The “sins and virtues of authors span a rather colorful palette”: New editor yanks plagiarized paper

scientometricsWhat a difference a new editor can make.

Consider the case of a paper in Scientometrics that came to the attention earlier this year of Jeffrey Beall.

Beall, a research librarian and scourge of the predatory publishing world, had previously posted on his blog about his frustrations with the journal’s seeming indifference to the word theft. (He also helped bring about another plagiarism retraction we covered earlier this year.)

The article was titled “Educational reforms and internationalization of universities: evidence from major regions of the world,” and was written by a group from China and Pakistan.It has been cited just once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, by another paper in Scientometrics.

Continue reading The “sins and virtues of authors span a rather colorful palette”: New editor yanks plagiarized paper

And then there were none: Plagiarism forces retraction of metabolism paper with vanishing authors

N&MlogoNutrition & Metabolism has retracted a 2008 article by a dwindling group of researchers from Pakistan. We’d say it’s the equivalent of punting on first down, expect that’s what the editors probably should have done in the beginning.

As it happens, the journal seems to be guilty of delay of game in this case. As this blog post by Jeffrey Beall notes, allegations that the now-retracted paper was a verbatim copy of another article arose in 2010.

The abstract of the article, which is still available, reads: Continue reading And then there were none: Plagiarism forces retraction of metabolism paper with vanishing authors

“What I find offensive is not that they plagiarized us, it’s that they did it so badly”

studies sociology scienceRetraction Watch readers may be familiar with the work of Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia psychologist who has taken a tough stance about many of the problems in his field and coordinates the Reproducibility Project. So it must have seemed quite ironic for Nosek and his co-authors to learn today that one of their papers had been outrageously — and badly — plagiarized.

Here’s the abstract of the work by Nosek, Jesse Graham, and others, which hasn’t been published in a journal yet but is posted at Nosek’s website: Continue reading “What I find offensive is not that they plagiarized us, it’s that they did it so badly”

HIV paper retracted after authors recommend a colleague as a reviewer

Nothing like a little home cooking.

Genetic Vaccines and Therapy (GVT) has retracted a paper by a group of Pakistani authors who recommended one of their colleagues as a reviewer for their manuscript.

That’s not all: According to the journal, the researchers apparently also misappropriated data from a previous study.

The article in question, “Structure based sequence analysis & epitope prediction of gp41 HIV1 envelope glycoprotein isolated in Pakistan,” was published in June 2012. The first author is  Syyada Samra Jafri, who we see as being at the University of the Punjab in Lahore. According to the retraction notice: Continue reading HIV paper retracted after authors recommend a colleague as a reviewer

Physics paper retracted “on ethical grounds” — aka the data had already been published

There was a curious retraction published online last month in Physica Scripta, an Institute of Physics journal. The notice, for “Response of Cu 0.5 (Tl 0.5-y Hg y)Ba 2 Ca 3 Zn 2 Cu 2 O 12-δ (y =0, 0.15, 0.25 and 0.35) superconductors in electric and magnetic fields,” reads as follows: Continue reading Physics paper retracted “on ethical grounds” — aka the data had already been published

Another math paper retracted because of duplication

Last month, we brought you news of two retractions in math journals for duplicate publication and apparent guest authorship. Last week, we learned that the lead author of one of those papers, Amir Mahmood, has retracted another paper, this one in Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications.

According to the retraction notice, the paper was an “accidental duplication of an article that has already been published” in Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation.

The papers share two authors: Mahmood, of the department of mathematics at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and the Abdus Salam School of Mathematical Sciences of GC University, both in Lahore, Pakistan; and N.A. Khan, of the University of Karachi’s math department. Khan was also on one of the two papers we wrote about last month, but not the one Mahmood co-authored. Those two papers’ shared author was M. Jamil.

Mahmood told Retraction Watch by email that the papers are not duplicates, and that the journal editors could not explain to him why they were.

Retraction Watch readers can be the judge. The abstract of the retracted paper: Continue reading Another math paper retracted because of duplication

Duplicate publication and apparent guest authorship force retractions of two math papers

Two math journals have recently retracted two papers that share most of their text — and their first author.

The two papers were “Unsteady flows of an Oldroyd-B fluid in a cylindrical domain for a given shear stress,” in Applied Mathematics and Computation, and A note on longitudinal flows of an Oldroyd-B fluid due to a prescribed shear stress,” in Mathematical and Computer Modelling. The studies were published online last year, but hadn’t made it into a print issue yet.

Both retraction notices, which appeared within the space of a few weeks in late February and early March, say the same thing — that is to say, nothing at all, really:

This article has been withdrawn at the request of the author(s) and/or editor. The Publisher apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. The full Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal can be found at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy.

So what was wrong with the original reports? Continue reading Duplicate publication and apparent guest authorship force retractions of two math papers