The list of retracted COVID-19 papers is up to 33

To the list of COVID-19 papers that have been retracted so far, add this: 

The Korean Journal of Anesthesiology has retracted an article it published last month on ventilating COVID patients because it was nearly identical to one that had appeared in a different journal three months earlier. 

The offending article, “Noninvasive versus invasive ventilation: one modality cannot fit all during COVID-19 outbreak,” was written by Abhishek Singh, an anesthesiologist at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

Well, not really. The article — a letter to the editor — was in fact written by a group from the National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, part of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran. It was titled “Noninvasive versus invasive ventilation in COVID-19: One size does not fit all!” 

Singh evidently liked everything about the Iranian article except the exclamation point. 

According to the retraction notice

The following article from the Korean Journal of Anesthesiology (KJA), “Noninvasive versus invasive ventilation: one modality cannot fit all during COVID-19 outbreak” [1] published on August 2020 has been retracted from publication.

The authors violated the publication ethics by plagiarizing a paper (Online ahead of print; Non-invasive versus invasive ventilation in COVID-19: one size does not fit all!) published in Anesthesia and Analgesia [2]. The arrangement of titles and subtitles match, and there are clearly few changes or additions to the contents, or their expression in papers published in both the journals.

Therefore, the editorial board and publication ethics committee of the KJA decided to retract this paper from our journal. We apologize to readers and try the best to thoroughly screen any plagiarisms and ethics violations prior to the publications of papers submitted and accepted in our journal.

Singh told us that he disagreed with the decision: 

They forced me to accept as they were not ready to accept that it was not plagiarised even after giving proper explanation.

That explanation? According to Singh: 

Studies quoted by said article … and quoted by me was totally different.

Only because of heading match, they have done so.

I have checked the manuscript on ithenticate, it showed only 11 percent matching.

The Singh article is, by our count, the 33rd paper on COVID-19 to be retracted so far. This one might soon be the 34th: 

The Asian Journal of Psychiatry has issued an expression of concern for an article it published in June titled “Chinese mental health burden during the COVID-19 pandemic.” In this case, the authors appear to have double-dipped.

Here’s the notice (which at the time of this writing was not linked to the original paper):

This article has reused significant parts of the article published by the authors in Psychiatry Research, volume 288 (2020) 112954 and is considered for retraction due to duplicate publication. We are currently investigating requests to reflect correct authorship and institutional affiliation of the authors. In the interim and for the benefit of our readers, we are publishing this Expression of Concern until the investigation process is closed and the permanent outcome will be implemented.

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