This story began as a report of a one-off case of potential predatory practice last month, and has escalated to an official call to disband an entire international editorial board, and an accusation against the editor of mass-scale nepotism and other publishing misconduct.
Now, an open-access publisher based in Rijeka, Croatia, called InTech, has cancelled its journal that was targeted and exposed by Science’s investigation. The journal was going to charge 400 euros to publish the paper by Bohannon.
The International Journal of Integrative Medicine has been “discontinued”, does “not accept submissions” and “is no longer active” states the publisher’s website.
A review paper published in the Serbian journal Medicinski pregled(Medical review) has been retracted for plagiarising a 2002 paper published in the Croatian Journal of Infection (or Infektološki glasnik).
A professor of chemical engineering in India has retracted two papers after what he called a “deliberate lapse” of submitting the work without the knowledge of his co-author.
The two papers by Kailas L. Wasewar, then an associate professor in the Chemical Engineering department of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in Nagpur, India — he appears to be at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee now — appeared in 2006 in consecutive issues of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Quarterly, the official journal of the Croatian Society of Chemical Engineers, Slovenian Chemical Society and Austrian Association of Bioprocess Technology.
Two papers by researchers from China and Taiwan have been retracted from two journals, one based in the US, one in Croatia, after identical studies appeared in the June 2011 issues of both publications.
Eastern European Economics retracted their version first, and that journal’s editor discussed the case with the editors of Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics: Journal of Economics and Business, where the same paper was also published.
The systematic and apparently state-endorsed practice of artificially boosting one’s ratings in the national evaluation system, which drives promotions and helps set salaries, has led to a range of abuses that are promoting mediocrity while driving scientific talent out of the country, says the letter, published in late October.
The retraction count continues to grow for a group of Iranian scientists who appear to have published similar work four times.
The group was forced to retract a Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases paper in March. That retraction came alongside one in the New Zealand Journal of Medical Laboratory Science, whose editor had tipped JGLD editor Monica Acalovschi — who has taken a tough stance on duplication in her own journal, published in Romania — off to the duplication. Acalovschi, in turn, tipped off Biochemia Medica, the journal of Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, which has now retracted a 2009 paper by the group.
A report for the Serbian science ministry by the Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science (CEON) found that whopping 11% of scientific journal articles by Serbian authors published in English language but in Serbian journals were plagiarised. The proportion was similar across all sciences (natural, medical, technical and social).
Apart from widespread plagiarism, they also found that 0.35% of the articles in the the Serbian citation index and journal database (SCIndeks) were published twice in identical form, often in the same journal.
Forgetful editors who still track manuscripts ‘manually’ may forget to mark them as ‘published’, which can result in duplicates in the same journal, according to Pero Sipka, director of CEON.
Interestingly, editors and publishers were less likely to deem a paper plagiarised than were outside analysts, according to the report, and not all editors and publishers openly cooperated.
Given the shocking amount of plagiarism you might also expect to see a flurry of retractions, but it’s not so.