Top physicist loses another paper; tally now up to 7

A physics journal has retracted a paper from a leading physicist in India over duplication.

The paper’s first and corresponding Naba K. Sahoo has had six papers retracted for the same reason — four earlier this year and two last year.

The new retraction brings Sahoo’s total to seven, by our count.

The duplication allegations began several years ago, after Sahoo’s colleagues at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), part of Indian government’s Department of Atomic Energy, accused him of plagiarizing his own work.

Thomas Lippert, editor-in chief of Applied Physics A: Material Science & Processing, told us:

his case has been brought to our attention by a scientist who was contacting us about these cases.

According to the notice, the retracted paper “has significant overlap” with six other papers by Sahoo, four of which have been retracted.  Here’s the notice:

This article has been retracted by the Editor-in-Chief, following the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on self-plagiarism. The article has significant overlap with six other journal publications by the same authors:

-K. Sahoo, S. Thakur, and R.B. Tokas, Applied Optics 45, 3243 (2006)

-K. Sahoo, S. Thakur, and R.B. Tokas, App. Surf. Sci. 253, 618 (2006)

-K. Sahoo, R.B. Tokas, and S. Thakur, App. Surf. Sci. 253, 1787, (2006)

-K. Sahoo, S. Thakur, and R.B. Tokas, J. Phys. D 39, 2571 (2006)

-K. Sahoo, S. Thakur, R.B. Tokas, A. Biswas, and N.M. Kamble, App. Surf. Sci. 253, 3455 (2007)

-K. Sahoo, S. Thakur, R.B. Tokas, and N.M. Kamble, App. Surf. Sci. 253, 6787 (2007)

Refractive-Index Tailoring and Morphological Evolutions in Gd2O3–SiO2 and ZrO2–SiO2 Composite Thin Films,” published in 2007, has been cited six times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, formerly part of Thomson Reuters.

Sahoo, who is listed as the associate director of BARC’s physics group, is set to retire next year.

Two co-authors on the paper—Raj B. Tokas and Sudhakar Thakur—are also co-authors on the six papers mentioned in the notice.

We’ve contacted Sahoo and Tokas, but have not heard back. In the past, Sahoo has denied plagiarism allegations and told the media he is being targeted by jealous scientists. He even got into a “bare knuckle” fight with a BARC scientist earlier this year.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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