Nutrition journal accidentally publishes spice paper twice

FNS2015012717103119The author of a pilot study that suggested adding spices may encourage people to eat more vegetables initially didn’t realize that her paper had been retracted from Food and Nutrition Sciences in May.

What’s more, Zhaoping Li, Chief of the Division of Clinical Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles and the first author on the paper, didn’t realize the reason for the retraction: The journal had mistakenly published her paper twice, and had to retract the second copy. The first remains published.

This was entirely the journal’s mistake, editor Alessandra Bordoni told us:

The paper was retracted simply because the Editorial Office made a mistake (handling error), and the paper was published twice

That mistake was confirmed by a lovely feature of the retraction notice — a checklist, which clearly states the retraction is due to a “handling error,” and the results remain valid. Similar checklists have been proposed by friend of Retraction Watch Hervé Maisonneuve, who has published several papers on retractions. But this is one of the few times we’ve noticed a journal adopting such a standard form.

When we first noticed this retraction last year and reached out to Li, she told us she didn’t even know there was a second version of her paper that had been retracted:

I am not aware it was retracted.  As matter of fact, I am able to read it right now without any notation.

Here’s the sequence of events for “The Impact of Spices on Vegetable Consumption: A Pilot Study.” First, the timeline on the the still-published, totally valid, non-retracted copy:

Received 3 March 2015; accepted 23 March 2015; published 30 March 2015

And then the duplicate:

Received 3 March 2015; accepted 22 May 2015; published 25 May 2015

The duplicate paper was promptly retracted on May 27.

Here’s the retraction notice, in full:

This paper is retracted by the editor handling error. The original paper is still valid via

This article has been retracted to straighten the academic record. In making this decision the Editorial Board follows COPE’s Retraction Guidelines. The aim is to promote the circulation of scientific research by offering an ideal research publication platform with due consideration of internationally accepted standards on publication ethics. The Editorial Board would like to extend its sincere apologies for any inconvenience this retraction may have caused.

The full retraction notice in PDF is preceding the original paper which is marked “RETRACTED”.

The journal is not indexed by Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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