Same tea, different mug. Biomolecules, an MDPI journal, has retracted a 2018 paper by on the salubrious effects of tea because the authors had previously published the same article in a Chinese-language journal.
The paper, “Evaluation of anti-obesity activity, acute toxicity, and subacute toxicity of probiotic dark tea,” came from researchers in China and one from Harvard University (oddly, a post-doc in applied physics).
The case highlights a plagiarism problem that may may be difficult to spot, it turns out. According to the retraction notice, the authors were using the same tea leaves in a different cup:
The Biomolecules Editorial Office has been made aware that the published paper  was previously published in chinese in China Tea Processing by the same authors . In order to preserve academic integrity, the title paper  will be marked as retracted. We apologize to the readership of Biomolecules for any inconvenience caused. The decision to retract has been made in cooperation with the authors of the article .
MDPI is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics and takes the responsibility to enforce strict ethical policies and standards very seriously. To ensure the addition of only high quality scientific works to the field of scholarly publication,  is retracted and shall be marked accordingly.
Vladimir Uversky, who edits Biomolecules, tells us:
In December, we were informed that the paper published in Biomolecules in 2018 was published by the same authors in 2017 in Chinese in China Tea Processing. Although we regularly check submitted manuscripts for plagiarism, this story clearly represents another situation – republication in English of a work that was previously published in Chinese. Obviously, we do not have facilities to uncover such cases.
Maybe something for the roadmap at Turnitin, the plagiarism detection software company, now that they’ve been acquired for $1.7 billion.
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