4th retraction for neuroscientist sentenced for fraud

Bruce Murdoch
Bruce Murdoch

A Parkinson’s researcher has earned his fourth retraction after receiving a two-year suspended sentence for fraud.

The sentence for Bruce Murdoch, issued on March 31, 2016, came following an investigation by his former employer, the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia, into 92 papers. Murdoch entered guilty pleas for 17 fraud-related charges, which resulted in the retraction of three papers co-authored by Murdoch and Caroline Barwood, another former UQ Parkinson’s researcher who faced fraud charges (and was granted bail in 2014).

Now, a fourth retraction has appeared for Murdoch in Brain Injury, this time for duplication and failing to obtain consent from his co-authors.

Here’s the retraction notice, issued on July 11:

We, the Editors and Publisher of Brain Injury, are retracting the following article:

Bruce E. Murdoch, Mili S. Kuruvilla & Justine V. Goozée, “Effect of speech rate manipulations on articulatory dynamics in severe traumatic brain injury: An EMA and EPG study,” Brain Injury 2012;26: 241–260.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/02699052.2011.650664

The Editors and Taylor & Francis received notification from The University of Queensland, that the research and first authorship related to this article does not belong to Bruce E.Murdoch and was submitted for publication without consent by the co-authors.

This Retraction follows a “Notice of Concern” published in Volume 28.9 of Brain Injury, page 1228, alerting readers of possible duplication with an article published in the Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/02699052.2014.931726

The article, Kuruvilla MS, Murdoch BE, Goozee JV, “A kinematic investigation of speaking rate changes after traumatic brain injury,” Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology 2012; 20:9–18, should stand as the correct record of research.

This action constitutes a breach of warranties made by the first author with respect to originality. Taylor & Francis notes that we received, peer-reviewed, accepted, and published the article in good faith based on these warranties, and censure this action.

The retracted article will remain online to maintain the scholarly record, but it will be digitally watermarked on each page as RETRACTED.

And here’s the Notice of Concern, published in June, 2014:

It has been highlighted to the Editors that an article published in Brain Injury [1] in 2012 may duplicate previously published work [2].

In accordance with the guidelines issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) the Editors are working with the authors, their institution and the other journal in question to establish the full facts of the case.

Whilst the investigation remains ongoing, and in the interests of full transparency, the Editors feel it is important to make readers aware of this suspected duplicate publication.

The Brain Injury paper, which was published in February 2012, has so far been cited twice, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. The Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology study, published in September 2012, and has been cited once.

Peter Høj, vice chancellor and president professor at the UQ, told us the institution informed Brain Injury that the paper was not Murdoch’s work in 2013, noting that

it was the work of Dr Mili Kuruvilla as part of her doctoral studies. UQ recommended retraction of the paper and followed up with the journal regularly.

He added:

The journal editors have now chosen to retract the paper in the wake of Dr Murdoch’s 31 March 2016 conviction and sentencing after he entered guilty pleas to 17 fraud-related charges.

Høj added there were no concerns about the study’s data, nor the work of Mili Kuruvilla, who is listed as a co-author of the retracted paper, and is now based at the University of Missouri in Columbia. He added:

The concern relates to unauthorised publication of Dr Kuruvilla’s work resulting in plagiarism/duplication and incorrect attribution of Dr Murdoch as lead author.

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One thought on “4th retraction for neuroscientist sentenced for fraud”

  1. This seems rather brazen. Most academics keep track of what is shown in the various databases about their publication record, so it would be a surprise to see a paper appear that you had no involvement with.

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