Leukemia paper retracted for plagiarism — 18 years later

BTER_116_1_cvr_spine.p65Nearly two decades after a Polish researcher plagiarized the work of a Turkish team, her theft has been exposed and the paper retracted.

According to an article in Polish-language paper Gazeta Wyborcza, Jolanta Rzymowska of the Medical University of Lublin was the subject of two disciplinary hearings, the first in February 2014, following the discovery of her plagiarism by well-known Polish fraud hunter Marek Wronski. It was determined that her 1996 paper contained word-for-word text from a paper by a team at the University of Ankara.

Ultimately, Rzymowska was given an official reprimand, rather than any harsher disciplinary action, because she copied descriptions rather than results. From a Google translation of the article:

The Commission concluded that the results are the most important element of intellectual property and the descriptive part is much less important.

Here’s the notice:

The Acting Editor in Chief of Biological Trace Element Research retracts the following article: Rzymowska, Magnesium and Iron Contents of Leukemic Lymphocytes in Acute Leukemias and Hemolytic Anemia, June 1996, Volume 53, Issue 1-3, DOI 10.1007/BF02784559.

This full retraction is due to the author’s having used – without permission – significant amounts of the text and intellectual property of an earlier article: Canbolat, Kavutcu, Durak, Magnesium Contents of Leukemic Lymphocytes – Biometals October 1994, Volume 7, Issue 4, DOI:10.1007/BF00144127.

The paper has been cited just twice in 18 years, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s what we got from the Springer press office:

…on further review we believe the retraction notice speaks for itself and we don’t have any further comment on this.

That’s not far off what we got from author Jolanta Rzymowska:

I have nothing to add. I wrote all to Editor of Biological Trace Elements and anyone can read these sentences.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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