Rowdy Roddy Pilferer: Wrestling journal takes down plagiarized paper

A journal devoted to wrestling science — we’re not sure if it’s the only one — has given the old reverse frankensteiner to a 2016 article whose authors stole much of their text from a conference presentation one of them had reviewed for the meeting.

The article, “The Role of Goal Setting, Collectivism, and Task Orientation on Iranian Wrestling Teams Performance,” appeared in International Journal of Wrestling Science, a Taylor & Francis title. Its two authors were Hossein Abdolmaleki and Seyyed Bahador Zakizadeh, of the Islamic Azad University in Karaj, Iran.

Here’s the notice:

Subsequent to publication it has been determined that the article contains significant overlap with a paper by Marco Arraya, that he had submitted to the European Academy of Management for their academic conference, EURAM 2016. His article “The influence of goal-setting, collectivism and task orientation on team performance.” This paper was not cited nor otherwise acknowledged. Abdolmaleki had been sent the Arraya paper as a reviewer by the organizers of EURAM 2016.

This represents a breach of ethics and of warranties made by the author with respect to originality and provenance.

The Editors of International Journal of Wrestling Science, and Taylor & Francis, publishers, censure this conduct, and as a result have decided to retract the article from publication.

The Editors of International Journal of Wrestling Science and Taylor & Francis, publishers, note we received, peer-reviewed, accepted, and published the article in good faith based on these warranties.

David Curby, editor of the journal, offered more information about the episode:

Arraya [who is now head of a company in Angola called G. Medical]  was the person that contacted me. There was a 75% match in text. The Arraya paper, viewed as a reviewer by Abdolmaleki, was used as a template for his paper. The difference was that he used data from Iranian wrestlers, rather than the handball players used by Arraya. Abdolmaleki should have just identified this as a replication of Arraya, using wrestlers!

Bottom line: Reviewers who get caught abusing the labors — and trust — of authors shouldn’t make it out of the ring.

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