The matter became of interest in California after the state's stem cell agency approved a $2.6 million research grant for a subsidiary of Cha's Korean organization.
Tony Knight, a spokesman for Cha, sent a copy of the press release announcing the journal's action to the California Stem Cell Report. The release, however, does not yet appear to be on the Fertility and Sterility journal web site. We have queried the journal concerning the information, which did not address the plagiarism allegations.
Here is the statement from Fertility and Sterility as relayed by Knight. A statement from Cha Health Systems follows along with a link to a piece in The Scientist magazine today on the matter.
"For immediate release: April 26, 2007The Cha Health Systems statement said:
"The December 2005 issue of /Fertility and Sterility/ included an article entitled “Quantification of Mitochondrial DNA Using Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction in Patients with Premature Ovarian Failure.” The article was originally published in the /Korean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology /(/KJOG/) in 2004, under a different title, with some authors different from those listed in the publication appearing in /Fertility and Sterility/.
"Based on the prior publication of the article, which is contrary to the standards of /Fertility and Sterility/ and medical and scientific publishing, /Fertility and Sterility /has decided to retract the article and will publish that fact in an upcoming issue of /Fertility and Sterility/. This decision was based only on the issue of duplicate publication and does not reflect on the scientific validity of the paper.
"Dr. Sook-Hwan Lee was listed as corresponding author of each version of the article. Dr. Lee has admitted responsibility for the duplicate publications of the article and states that none of the other persons listed as authors had knowledge that the article submitted to /Fertility and Sterility/ had been previously published in KJOG.
"After carefully considering the facts available to it, /Fertility and Sterility/ has determined that Dr. Lee will not be allowed to publish materials in /Fertility and Sterility/ for the period of three years. No action will be taken as to any of the other persons listed as authors of the /Fertility and Sterility/ article, Kwang-Yul Cha, MD, PhD; Hyung-Min Chung, PhD; Kwang-Hyun Baek, PhD; Sung-Won Cho, MS, and Kyu-Bum Kwack, PhD."
"The (journal) said its decision to retract the article was based only on the issue of duplicate publication. We were hopeful that the paper would not be retracted, but we are pleased that the board recognized its scientific merit. We have said from the beginning that Kwang-Yul Cha, MD, PhD; Hyung-Min Chung, PhD; Kwang-Hyun Baek, PhD; Sung-Won Cho, MS, and Kyu-Bum Kwack, PhD. knew nothing of the paper’s prior publication. We are gratified that the /F&S/ board reached the sameThe Scientist magazine article on the matter did not contain information on the journal action, but said it had not made a decision on how to handle the plagiarism issue. Sphere: Related Content