When it comes to plagiarism, there is apparently no statute of limitations.
That’s one lesson one might take from this tale of two papers, one published in 1984 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG), and the other published in 2000 in the Medical Journal of The Islamic Republic of Iran (MJIRI). Both are titled “The use of breast stimulation to prevent postdate pregnancy.”
Imagine you’re a journal editor. A group of authors sends you a request to retract one of their papers, saying that “during figure assembly certain images were inappropriately processed.”
What do you do next? Do you ask some tough questions about just what “inappropriately processed” means? Do you check your files for whether the author’s institution had told you about an investigation into the work? Do you Google the author’s names? Do you…search Retraction Watch?
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.
A journal is warning contributors that they should avoid using a controversial scale for assessing adherence to medication regimens or they might wind up wearing an omelette on their faces.
The chicken here, of course, is the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale. The instrument was developed by a UCLA professor named Donald Morisky, who with a colleague named Steve Trubow threatens to sue anyone who they believe misuses the tool after failing to obtain a license.
So writes (in somewhat different words) Mina Mehregan, a mechanical engineer at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran. Mehregan and a colleague recently discovered that they’d been victimized by a group of unscrupulous reviewers who used the pretext of a long turnaround time to publish a hijacked version of their manuscript in another journal.