A trio of skin specialists in Egypt has lost a 2009 paper in the Indian Journal of Dermatology for duplication. And the journal wasn’t happy about it.
The article, “Serum mucosa-associated epithelial chemokine in atopic dermatitis : A specific marker for severity,” came from a group at Ain Shams University in Cairo. According to the abstract:
Our data reinforce the concept that CCL28 might contribute to the pathogenesis of AD, probably through the selective migration and infiltration of effector/memory T-helper-2 cells in the skin. CCL28 may also represent an objective prognostic marker for disease severity. Further studies may pave the way for CCL28 antagonism among adjuvant therapeutic strategies.
And when you publish something three times, that also reinforces the concept.
Here’s the retraction notice — with the kind of indignant narrative we’d love to see more of:
The following article is hereby retracted from the journal (print and online) with immediate effect:
1. MH Ezzat, KY Shaheen. Serum mucosa-associated epithelial chemokine in atopic dermatitis: a specific marker for severity. Indian J Dermatol. 2009 Jul;54(3):229-36. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.55630. ( http://www.e-ijd.org/text.asp?2009/54/3/229/55630 )
This decision is reached based on the communication from an alert reader, report of a fact finding committee as appointed by the editorial board of Indian Journal of Dermatology and in consultation with the journal Ombudsman on the charges of duplicate and simultaneous submission of an article published in International Journal of Dermatology in 2009.
2. Ezzat MH, Sallam MA, Shaheen KY. Serum mucosa-associated epithelial chemokine (MEC/CCL28) in atopic dermatitis: a specific marker for severity. Int J Dermatol. 2009 Aug;48(8):822-9. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.04069.x. ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.04069.x/abstract )
It was further found that the same article was previously been published in 2005 in Egyptian Journal of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
3. Ezzat MH, Shaheen KY. Serum mucosa-associated epithelial chemokine (MEC/CCL28) in atopic dermatitis: a specific marker for severity. Egypt J Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2005; 3(2): 64-74 ( http://www.jespai.org/cms/upload/1393125132.pdf )
In the background this serious academic dishonesty, the authors were initially served with a show-cause notice and then the concerned dean of the university was also informed when the authors did not respond.
After waiting for another 4 weeks based on unanimous decision of the Editorial Board, a complete restriction on the part of the journal on all future articles in which they are assigned/mentioned as an author/ coauthor was imposed and the author was communicated accordingly.
The above article is being retracted from the online and offline version of Indian Journal of Dermatology and the authors are barred from submitting their manuscript(s) to IJD in future
(Strangely, PubMed contains three listings for the paper in the IJD, from July and August in 2009, along with the retraction notice.)