Psych journal axes study of child molesters

Journal Of Sexual Aggression

A journal has issued a “notice of redundant publication” for a paper that used virtual reality to understand arousal patterns in child molesters — the result of “an unfortunate sequence of personal events relating to the first author.”

The study, “Using immersive virtual reality and ecological psychology to probe into child molesters’ phenomenology,” was originally published online in 2011 and printed in 2013.

The Journal of Sexual Aggression announced the “notice of redundant publication” after the editors discovered the article contained “content of which much was included in an article published between the first online publication date of the original article and the final publication”. The article shares many of the same co-authors, and has since been retracted.

Patrice Renaud, the first author and a lecturer at the University of Quebec in Outaouais, took responsibility for the additional publications. In an email to Retraction Watch, Renaud said that the issues arose because of a family medical emergency:

I was stressed out and made mistakes.

He declined to discuss the matter further.

Here’s the full note:

Since the publication of this article, it has been brought to the attention of the editors of JSA that this article contains content of which much was included in an article published between the first online publication date of the original article and the final publication in issue 1 of volume 19: “Sexual presence and intentional dynamics: deviant and non-deviant sexual self-regulation from the first person stance”, by Renaud P, Nolet K, Chartier S, Trottier D, Goyette M, Rouleau J-L, Proulx J, Bouchard S, Journal of Eyetracking, Visual Cognition and Emotion, 2012, 2(1), 82-96 (since retracted). The original article was not referenced.

Additionally, Pedro Santos Pinto Gamito and Pedro Joel Rosa , editors of the book: “I See Me, You See Me: Inferring Cognitive and Emotional Processes from Gazing Behaviour”, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-5460-3, have noted that the content of the chapter “Intentional Dynamics in Deviant and Non-Deviant Sexual Self-Regulation From The First Person Stance”, by Patrice Renaud, Kévin Nolet, Sylvan Chartier, Dominique Trottier, Mathieu Goyette, Jean Rouleau, Joanne Proulx And Stéphane Bouchard also contains content first published in the Journal of Sexual Aggression article above without referencing the original publication.

The JSA is advised that submissions of these redundant publications were made during an unfortunate sequence of personal events relating to the first author. The authors have agreed to the publication of this notice.

The book was published in 2014. The 2012 duplicated paper in the Journal of Eyetracking, Visual Cognition and Emotion was “retracted due to significant similarities of content to the previously published article.”

Stephen Smallbone, an editor at JSA, said that a reader alerted them to the similarities.

Last author Stephen Bouchard, also at University of Quebec in Outaouais, defended his colleague in an email:

From my part, I can state that when the issue was mentioned to Patrice Renaud, he was very honest and rapidly contacted the editors involved in the situation. He took the entire responsibility of the situation and was very open in his decision to retract the redundant documents.

The paper has been cited three times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

A “notice of redundant publication” is the procedure recommended by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE):

If redundant publication has occurred (i.e. authors have published the same data or article in more than one journal without appropriate justification, permission or crossreferencing) the journal that first published the article may issue a notice of redundant publication but should not retract the article unless the findings are unreliable. Any journals that subsequently publish a redundant article should retract it and state the reason for the retraction.

Pedro Rosa, an editor at the Journal of Eye Tracking, Visual Cognition and Emotion, said that after he learned about the duplication he received a similar explanation from Renaud.

With regard to the retraction issued to Dr. Renaud and collaborators, I have to say that I was I firstly informed by Stephen Smallbone, an Editor of the Journal of Sexual Agression (JSA). It was brought to his attention that an article published in JSA was previously published in the Journal of Eye Tracking, Visual Cognition and Emotion. The title was slightly different and the order of authors somewhat different, but that the articles report on the same method and results and the text is virtually identical.

He justified the similarities between manuscripts due to a very difficult period…within which one of his students was in charged of several submission processes, including the ones to both journals (JETVCE and JSA). According to his words, this unfortunate situation did happen due to a lack of supervision.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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One thought on “Psych journal axes study of child molesters”

  1. OK, so the redundant publication happened because a student was doing the submissions for your whole lab and accidentally made up two different names, with similar author lists, for the same study… and you weren’t supervising adequately because you had a family medical emergency… do I have that right?

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