Byline: Peter Williams
Academic article scrapped over plagiarism
In an unusual move an academic publisher has withdrawn an online article because of apparent plagiarism.
Michael J Dunn, editor-in-chief of the journal Proteomics, said the article A- Mitochondria, the Missing Link between Body and Soul: Proteomic Perspective Evidence, by Mohamad Warda and Jin Han A- published online on Wiley InterScience had been retracted and would not appear in print.
"The article has been retracted because it contains apparently plagiarised passages from several previously published articles," said Dunn.
Ian Russell, chief executive of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, told IWR: "Accusations of plagiarism in academia are pretty rare. Academics are about as honest as they come, although clearly plagiarism does happen even among academics."
Dunn said: "We are fully aware of the considerable interest and controversy that the article by Warda and Han has engendered, both with respect to the issue of plagiarism, as well as the controversial viewpoints expressed by the authors.
"Clearly, human error has caused a misstep in the normally rigorous peer review process that is standard practice for Proteomics and should prevent such issues arising."
Dunn said he had acted as soon as the problems with the article had been brought to his attention.
The episode comes at a time of increasing disquiet in education over student cheating and plagiarism; it will also highlight concerns over the peer review process.
Russell said: "Plagiarism is difficult to detect and the peer review process is not there to detect it. Historically, there have been no tools available to editors and publishers to root out this problem, although there are technology solutions being worked on which automatically cross-reference."