Hip disjoint: Dysplasia paper lacks proper attribution, earns retraction

ajhbcoverA suggestion: When you title your paper “Joined at the hip?”, better make sure it’s not too close for comfort to someone else’s work.

Alas, an Idaho anthropologist failed to heed that lesson when she published “Joined at the hip? A paleoepidemiological study of developmental dysplasia of the hip and its relation to swaddling practices among indigenous peoples of North America,” in the American Journal of Human Biology last October.

The article, by Samantha Blatt, of Boise State University, found that:

Indigenous peoples of North America have the highest reported global prevalence of DDH today and in prehistory. The etiology of DDH suggests that components of both genetic predisposition and swaddling practices have combined to create a high-risk environment for the development of DDH, contributing to its high prevalence within archaeological populations, like Buffalo, and modern Native American/Aboriginal groups within North America.

Blatt dedicated her article to “Penelope.” But she might have taken pains to acknowledge a few others.

According to the retraction notice:

The above article, published online on 7 October 2013 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), and in Volume 25, No. 6, pp. 821–834, November/December 2013, has been retracted by agreement between the author, the journal Editor-in-Chief, and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The retraction has been agreed due to unattributed use of methodological statements and diagnostic criteria from “Brief communication: Developmental dysplasia of the hip in medieval London” by Piers D. Mitchell and Rebecca C. Redfern (American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144:3, March 2011, doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21448), from which Figure 1 was also adapted without proper acknowledgement, and from “Diagnostic criteria for developmental dislocation of the hip in human skeletal remains” by P.D. Mitchell and R.C. Redfern (International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 18:1, January/February 2008, doi: 10.1002/oa.919).

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

One thought on “Hip disjoint: Dysplasia paper lacks proper attribution, earns retraction”

  1. This case was first reported to Springer’s 3 Biotech on July 2, 2013. Despite two reminders and a promise by Springer’s Senior Editor, Chris Bendall, on October 7, 2013, at 4:35 AM that “We are still following up on this. It will take some more time.”, the paper continues intact, without any erratum, or more appropriately, without a retraction. Nothing could be more disjointed than this story, or perhaps Springer is too busy cleaning up the IEEE mess.

    Seema Patel (2011) Harmful and beneficial aspects of Parthenium hysterophorus: an update 3 Biotech Volume 1, Issue 1, 1-9
    Department of Biotechnology, Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar 144402, Punjab, India.
    http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs13205-011-0007-7.pdf (Volume 1, Issue 1, Paper 1)

    A potentially false claim in the Acknowledgements: ” The author acknowledges the internet website http://www.wikipedia.org/ for providing with the figures.” If any of the key-words for these images are entered into Wikipedia, these images do not appear.

    1st potential figure plagiarism claim: Figure 1A of Parthenium hysterophorus is the same as that at http://www.ecoport.org/, without attribution. The photo does not appear in Wikipedia.

    2nd potential figure plagiarism claim: The world map (Fig. 1B) is the same as that by the Weed Science Society of Pakistan (http://www.wssp.org.pk/), without attribution.

    3rd potential figure plagiarism claim: It is obvious that all the chemical structures in Figure 2 have been taken from different web-sites or sources since the quality of each compound and the precision of each compound are different. An organic chemist would use ChemDraw (or similar software) to design such compounds such that the quality and proportion would be identical. But this does not appear to be the case.

    4th potential figure plagiarism claim: Fig 3A of Zygogramma bicolorata is identical to that at http://images.search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A2KJkIYaHtJR.xoAxVSjzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBtdXBkbHJyBHNlYwNmcC1hdHRyaWIEc2xrA3J1cmw-/SIG=11q9lnt6t/EXP=1372753562/**http%3a/www.texasento.net/suturalis.htm, without attribution. The photo does not appear in Wikipedia.

    5th potential figure plagiarism claim: Fig 3B of Epiblema strenuana appears to be taken from the Moth Photographer’s Group of the Mississippi Entomological Museum at MSU (http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=3172) and manipulated (squashed). The photo does not appear in Wikipedia.

    6th potential figure plagiarism claim: Fig 3C of Listronotus setosipennis is the same as old.padil.gov.au (an Australian Government source), without attribution. The photo does not appear in Wikipedia.

    7th potential figure plagiarism claim: Fig 3D of Carmenta ithacae is the same as at http://www.discoverlife.org/, without attribution. The photo does not appear in Wikipedia.

    Your web-page, in the Instructions for Authors and in the Specific Instructions PDF, makes very clear statements about originality, plagiarism, figure copying and the need for retractions where copyright has been violated, in accordance with COPE guidelines.*

    Other serious problems with this manuscript include:
    a) The entire first paragraph of the Introduction lists many facts which clearly come from the literature, but not a single reference appears. Are these facts plagiarized?
    b) It is usual for a journal of repute to only accept reviews from professionals who are specialists in their fields of study. The name of Dr. Patel cannot be found in not even a single reference in the reference list. Would it be fair to state that Dr. Patel is not qualified to write a review on this noxious weed.
    c) The review itself brings few aspects of originality since reviews were already written and since the literature review is vastly incomplete. A review by the Australian Government in 2001 (http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/documents/Biosecurity_EnvironmentalPests/IPA-Parthenium-Nsplan.pdf) is also not mentioned. A review by Javaid, A. and T. Anjum (2005). Parthenium hysterophorus L. – a noxious alien weed. Pak. J. Weed Sci. Res. 11: 1-6 was not mentioned. A review by Javaid, A., S. Shafique and S. Shafique. (2006). Parthenium weed – an emerging threat to plant biodiversity in Pakistan. Int. J. Biol. Biotech. 3(3): 619-622 was not mentioned. A paper by Javaid, A., T. Anjum and R. Bajwa (2005). Biological control of Parthenium II: Allelopathic effect of Desmostachya bipinnata on distribution and early seedling growth of Parthenium hysterophorus L. Int. J. Biol. Biotech. 2: 459-463 was not mentioned. A review by VR Paudel in 2009 http://nepjol.info/index.php/BOTOR/article/viewFile/2915/2954 is not mentioned. A review by Ramamoorthy, K.; Radhamani, S.; Amanullah, M. M.; Subbian, P. (Biology and integrated management of congress grass (Parthenium hysterophorus L.) – a review.) Green Farming 2009 Vol. 2 No. 10 pp. 702-706 is also not referenced or mentioned. An important study in 2010 by Shreshtha et al was not referenced: http://www.forestrynepal.org/images/publications/2010_Shrestha%20et%20al_Fortuitous%20biocontrol%20of%20Parthenium.pdf.
    Oddly, none of these reviews or papers were referenced by Dr. Patel, which indicates incomplete and biased reporting of the literature. Why was this not detected during peer review? Was there peer review? Unfortunately, another recent review by another Indian scientist displays serious plagiarism (http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/scienceinternational/sciintl/2013/186-193.pdf) and lack of novelty, although that paper is unrelated to Dr. Patel.

    * “Authors wishing to include figures, tables, or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) for both the print and online format and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.” Also,”3 BIOTECH accepts biotechnology-related papers which are original, unpublished and not under simultaneous consideration by another journal. All papers are rigorously peer-reviewed and selected on the basis of quality and originality… The journal‟s rejection rate is very high.” as well as “The journal will investigate suspected cases that violate research ethics and instances of scientific fraud and misrepresentations, inappropriate manipulation of graphics files, redundant publications, and plagiarism. Plagiarism includes the unattributed use of text written by others and represented as original. It is distinct from large-scale attributed copying, but both practices are objectionable. 3 BIOTECH adopts the position that plagiarism is completely unacceptable, and word-for word attributed copying of more than a few sentences should be avoided. Depending on the outcomes of these investigations, the journal may decide to publish errata or corrigenda and, in cases of serious scientific misconduct, ask authors to retract their paper, or impose a retraction on them.”

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