Weekend reads: Senator loses degree for plagiarism; bad colitis poetry; fraud on the big screen

booksThe week at Retraction Watch featured papers by a fake author with a brilliant if profane name, and the unmasking of fraudster Diederik Stapel as a sock puppet. Here’s what was happening elsewhere:

5 thoughts on “Weekend reads: Senator loses degree for plagiarism; bad colitis poetry; fraud on the big screen”

  1. “Our motto to is to provide an international platform to the large volume of research work which in going on all around the world. Our mission is to update science latest knowledge. We are committed and promise to take this journal to greaterer heights.”

    Impressive, elegant prose. Maybe I will submit my next, less than serious MS here instead of PNIS.

  2. Even professional degrees/theses can be retracted in case fraud is detected. Technology in the market can also be cancelled if foul play can be proved.

    1. The story that has emerged from Brazil is extremely important and other developed and developing nations should not only take note, they should follow suit, because Brazil seems to have set the bar high and set a good precedent, to publically list (and thus shame) unethical scientists. Just in case English-speaking readers may have been lost in translation, allow me to highlight some main points.

      1) 25 cases were under investigation since August 2011; another 22 cases are still underway.
      2) The following cases have now been publically released:
      i – Andeimar Martins Soares, of FCMRP, USP, who used plagiarized figures in his PhD thesis.
      ii – Cláudio Aroldi, of Unicamp, who used fraudulent (manipulated) figures in 11 papers http://retractionwatch.com/2011/03/28/hazardous-materials-elsevier-retracts-11-chemistry-papers-from-brazilian-group-citing-fraud/
      iii – Fávio Garcia Vilela, of FMVZ, USP, for false authorship in papers of studies in which he did not participate.
      iv – Javier Amadeo, formerly USP, now Unifesp, plagiarized 30 sentences from a book.
      v – António José Balloni, of CTI Renato Archer, admitted plagiarism.

      Another good synthesis with other details [1].

      Most likely this crackdown has also intensified in the aftermath of the Brazilian citation scheme [2].

      [1] http://educacao.uol.com.br/noticias/agencia-estado/2014/10/08/pela-1-vez-fapesp-torna-publicas-fraudes-em-pesquisas-cientificas.htm
      [2] http://www.nature.com/news/brazilian-citation-scheme-outed-1.13604

      1. Firstly, an erratum. I misspelt one of the author’s names. It should be Cláudio Airoldi. Interestingly, a search on the web for him, cross-referenced with retraction, revealed some interesting hits:
        a) A revealing and scathing editorial in 2012 in a “predatory” OA journal [1]. In that critique, the editor notes how the students of that group continue to reference the retracted paper.
        b) The story covered by retraction Watch in February, 2014 [2].
        c) Microsoft Academic Search indicates that some of the retracted papers have been quite heavily cited [3]. So, who is responsible for cleaning up the down-stream literature and requesting the journals that cited retracted papers to issue an erratum? Surely, this should be the responsibility of Airoldi, or, if he cannot be contacted or if he does not assume this responsibility, then it should be his previous academic institute that assumes that responsibility, in conjunction with the publisher of the retracted paper.
        d) An equally scathing report (in Portuguese) [4].
        e) Interestingly, from the same journal where an Airoldi paper was retracted from, Journal of Hazardous materials, one finds a recent retraction notice from a group from India, which states “Questions were raised as to the volume of publications, the actual capacity (equipment, orientation and chemicals) of the
        laboratory in which Prof. Chiranjeevi worked, the validity of certain of the research data identified in the articles, the fact that a number of papers appear to have been plagiarized from other previously published papers, and some aspects of authorship.” [5] It doesn’t get worse than that.

        [1] http://omicsgroup.org/journals/retraction-notices-are-increasing-in-scientific-journals-2167-0412.1000e127.pdf
        [2] http://retractionwatch.com/2014/02/17/brazilian-researcher-on-11-retracted-papers-loses-academic-post/
        [3] http://academic.research.microsoft.com/Author/11605947/claudio-airoldi
        [4] http://www.adusp.org.br/files/revistas/50/r50a11.pdf
        [5] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389407018365

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