A review article by an expert group plagiarised an article from another journal. It was largely a direct translation, involving large slabs of the text. Some of the authors are on the editorial board of the journal where the paper was published. There was no declaration that this was a translation of another article.
- The editor is potentially in a very difficult situation, and someone will have to search through the work of the entire group to see if this has happened before.
- The minimum charges here are that the authors have received gift authorship.
- Write to all the authors separately and ask for an explanation.
- Write to the authors’ institutions.
- Inform the advisory board.
- Retract the article.
- Check all the articles from the authors.
- Remove the offenders from the editorial board.
The paper was retracted by the authors, who gave all sorts of explanations, from trying to get around the allegations, to saying they shouldn’t have been listed as authors. The editor wrote an editorial on the paper, which attracted considerable media coverage. Members of the editorial board were removed and the institutions involved took the matter very seriously.