An author is prepared to sue Elsevier if it doesn’t un-retract his paper.
Computational Materials Science published two papers by the same author just eight months apart; nearly four years later, the journal pulled one for duplication. Author Masoud Panjepour, affiliated with Isfahan University of Technology in Iran, told us that he is working with a lawyer to negotiate a solution. However, if the publisher does not un-retract the paper, he does “not rule out filing a lawsuit.”
Here’s the retraction notice for “The effect of temperature on the grain growth of nanocrystalline metals and its simulation by molecular dynamics method,” which appeared last November:
This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).
This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief
It has come to our attention that there is very substantial duplication of text and content between this Computational Materials Science article and an earlier paper by the same authors, “The effect of grain size on the nanocrystalline growth in metals and its simulation by Monte Carlo method”, S.A. Sabeti, M. Pahlevaninezhad, M. Panjepour, Comput. Mater. Sci., 50 (2011) 2104–2111, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.commatsci.2011.02.016
One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that their work is original and has not appeared in a publication elsewhere. Re-use of any data should be appropriately cited. As such this article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.
The retracted paper has been cited four times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. (The paper that it borrows from has been cited five times.)
I prefer to settle my dispute through negotiation in the first instance; however, if the Elsevier refuses to remove retraction of my article, I do not rule out filing a lawsuit. Moreover, I have a lot of evidence showing loopholes and negligence besides my own on the behalf of the editor to prove the negligence of the editor and editorial staff. Therefore, my next move depends on how they act about the retracted article.
the retracted article has clearly cross-referenced to the former article [which the note says it duplicates from]. Besides, as both articles have the same authors, and there is no need for the authors to get permission from themselves; above all, the retracted article has different finding than the former one.
Panjepour told us his lawyer is in contact with Elsevier, and the journal:
perpetrated negligence by not taking reasonable care to check the cross-references for any possible similarity and failed to take account of any possible harm that might foreseeably cause to the authors.
It is also worth mentioning that if there was any intent of plagiarism, both articles would not have been submitted to the same publisher.
In 2011/2012 when the papers in question were accepted, we did not have CrossCheck integrated into our editorial systems
A spokesperson for Elsevier told us:
The retraction isn’t going to be removed. The allegation was handled thoroughly by the editor, plus three additional experts advised that it was a clear-cut case of duplication. The two papers were also compared retrospectively using CrossCheck and the evidence of extensive duplication is absolutely clear.
This isn’t the first time an author has threatened to sue to get a retraction retracted — one recently turned his sights on De Gruyter for retracting his paper on internet trolls. And Mario Saad, a diabetes researcher, sued the American Diabetes Association over four expressions of concern, arguing they constituted defamation. That case was dismissed, and the articles were retracted.
And this isn’t the first journal to publish both copies of a familiar paper — recently, we reported on a Desalination paper that was retracted for plagiarizing from another paper in the journal. The timeline was a little more spread out in that case — the papers appeared six years apart.
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