Journal bans 8 authors for plagiarism

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A medical journal has banned eight authors after discovering that they had published plagiarized work.

We don’t see official author bans as often as we see plagiarism (occasionally, and all the time, respectively). That’s why we’re flagging this case, which is a little old — the International Journal of Medical Science and Public Health announced the ban in March 2015, after it retracted three of the authors’ papers for plagiarism.

All three papers — about recovering from orthopedic problems — have a first author in common: Rajesh Valjibhai Chawda, who was affiliated with the CU Shah Medical College and Hospital in India at the time of the research. (We couldn’t find a webpage for him.)

After an author on one of the original articles alerted the journal of one instance of plagiarism, the journal launched an in-house inquiry, the retraction note explains:

Following articles are retracted from the journal. These articles were found to be plagiarized and were authored by Rajesh Veljibhai Chavda et al.

We had received an email from the original author of one of the article plagiarized by this group. After the in-house inquiry by editors of the journal it was concluded that indeed the article was plagiarized. Email was sent to the corresponding author for explanation but we have received no answer in given time. Out of suspicious we critically look at the other articles published by author in our journal and it was found that two more articles was also plagiarized. We are retracting all three articles and ban all these authors for submitting any manuscript in this journal in future.

The International Journal of Medical Science and Public Health is not indexed by Thomson Reuters Web of Science.

It was fairly easy for us to find the original papers the three retracted papers plagiarized from — we simply put the titles into Google, and a nearly identical title from a previously published paper appeared.

The articles in question, and the originals, are:

We asked the editor of the journal, Jaykaran Charan, why the journal didn’t catch the plagiarism prior to publication:

The journal [did not have] the software for the plagiarism check. Once we got the software we scan randomly and found one article plagiarized by the author. Afterwards we can scanned all articles published by the same author. After getting confirmation author was sent a email for explanation but we got no response after multiple emails. Finally based on the available articles and no explanation of author we retracted all articles published by author and banned the author for publication in the journal.

Charan confirmed to us that all eight authors were banned, not just the first author.

We’re reached out to Rajesh Valjibhai Chawda, and we’ll update this post with anything else we learn.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen 

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