Retraction after engineering journal presents new publishing guidelines — twice

JHydrolEngineerEditors of the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering are retracting an editorial that presents guidelines for publishing in the journal because they mistakenly published it twice – once in June and once in November of last year.

(Presumably, one of the guidelines is to not publish the same article twice.)

Although the duplication was accidental, the corresponding author told us he wasn’t disappointed to learn more eyes may have seen the article: “It would not bother me if it were published in every issue.”

Here’s the retraction notice:

The previously mentioned paper was mistakenly submitted twice and subsequently published twice. None of the parties involved noticed the duplication due to the amount of time that had passed between each submission. The first and now remaining Editorial can be found with the following citation:

Govindaraju, R., McCuen, R., and Hantush, M. (2014). “Publishing in the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering.” J. Hydrol. Eng., 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0001031, 01814001.

The corresponding author of the editorial, Richard H McCuen of the University of Maryland, who is a section editor of the journal, tells us he isn’t sure how the double publication occurred:

We do not know how it got published twice; none of the authors submitted it a second time.  This article contains information that is intended to help authors do a better job on papers that they intend to submit to the journal.  It would not bother me if it were published in every issue.  This is not a paper that any of the authors would include on their resume as it was not technical in content–it is only informational about the status of the journal.

Angela Cochran, the director of journals at American Society of Civil Engineers, which publishes the journal, explains that there is not much to add:

Due to a clerical error, the editorial was accidentally published twice. In order to clarify the records, and in compliance with best practices, the second editorial was retracted.

The duplication error was not due to the amount of time between submissions. The time between submissions was a contributing factor into why ASCE staff did not notice the second erroneous submission.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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