Fourth retraction for chemists in Iran

commnonlinsciWe’ve found a fourth retraction for a group of chemists in Iran who plagiarized.

As before, the offending article had appeared in Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation. This time, however, it did not include a co-author from Ball State University in Indiana, Robert Sammelson, whose name had appeared on three of the earlier papers.

The article was titled “An analytical approach to soliton of the saturable non-linear Schrödinger equation determination and consideration of stability of solitary solutions of cubic–quintic non-linear Schrödinger equation (CQNLSE),” and was written by Behrooz Adib and Alireza Heidari, of Islamic Azad University, and Sayyed Faramarz Tayyari of Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. It had been cited twice before being retracted, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

(One of the other retracted papers was titled “An analytical approach to the stability of solitary solutions of cubic–quintic coupled non-linear Schrödinger equation,” which is close enough to raise questions about the probability of those two articles being different enough for both to warrant publication in the first place.)

According to the notice:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and the authors.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 2(2) (2000) 103–111 and 4(1) (2003) 41–47. 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.

One thought on “Fourth retraction for chemists in Iran”

  1. I once again bring up the issue of self-plagiarism and re-emphasize that a zero-tolerance policy should be adopted by publishers.

    Paper 1:
    Aung Htay Naing, Jeon Su Min, Kyung Il Park, Mi Young Chung, Sun Hyung Lim, Ki Byung Lim, Chang Kil Kim (2013) Primary and secondary somatic embryogenesis in Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) cv. ‘Baeksun’ and assessment of ploidy stability of somatic embryogenesis process by flow cytometry. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum October 2013, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 2965-2974

    Paper 2:
    Aung Htay Naing, Chang Kil Kim, Baek Ji Yun, Jo Yu Jin, Ki Byung Lim (2013) Primary and secondary somatic embryogenesis in Chrysanthemum cv. Euro. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)
    March 2013, Volume 112, Issue 3, pp 361-368

    Paper 2 (page 2966) self-plagiarizes 42 lines of the Introduction of Paper 1 (page 361-362).
    Paper 2 (page 2970) also self-plagiarizes 9 lines of the Introduction of Paper 1 (page 366).

    In addition, the author contribution of the last author of Paper 1 was listed as “C.K. Kim edited the final version of the manuscript.” I queried the journal and the publisher whether editing the final version of the manuscript merited authorship in Springer journals.

    A formal complaint was made to Springer and Acta Physiologiae Plantarum on the 17th November, 2013. The formal response from Springer (Dr. Christina Eckey, Senior Editor, Plant Sciences) arrived on December 24, 2013: “Thank you for your e-mail to the editors of Acta Physiologiae Plantarum. The Editor-in-Chief and Springer came to the conclusion that the article published in APP contains self-plagiarized text passages, but not to an extend that warrants a retraction. We have sent a letter of warning to the authors. The work of Chang Kil Kim was not accurately described in the author contribution statement. We will publish an Erratum to correct this.”

    Naturally, we will wait for the erratum, but to only slap the authors on the wrist, and allow for self-plagiarism of quite a substantial amount of text send the wrong message to plant scientists. It indicates, quite obviously, that Springer tolerates self-plagiarism and will not do anything substantial about it, even when a formal report is made.

    Excuses by non-native English speaking scientists that mistakes are made because their native language is not English are no longer acceptable. Professional services exist to deal with this. Software exists to detect self-plagiarism and plagiarism. In fact, this may also indicate failure by the Acta Physiologiae Plantarum and Springer editorial teams to search for and detect plagiarism/self-plagiarism.

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