The first author of a paper that discussed sample sizes in clinical research is appealing the journal’s decision to retract it for plagiarism, arguing the article is “entirely different.”
The Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences‘s editor-in-chief told us that they first contacted the author about the allegations more than two years ago, and finally issued the notice in September, saying the paper “directly copied” from another article on randomization. “Thus owing to duplicity of text, the article is being retracted,” according to the notice.
That doesn’t jibe with first author K. P. Suresh, based at the National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics in India. He told us that the “two articles are entirely different concept.” In subsequent emails, he added that he had not been given the chance to “represent the issues” before retraction, and said that he was going to reach out to the journal.
Indeed, Suresh sent an email to the journal’s editor-in-chief, Madhuri Patil, which he shared with Retraction Watch. He asked the journal to “kindly check these two articles once again, and rectify the error”:
In response to your mail, two articles in question is attached for your reference.
1. Suresh KP et al . Sample size estimation and power analysis for clinical research studies
2. Issues in outcome research: An overview of randomization techniques in clinical research
The dispute is material in article 1 is copied from article 2.
Since the concept of article 1 is entirely different from concept of article 2, there is no questionn of copying arises in the first instance
secondly I have rechecked the article 1 , which is written in general is no way related to article 2
kindly check these two articles once again, and rectify the error
Patil told us that the journal had reached out to Suresh in 2013 after they received a message about potential plagiarism in the article. She said the journal has spoken to Suresh over the phone regarding the paper. They waited for two years before issuing the retraction, said Patil.
We had informed dr KP Suresh 2 years ago and he just replied saying that it is his original article. We had waited for 2 years.
Patil provided Retraction Watch a message sent to Suresh September 3, 2013; we’ve asked Suresh to confirm that he received the email.
The retracted paper was published in 2012 and looked at how to determine statistically significant sample sizes in clinical research studies. It has been cited 30 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Here’s the retraction notice:
In the article entitled, “Sample size estimation and power analysis for clinical research studies,” which was published in pages 7-13, Issue 1, Vol. 5 of Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, sections in the text have been directly copied from a previously published article, entitled, “Issues in outcomes research: An overview of randomization techniques for clinical trials,” in pages 215-221, Issue 2, Vol. 45 of Journal of Athletic Training. Thus owing to duplicity of text, the article is being retracted.
The other article, “Issues in outcomes research: An overview of randomization techniques for clinical trials,” was published in 2008 by the Journal of Athletic Training and detailed the different approaches to randomly assign study participants to different groups. It has been cited 50 times.
Update 11/30/15 9:34 a.m. eastern: We’ve received a statement from the publisher:
The department of Editorial Quality Management, investigates each case to its depth and a final decision is taken only after we have proper justification for the same. We at Wolters Kluwer always maintain the highest ethical standards as per COPE and ICMJE guidelines for our Editorial processes.
The case now stands closed from our end.
Hat tip: Rolf Degen
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