There’s a new publishing trend in town, says Mario Biagioli: Faking co-authors’ names. Biagioli, distinguished professor of law and science and technology studies and director of the Center for Innovation Studies at the University of California, Davis, writes in an article in Trends in Chemistry that it’s “the emergence of a new form of plagiarism that reflects the new metrics-based economy of scholarly publishing.” We asked him a few questions about what he’s found, and why authors might do this.
When the merde hits the fan, blame the translator. That’s Rule 1 of botched international diplomacy — and, evidently, botched international science.
Otolaryngology researchers in China have lost their 2018 paper in the American Journal of Translational Research for what they’re calling (with some degree of chutzpah) language barriers.
The article, “Therapeutic ultrasound potentiates the anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin to postoperative pain via Sirt1/NF-κB signaling pathway,” came from group whose primary affiliation was the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai. (It hasn’t been cited, according to Clarivate’s Web of Science.) However, the list of authors also included several scientists in Germany.
What Caught Our Attention: One would think that the corresponding author would have to be aware that they are submitting an article for publication — but apparently not, as this retraction demonstrates. The 2016 paper listed two corresponding authors — along with both of their emails and mailing addresses — but according to the retraction notice, one of them did not give consent “in any form” to the publication. Often, we see authors unaware of the use of their name when their email has been faked, but here, it’s possible the journal simply relied on the other corresponding author for all correspondence.Continue reading Caught Our Notice: How can a publication be a surprise to a corresponding author?
Both retracted articles were co-authored by three researchers in the Department of Civil Engineering at Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University in Tehran, Iran. The first author, Saeed Ghaffarpour Jahromi, serves as the University’s Dean of Faculty in the School of Civil Engineering.
Recently, the editors of a journal about management science received a submission from a prominent Dutch economist. But something didn’t feel right about it.
For one, the author submitted the paper using a Yahoo email address. So the editors contacted the author via his institutional email; immediately, the researcher denied having submitted the paper — and said it had happened before. And then things got really interesting.
The editors — Yves Crama, Michel Grabisch, and Silvano Martello — decided to run a “sting” operation, pretending to consider the paper, and even submitted their own fake reviews, posing as referees. They accepted the paper via the electronic submissions system, then lo and behold:
A bone researcher based in Japan with 10 retractions under his belt has retracted two more papers for similar reasons — problems with the underlying data, and including co-authors who didn’t participate in the project.
In both notices, Yoshihiro Sato is pegged as responsible for the content of the papers. The newly retracted research covers a long timespan — one paper was published in 2000, the other in 2013.