A dermatology journal has retracted a 2017 article by a pair of researchers in Saudi Arabia after receiving a “serious complaint” about the integrity of the data. But the first author of the paper pushed back, saying the move was unjustified.
The article, “Successful use of combined corticosteroids and rituximab in a patient with refractory cutaneous polyarteritis nodosa,” was written by Ibrahim Al-Homood and Mohammad Aljahlan, rheumatologists at King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh and appeared in the Journal of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery. It described (with rather grisly pictures) the case of a 25-year-old man with severe leg ulcers that resolved after the described combination therapy.
But at the notice explains, the paper can’t be trusted:
Two journals have retracted five recent papers by a researcher in Saudi Arabia after discovering extensive overlap, which one journal called plagiarism.
In one retracted paper, all schemes and figures are copies from other publications; in another, more than half of the figures are lifted. The journal that retracted the other three papers did not provide details about the nature of the overlap.
All five retracted papers—originally published within the last 15 months—have the same corresponding author: Soliman Mahmoud Soliman Abdalla, a professor of physics at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
According to a spokesperson for Polymers, readers flagged two papers in July 2017; both were retracted in August.
The spokesperson for Polymers told us that the journal ran the papers through the plagiarism detection software, iThenticate, but found “no significant levels of copied text.” The journal says it missed the overlap because:
The first author of a 2013 chemistry paper is objecting to his co-authors’ decision to retract the paper, which contains duplicated figures.
We recently encountered a similar scenario with papers by first author Khalid Mahmood. In late 2015, Mahmood lost three papers in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces over duplicated images. One of the notices also indicated that the figures had “been published elsewhere and identified with different samples” — the same language used in the notice of the most recent retraction, in Journal of Materials Chemistry C.
Mahmood performed the work on the papers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), along with his two co-authors, Seung Bin Park and Hyung Jin Sung (also co-authors on two of the retracted papers in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces).
A journal is retracting a paper that sought to validate genotyping techniques after learning the authors skipped a key step.
The authors scanned blood samples from 500 people who visited “the Blood Bank of our institution,” as they note in the abstract, to validate the use of genotyping techniques in the Saudi population. But the authors didn’t obtain the proper clearance from their institution, King Faisal Specialist Hospital, to publish the work.
A research assistant at King Saud University (KSU) has lost his job after he used material from a student’s thesis without permission or attribution in a paper.
Lakshmana Krishnappa was terminated after a disciplinary committee considered his case last November, the vice dean for postgraduate training and research at KSU told Retraction Watch. In April of last year, Krishnappa retracted a paper published in January 2015 — we think that’s the date; the journal doesn’t make it all that clear — that included plagiarized material, published in Reviews in Medical Microbiology. He recently lost a second unrelated paper for duplication.