Canadian Medical Association leaves international group after president plagiarizes past president’s speech

The address was supposed to be a triumphant inaugural speech.

On Friday, Leonid Eidelman, the incoming president of the World Medical Association (WMA), made up of representatives from national medical associations, stood up in front of the group’s members in Reykjavik, Iceland, and told them it was a great honor to become their leader.

The trouble was, his speech had lifted passages from various sources — including remarks one of his predecessors had given in 2014. The following morning, members of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) — including Chris Simpson, who had delivered the original 2014 speech — made a motion for Eidelman to resign. When that failed, the CMA said it was leaving the WMA.

CMA president Gigi Osler said in a statement: Continue reading Canadian Medical Association leaves international group after president plagiarizes past president’s speech

High-profile health policy researcher Gilbert Welch out at Dartmouth after plagiarism charge

H. Gilbert Welch

H. Gilbert Welch, a leading researcher in the field of health policy, has resigned from his faculty post at Dartmouth College after the institution concluded that he had plagiarized from a colleague in a 2016 paper.

As we reported in STAT earlier this summer, a Dartmouth committee found that Welch had misused a figure from a colleague, Samir Soneji, who had provided him the data after a 2015 presentation. At the time, Soneji had requested that he be part of any paper that would include the data — but Welch said he had no intention of publishing it. However, the information appeared in a 2016 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, which has declined to retract or even correct the paper. Continue reading High-profile health policy researcher Gilbert Welch out at Dartmouth after plagiarism charge

Persistence pays off for plagiarized author: emails spur retraction, sanctions against researcher

Note: This post has been updated.

Here’s an object lesson for scientists who find out they’ve been ripped off by other researchers: Taking matters into your own hands can produce results.  

An aggrieved author’s doggedness led to the retraction of a 2013 paper that plagiarized his work, along with the revocation of a doctoral degree by one of the scientists responsible for the theft and sanctions against another.

We don’t often get the blow-by-blow, but in this case we have the details to share. The story begins in early 2017, when Andrew Boyle, a professor of cardiac medicine at the University of Newcastle, in Australia, noticed something fishy in an article, “Cathepsin B inhibition attenuates cardiac dysfunction and remodeling following myocardial infarction by inhibiting the NLRP3 pathway.” The paper had appeared in a journal called Molecular Medicine Reports, from Spandidos.

The article, published by a group from Shandong Provincial Hospital, contained a pair of figures that Boyle recognized from his 2005 article in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. One of the images had been altered, but the other was a patent duplication.

Boyle explained that: Continue reading Persistence pays off for plagiarized author: emails spur retraction, sanctions against researcher

UPDATED: Elsevier retracts a paper on solar cells that appears to plagiarize a Nature journal. But the reason is…odd.

The similarities between recent papers in two different journals about energy were striking — so striking that a number of people have taken to Twitter and Facebook to let the world know about them.

[1415 UTC, August 29, 2018: See update at the end of this post.]

One paper, “Systematic investigation of the impact of operation conditions on the degradation behaviour of perovskite solar cells,” was authored by a group of researchers in Lausanne, Switzerland and appeared on January 1, 2018 in Nature Energy. Its abstract reads: Continue reading UPDATED: Elsevier retracts a paper on solar cells that appears to plagiarize a Nature journal. But the reason is…odd.

Star researcher in health policy plagiarized a colleague, probe says

Gilbert Welch

Gilbert Welch, one of the most prominent health care policy researchers in the U.S., has been found guilty of research misconduct following an investigation by Dartmouth College, his employer.

According to documents obtained by Retraction Watch, the material was included as part of a high-profile 2016 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine that reported mammograms were more likely to prompt unnecessary treatment for harmless tumors than save lives. Continue reading Star researcher in health policy plagiarized a colleague, probe says

Philosophers, meet the plagiarism police. His name is Michael Dougherty.

Michael Dougherty

Some researchers spot an issue with a paper, groan inwardly, and move on. Not Michael Dougherty. Over the years, the philosophy professor at Ohio Dominican University has sent us several tips about plagiarized papers, which have led to numerous editorial notices — including a correction to a more than 30-year-old paper written by a cat, and the outing of a prominent researcher who was mysteriously using a pseudonym. Last week, we reported that one of the world’s foremost economists had reused material in multiple papers — again, information that was revealed based on a tip from Dougherty. Of course, he’s not the only sleuth out there — journals regularly get queries from self-titled “data thugs” such as Nick Brown, James Heathers, and Brendan O’ConnorWe spoke with Dougherty about how he finds the time for such a never-ending, thankless side project — and why he’s okay with the idea he might end up getting more papers retracted than he publishes himself. 

Retraction Watch: You do a lot of plagiarism sleuthing — often a thankless job. What motivates you? And how time-consuming is it?

Continue reading Philosophers, meet the plagiarism police. His name is Michael Dougherty.

McGill dept chair says she was blindsided by coauthor’s plagiarism

When Parisa Ariya was invited to write a review for a special issue of the journal Atmosphere, she asked one of her former doctoral students to take the lead. But she soon regretted that decision after discovering Lin (Emma) Si had plagiarized and duplicated significant portions of the review.

Ariya, chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill University in Montreal, told Retraction Watch that she believes it’s important to foster the careers of young women in science and was excited for her former student, Si, to take on the challenge of writing her first review. (Si was cc’d on our email communications with Ariya, but did not respond to our individual request for comment.)
Continue reading McGill dept chair says she was blindsided by coauthor’s plagiarism

“Absolutely mortified” after unintentionally plagiarizing, author offers to step down from new post

A few months ago, Dirk Werling discovered he had made a horrible mistake: He had inadvertently plagiarized in his recent review.

On January 20, Werling said he came across a 2016 paper while working on a grant and realized he had published some of the text in his 2018 review in Research in Veterinary Science. Werling — based at Royal Veterinary College at the University of London — told Retraction Watch:

I knew I needed to retract my paper.

Continue reading “Absolutely mortified” after unintentionally plagiarizing, author offers to step down from new post

Journals retract 30 papers by engineer in South Korea

An engineer in South Korea has lost 30 papers, at least seven of which for duplication and plagiarism. He has also been fired from his university position.

Soon-Gi Shin, whose affiliation was listed as Kangwon National University in Gangwon, is the sole author on the majority of the papers, published in four journals between 2000 and 2015.

Taewan Kim, the dean of international affairs at the university, told Retraction Watch that Shin was fired on August 21, 2017, over “violation[s] of research ethics.”

Continue reading Journals retract 30 papers by engineer in South Korea

Caught Our Notice: Bioethics article retracted for…ethics violation

Title: Bioethics and Medical Education

What Caught Our Attention: As we’ve said before, you can’t make this stuff up: An article on bioethics had its own ethical issues to deal with. It turns out, the authors had “substantial unreferenced overlap” with another article, that “overlap” including the article’s title. Here’s a side by side comparison of the first page, highlighting the matching text: Continue reading Caught Our Notice: Bioethics article retracted for…ethics violation