenesis from suspension cultures of Carica papaya L.
    R. Anandan, D. Sudhakar, P. Balasubramanian, Antonia Gutiérrez-Mora
    DOI: 10.1016/j.scienta.2012.01.003

    Journal of Agricultural Technology 2011 Vol. 7(5): 1339-1348
    In vitro organogenesis and plantlet regeneration of (Carica papaya L.)
    R. Anandan, S. Thirugnanakumar, D. Sudhakar, P. Balasubramanian
    No DOI.

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