Engineering researcher who suddenly left postdoc has ninth paper retracted

An author with ties to researchers believed to have published hundreds of problematic papers has earned his ninth retraction, this time for forged authorship. 

Mostafa Jalal, once a postdoc at Texas A&M University, is alleged to have “engaged in some manner of collaboration or communication” with three other researchers, including Ali Nazari, who has now had 85 papers retracted and lost his job at Swinburne University in 2019. Those retractions came after the whistleblower, the pseudonymous Artemisia Stricta, called attention to problems in Nazari’s work.

In a 42-page report we wrote about in August 2020, Artemisia drew attention to four main groups centered on Jalal, Nazari, Ehsan Mohseni of the University of Newcastle in Australia, and Alireza Najigivi of Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. The whistleblower lists a total of 287 potentially compromised papers. 

The newest retraction for Jalal involves a December 2019 article in the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications titled “Application of adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system for strength prediction of rubberized concrete containing silica fume and zeolite.” Jalal was the first author on the paper. 

In mid-October, the journal issued this correction for the article

Poura Arabali, Zachary Grasley and Jeffrey W Bullard have been removed from the author list for this article. This article was submitted to Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications without the awareness of these individuals and they did not approve the final version.

The article has been corrected.

But that was soon followed by a retraction (which is partially behind a paywall), which states that: 

This article was submitted … without approval from the individuals previously listed as co-authors on this article. False contact information was provided for these individuals as they did not approve the final version of the paper.

Jalal did not respond to a request for comment. 

Jeff Bullard, in whose lab Jalal worked, told us that the researcher left the institution “suddenly, but apparently voluntarily” at the end of December 2020: 

I did have several growing concerns about his publications throughout 2020, but he said that his resignation was unrelated to those concerns.

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One thought on “Engineering researcher who suddenly left postdoc has ninth paper retracted”

  1. It is very nice to see that some retraction news are getting published in the Engineering field as well by Retraction Watch. Unfortunately, there are so many coverup stories in the field with clear proofs which can be found online however such voices are not heard due to a lack of media.

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