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Opinion / Student assignment highlights plagiarised article

According to Retraction Watch, an author discovered his work had been plagiarised when he asked students in his class to give a presentation on a recent paper they'd picked from a peer-reviewed journal. The researcher recognised his own work from the student's presentation and, when he checked the article, found it included large plagiarised sections.

Opinion / NY Times reports fraudulent clinical trial

The New York Times describes how a paper describing a method for determining which treatment cancer patients should get was used as the basis for a clinical trial (therefore putting patients at risk) before being retracted. A fuller description of the case has also been published in Annals of Applied Statistics 2009; 3:1309-1334.


Opinion / Problems with research integrity governance in the UK

The Times Higher Education Supplement reports on current problems with organizations involved with research integrity in the UK (see here).

(Note: COPE is represented on the UKRIO advisory board and donated money to help get UKRIO established)

Opinion / US court ruling on access to drug safety data

The New England Journal of Medicine (29 June) discusses the implications of a recent US court ruling requiring a drug company to make safety data available to shareholders. Although the ruling doesn't relate directly to journals it's interesting in the light of current debates about publishing raw data from clinical trials.See here.


Opinion / Editors criticised for not checking authors' conflicts of interest

An article in Reuters Health criticises journal editors for not checking authors' conflicts of interests and claims several dermatology papers do not provide adequate disclosure. The journal (and other editors) explain that they believe this is the authors' responsibility. NOTE: this item is included on the COPE website NOT because we believe the journal in question behaved improperly but because we thought editors should be aware of public perceptions about conflicts of interest.

Opinion / Head of German research centre resigns because of plagiarism

According to Laborjournal, the Managing Director of Research Center Borstel has resigned after he was found to have committed plagiarism.

Details and links to the German sources are available at Retraction Watch


Opinion / COPE retraction study published

The results of a COPE research grant, awarded to Liz Wager and Peter Williams in December 2007 has now been published. 'Why and how do journal retract articles?  An analysis of Medline retractions 1988-2008' appears as an Online First in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Opinion / Researcher banned for 10 years

The American Society for Microbiology, having retracted several papers by a Japanese researcher because of image manipulation, has issued a 10-year ban on the author from publishing in any of its journals, according to Retraction Watch and Science.

Opinion / BMJ article challenges COPE retraction guidelines

An article in the BMJ considers the role of retractions and questions whether the COPE guidelines are tough enough.

The article is available here and comment from BMJ Editor Fiona Godlee is here

Opinion / UKRIO retraction guidelines for researchers

 The UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) has developed guidelines for researchers based on COPE's retraction guidelines (and in collaboration with COPE). They are available here.