Posted by anyman on Jul 06, 2002 at 06:51

Re: well... (DA Morgan)

18 November 1999
Nature 402, 222 (1999)

... and author gets similar paper retracted


[SAN DIEGO] Gunther Eysenbach of the department of clinical social medicine at the University of Heidelberg, and editor of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, plans to publish a report on the uncovering of apparent plagiarism by three physicians from the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, Scotland.

After their article, entitled 'The quality of surgical information on the Internet', was published in the August issue of the Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the authors sent out e-mail alerts to those interested in online medicine.

Eysenbach saw the alert, read the paper and recognized phrases in it as appearing to come from an article that he had written for the British Medical Journal in October 1998. "I am not a native English speaker, so it takes hard work to write good English sentences," says Eysenbach. "I recognized the anguish of my work."

Eysenbach also discovered that other material from his journal's website had been used without attribution in the article. Aware of (see above), he registered with the US service's website and submitted the article by the Edinburgh physicians, without disclosing what he already knew.

According to Eysenbach, the analysis detected the apparent plagiarism, as well as the improper use of other published material. "About 50 per cent of the article is affected," he claims, adding that the senior author Christopher Oliver, a trauma surgeon at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh initially offered several explanations, from denial to forgetting references. [sounds clintonesque, eh :-]

Ultimately, he says, Oliver agreed to retract the article and apologize. Oliver says that "it was an accident; there was no intent to plagiarize". He added: "I have better things to do than plagiarize his work. It was an omission on my part not to give references."

Although he acknowledges his retraction and apology, Oliver says that "If you ran [this system] on every article [in the medical literature] that comes out, you would find this happening all over the place."


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