Geology dust-up: Second sand paper swept away for duplication

GeomorphologyCiting an “abuse of the scientific publishing system,” the editors of Geomorphology have retracted a paper from a quartet of geologists in China for containing “significant similarity” to four other papers.

It is the second recent retraction for the group: In a loop of self-plagiarism, the Geomorphology paper was cited as a source of copied material in a retraction last month from Sedimentary Geology.

This most recent retraction is of a January 2014 paper, “The influence of sand bed temperature on lift-off and falling parameters in windblown sand flux,” analyzing the rise and fall of windblown sand based on the temperature of the sand bed.

Here is the full text of the notice:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editors-in-Chief.

This article also contains significant similarity with parts of text, written by the same author(s), that have appeared in

  • Tian-Li Bo, Xiao-Jing Zheng, Shao-Zhen Duan, Yi-Rui Liang, The influence of sand diameter and wind velocity on sand particle lift-off and incident angles in the windblown sand flux, Sedimentary Geology, Volume 290, 15 May 2013, Pages 149-156.
  • Tian-Li Bo, Xiao-Jing Zheng, Shao-Zhen Duan, Yi-Rui Liang, The influence of wind velocity and sand grain diameter on the falling velocities of sand particles, Powder Technology, Volume 241, June 2013, Pages 158-165.
  • Tian-Li Bo, Xiao-Jing Zheng, Shao-Zhen Duan, Yi-Rui Liang, Analysis of sand particles’ lift-off and incident velocities in wind-blown sand flux, Acta Mechanica Sinica, April 2013, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 158-165.
  • Tian-Li Bo, Xiao-Jing Zheng, Shao-Zhen Duan, Yi-Rui Liang, Influence of sand grain diameter and wind velocity on lift-off velocities of sand particles, The European Physical Journal E, May 2013, 36:50.

The “slicing” of research that would form one meaningful paper into several different papers represents an 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.

If that looks familiar, it’s because the retraction last month of the first paper on that list had a similar notice, for plagiarizing the other papers on the list. Both retractions are from Elsevier journals.

When we covered the Sedimentary Geology retraction, corresponding author Tian-Li Bo at Lanzhou University in China wrote to us:

We have no other articles need to be retracted.

We’ve contacted him to see if he’d like to revise that statement, retract it, even.

We also reached out to Geomorphology editor-in-chief R.A. Marston at Kansas State University and will update if we hear back.

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