One paper examined whether the results of CT scans could be used to stage patients with uterine carcinoma; the other considered whether CT scans could be used to predict overall survival in uterine carcinoma. Both papers — by researchers at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center — used data from the same 193 women. After they appeared in in different journals, the editors considered whether they were redundant — a quality that can spell retraction for a paper.
The editors explain why they decided the papers were unique in a brief commentary — a non-retraction notice, if you will — published in
a third journal, Abdominal Radiology:
The two articles were examined following the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE, www.publicationethics.org <http://www.publicationethics.org>) guidelines with regard to suspected redundant publication. C. Daniel Johnson, M.D., Editor in Chief of Abdominal Imaging and Dr. Charles M. Balch, M.D., Editor in Chief of Annals of Surgical Oncology recognize the overlap in the patient cohort analyzed. Yet, both Journal Editors felt that different rationales and criteria were used in the two publications that lead to different, though complimentary, conclusions on different aspects of the dataset studied. It was decided to publish this notice to state this conclusion.
The articles that are staying in the scientific record are:
- “Preoperative CT-based nomogram for predicting overall survival in women with non-endometrioid carcinomas of the uterine corpus,” published in Abdominal Imaging (the previous title of Abdominal Radiology) in December 2014. It has not been cited, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.
- “Diagnostic Performance of Computed Tomography for Preoperative Staging of Patients with Non-endometrioid Carcinomas of the Uterine Corpus” was published in Annals of Surgical Oncology in February 2015 and has not been cited either.
COPE’s flowchart on what to do if you suspect a publication is redundant is here.
We’ve reached out to the editors to ask who brought the overlap to their attention
, and why they decided to publish the commentary in another journal.
Update, May 10, 3:00 pm:
We’ve written about one of the co-authors of these papers before — Hedvig Hricak, chair of the Department of Radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She had a paper pulled last year for containing “similar text and illustrations” to those in other articles. (It was unclear if those articles were by different researchers.)
An anonymous commenter pointed out that Hricak also has an addendum, published last year for “MR imaging and MR spectroscopic imaging in the pre-treatment evaluation of prostate cancer,” in the British Journal of Radiology:
We would like to raise the awareness of readers of BJR to the following.
Some material published in this review article was discussed previously in the review article listed under reference 37: Pretreatment evaluation of prostate cancer: Role of MR imaging and 1H MR spectroscopy. RadioGraphics 2004; 24: S167–S180.
The Editors of BJR were not aware of the earlier publication and were informed of the overlap only after the submission, peer review and publication of Br J Radiol 2005; 78: S103–S111.
That paper has been cited 76 times. Hricak is an author on the RadioGraphics paper that it borrows from. Blogger Leonid Schneider has more background on the addendum, as well as a comparison of the text between the two papers.
The commenter also pointed out that last author Evis Sala has a retraction that’s a few years old. “Magnetic resonance imaging of uterine abnormalities” was pulled from The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist in 2012.
Here’s the retraction notice:
The following article from The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, 14:1, pp. 1–8, January 2012, ‘Magnetic resonance imaging of uterine abnormalities’, by Penelope Moyle, Lorenzo Mannelli, Mahmood Shafi and Evis Sala, published online on 26 January 2012 in Wiley Online Library (www.wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been retracted by agreement with the journal Editor-in-Chief, Jason Waugh; Blackwell Publishing Ltd; and the authors. As the result of feedback from experts in the field of disorders of sex development, it has been determined that the paper contains some factual errors and out-of-date terminology and could be misleading to the readership. All associated continuing professional development (CPD) questions have also been withdrawn.
The journal is not indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science.
Hat tip: Rolf Degen
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