Thursday, April 26, 2007

Duplicate Publication: Journal Retracts Cha Article

The Fertility and Sterilityjournal has apparently retracted on grounds of "duplicate publication" a paper also involved in allegations of plagiarism by Korean scientist Kwang-Yul Cha.

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, 2007

"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 Cha Health Systems statement said:
"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 same
The 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.

1 comment:

  1. If one visits the website for Fertility & Sterility, one will find the following under DUPLICATE PUBLICATION:

    All papers that are submitted must report unpublished work and cannot be under consideration for publication elsewhere. If a manuscript contains more than 200 words of previously published text or if previously published figures or tables are submitted, written permission must be obtained from the holder of the copyright. Copies of permission letters must be submitted with the original manuscript. Material that is published without permission from the copyright holder will be considered duplicate publication, which is a serious offense.

    Previously published material can be cited in a manuscript, but it must be indicated by quotation marks. If more than 200 words from a previously published manuscript appear in a manuscript that is submitted as an original work and if this material is not indicated with quotation marks, the material will be considered to be plagiarized. Plagiarism is also a serious offense.

    As noted on IPBiz, the second paragraph would indicate that the Fertility & Sterility guidelines on DUPLICATE PUBLICATION show that the use of "more than 200 words from a previously published manuscript" without enclosure by quotation marks is plagiarism. It would seem that Fertility & Sterility considers self-plagiarism to be plagiarism. Whether or not any individual thinks "you can (or cannot) plagiarize yourself," it is the rules provided by Fertility & Sterility that control submissions made to Fertility & Sterility.

    Separately, as pointed out on IPBiz, plagiarism and copyright infringement are two different matters.


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