When Peer Reviewers Steal

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Mar 3, 2017 3:58:47 PM

whenpeerr.pngBack in December, Retraction Watch told the story of Michael Dansiger, a researcher at the Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Dansiger submitted a paper to the Annals of Internal Medicine, which rejected it for publication. While even good research can be rejected, the story took an unexpected twist when the paper was republished in EXCLI Journal with different authors, and one of the peer reviewers who originally rejected was listed as an author.


The Top 10 Plagiarism Stories of 2016

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Feb 27, 2017 8:00:00 AM


2016 will undoubtedly be one of the most remembered and talked-about years for a long, long time.

While that’s certainly true for world events, it’s also very true for plagiarism. When it comes to academic and publishing dishonesty, 2016 was a banner year.

With that in mind, we wanted to take a look back at the year that was and, as we welcome 2017, get a preview of what is likely ahead.


Croatia's New Science Minister Investigated for Plagiarism

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Feb 23, 2017 8:38:00 AM

Pavo Barišić is Croatia’s new Science Minister. Appointed by the right-wing government coalition following the second election this year, Barišić is already proving to be a very controversial choice.

This is especially true among the local academic community, which has taken issue with scandals from his past. Those scandals include everything from prior praise for Nazi sympathizers to misuse of public funds.

One of those scandals is a plagiarism scandal that has only recently come to light despite the allegations originally being filed in 2011.

 The story was first reported in the newspaper Novosti in October. However, the allegations were actually filed in 2011 with a higher education ethics committee. According to the allegations, a 2008 paper published by Barišić in Synthesis Philosophica contained plagiarized text from U.S. political commentator Stephen Schlesinger.


The Boundaries of Accidental Plagiarism

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Feb 21, 2017 3:22:58 PM

Christopher S. Collins from Azusa Pacific University is an interesting case study when it comes to accidental plagiarism.

In April 2014, he published an article entitled “Can funding for university partnerships between Africa and the US contribute to social development and poverty reduction?” in the journal Higher Education. In May 2015, the article was retracted after editors discovered that it contained plagiarized sentences from work presented at a 2012 conference.

When Retraction Watch reached out to Collins about the incident Collins wrote back a lengthy and contrite apology for the incident. Taking full responsibility for the plagiarism, Collins explained that it was a simple error, a matter of him writing verbatim notes from the conference and then pasting them months later, forgetting they were copied.


A Different Political Plagiarism Scandal

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Nov 2, 2016 4:33:21 PM

barack-obama-muhammadu-buhari.jpgOn September 8th, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addressed his nation with a speech announcing a new
campaign entitled “Change Begins with Me”. The aim of the campaign is to attack “dishonesty, indolence, unbridled corruption and widespread impunity” in the country.


When Research is a Copy of a Copy

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Oct 3, 2016 9:55:18 AM

12206.jpgAccording to a recent post on Retraction Watch, Hossein Jafarzadeh, a PhD candidate at the University of Tehran, has found himself in a unique position: Having had a paper retracted for being a duplicate publication of two papers he co-authored that were, themselves, retracted for plagiarism.

Jafarzadeh, in 2014, published a pair of papers, one in February and one in July, in the journal Materials Science and Engineering. Those papers were largely identical, so much so that they were both pulled for plagiarism, albeit they were accused of plagiarizing from different sources.

Karen Abrinia, Jafarzadeh’s co-author on the papers, explained the original plagiarism by saying that they were the result of images that were taken from other papers, She claimed the researchers sent out samples from the research to a 3rd party for microscopic photography but received back images from other papers.


Federal Trade Commission Targeting Predatory Publishers

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Sep 12, 2016 4:00:00 AM

In late August, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against OMICS, an open access academic journal publisher that has long been at the center of the debate over “predatory” publishers.


Mexico's President Faces Plagiarism Allegations

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Aug 24, 2016 10:07:12 AM

In Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto is facing allegations of plagiarism in his law school thesis with one reporter saying that nearly 29% of his 200-page thesis was plagiarized from other sources.

The allegations come from local journalist Carmen Aristegui. Aristegui posted on her site saying that 197 of 682 paragraphs of President Peña Nieto’s 1991 law thesis were copied from other authors but that the text involved was not put into quotations and, in some cases, the authors were not mentioned in the bibliography.

This isn’t the first time that Aristegui and her research team have clashed with President Peña Nieto. In 2014, they uncovered evidence that President Peña Nieto’s wife purchased a $7 million house from a government contractor, which sparked an integrity scandal.


Food Critic Fired Over Plagiarism Allegations

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Aug 18, 2016 12:21:09 PM

Freelance food critic Elliott Shaffner has been fired both from both the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly and has had her articles removed from both publications. This follows allegations that she used uncited language from another reviewer in her articles.


When Politics and Plagiarism Mix

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Jul 26, 2016 9:45:03 AM


Shortly after Melania Trump, the wife of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump finished her speech at the Republication National Convention, she began to face allegations of plagiarism.

Specifically, there were allegations that her speech borrowed several passages from a similar 2008 speech by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention. In addition to several dozen copied words, two paragraphs closely mirrored one another in theme, structure and ideas.