Chapter pulled from conference proceedings after authors didn’t attend


One of the papers in a book of presentations from a computing conference has been pulled after the editors realized the authors never made it to the meeting.

The book was supposed to comprise papers that were presented at the 2nd International Conference on Harmony Search, an algorithm that finds a vector which optimizes a particular function, based on the way musicians harmonize. So, how did material that wasn’t actually presented at the meeting end up in the volume? A spokesperson for the publisher, Springer, explained:

The book was published before the conference since Springer needs two months production time between the submission of the final manuscript and the conference date. The authors who submitted this paper then did not attend the conference to present the paper. Therefore the editors decided to retract the paper. The proceedings was delivered in time, therefore 20 print copies were distributed without the retraction note.

Here’s the retraction note that followed:

After publication of the chapter “Optimization of Water Distribution Networks with Differential Evolution (DE)” (Pages 403–419) in the book Harmony Search Algorithm, it has come to the attention of the Editors that the authors were not registered at the conference to present their paper. As it is a condition of publication in the proceedings that all papers should have been presented at the conference, the Editors have decided to retract the chapter.

The first author on the paper, Ramin Mansouri at Lorestan University in Iran, told us that he submitted the paper but ended up not being able to attend the conference when securing a travel visa took longer than expected. He told us that no one contacted him before the chapter was published. 

Incidentally, the retraction note originally appeared on another chapter in the book, “Development of Mathematical Model Using Group Contribution Method to Predict Exposure Limit Values in Air for Safeguarding Health.” (We initially reached out to the author of that chapter, who was surprised to learn that his work had a retraction note.)

The Springer spokesperson told us:

This was due to a technical error on our part, and has now been corrected.

Conference proceedings don’t always go off without a hitch — we recently reported on a strange case in which a journal retracted an abstract about a presentation at a conference after none of the authors submitted it for publication. (The publisher told us the conference organizers submitted the abstract to the journal as part of a meeting supplement, unbeknownst to the authors.)

Hat tip: Rolf Degen 

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