Flood paper washed away after “oversight” leads to publication of wrong manuscript

JEHSEThe editor of the Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering has retracted a paper mapping flood zones in Iran because the authors mistakenly uploaded a manuscript that had already been published elsewhere.

According to corresponding author Majid Bagheri of K.N. Toosi University of Technology in Tehran, a different paper on wastewater treatment was accepted and peer-reviewed at JEHSE, but then the authors uploaded the wrong manuscript, and that manuscript, on flood zones, made it all the way through acceptance and publication due to an “oversight.”

The retracted version of the paper was published online on December 27, 2014 in JEHSE, a BioMed Central title. The preceding, non-retracted version, was published online at the Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering just four days earlier, on December 23, 2014.

Here is Bagheri’s account:

The published paper has been correctly published in the Arabian J Sci Eng and this paper was submitted just to this journal and accepted for publication. In addition, we had a paper in the J Environ Health Sci Eng, which was about wastewater treatment, which was accepted for publication after some revision. Unfortunately, while uploading the revised paper about wastewater treatment to the J Environ Health Sci Eng, due to an oversight the word files of paper published in the Arabian J Sci Eng were uploaded again instead of the correct files. Due to an oversight again the journal editorial team did not check this and it was published falsely.

The retraction notice did not share any more details on what exactly that editorial “oversight” was or how it occurred:

This article has been retracted by the Editor as it was published in error and has already been published elsewhere. After the peer review process, the authors uploaded the wrong manuscript in error. Due to an oversight, the manuscript was subsequently accepted and published. The authors, Editor and BioMed Central apologise to all involved.

The resulting publication, “Estimation of flood environmental effects using flood zone mapping techniques in Halilrood Kerman, Iran,” explores the environmental effects and damages caused by a flood in the Kerman province in Iran using a four-step flood zone mapping process.

We’ve asked journal editor-in-chief Simin Naseri at Tehran University of Medical Sciences for more details. We’ll be sure to update if we hear back.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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3 thoughts on “Flood paper washed away after “oversight” leads to publication of wrong manuscript”

  1. I assume that the authors received a proof before publication. How did the proof production unit, which surely had the meta-data of the submission on the online submission system, not detect this? Most importantly, how did the authors not detect this gaffe at the proof stage? Although Bagheri states “Due to an oversight again the journal editorial team did not check this and it was published falsely.”, it seems like all parties share responsibility.

    So, will the “true” accepted paper be published, or not?

    1. Dear researcher,
      The author did not receive any proof before publication. If they received they will not let to be published online

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