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Journal refuses to correct the record


An author contacted our journal in August 2011 informing us that a paper he had published in our journal in 2005 had been published, word for word, in another journal (journal X), under a different title and author group, in 2007.

We followed the appropriate COPE flowchart and contacted the editor of journal X. The editor of journal X told us in September 2011 that he would publish a retraction and a letter submitted from the author group admitting a "disagreeable mistake".


Inadequate assurance of human research ethics for a questionnaire


A questionnaire was distributed to knowledge workers in an organisation to investigate the following hypotheses:

— H1.There is a positive and significant relationship between ethics and organizational performance.
— H2. There is a positive and significant relationship between ethics and intellectual capital.
— H3. There is a positive and significant relationship between intellectual capital and organizational performance.


Confidentiality breach by an associate editor


The authors of a manuscript sent an official complaint to our journal regarding a breach of confidentiality by an associate editor (AE). The authors had been informed by the supervisor of a reviewer of a manuscript.


Concerns about the reliability of findings following re-analysis of a dataset from a published article


Following publication of an article, a reader posted a comment raising some questions about the data analysis in the study and the availability of the dataset. We followed-up with the authors and they offered to share the dataset with the reader—the dataset involves genetic information from potentially identifiable patients and as a result the authors indicated that the deposition of the data was not possible due to patient privacy concerns.


Retraction of the first article in the case of duplicate publication


Earlier this year it came to our attention that a published article in our journal (journal A) had also been published in another journal (journal B). The article in journal A was published later than the article in journal B, so following COPE guidelines on duplicate publication, we contacted the authors for an explanation. Their response was to blame the editor of journal B for publishing the article without their agreement.


Fraudulent data presented in a manuscript


Author A submitted a trial comparing the safety and feasibility of two delivery techniques in patients. The trial, which was done at author A’s institution, was assessed by inhouse editors, who decided to send it out for peer review.


Serial plagiarism by an experienced author


Suspicions were raised on 20 September 2012 by a reviewer who commented that some of the passages in a submission from Dr J were similar to an earlier paper published in our journal by the same author. An iThenticate check indicated a similarity index of 60%: however, the overlap was not from that earlier paper but from another source by a different author which had contributed 41% of the material.


Submitted paper already published elsewhere


Authors A submitted paper A to our journal in April 2012. One of the reviewers pointed out that a very similar paper, paper B, had already been published in another journal based in the authors' home country and covering a different field, in August 2012. Indeed, the title is almost the same, except for a few words switched around.


Reprimanded author plagiarizes again


A reviewer, R1, brought to our attention several suspected cases of plagiarism in paper A1, submitted by authors A.

The main concerns were:
— large parts of paper A1 resembled paper B submitted by a different group of authors B, with one of the most major changes being a change in the observation day;
— large parts of a section were taken from paper C by author C, including an entire figure;
— other sentences were copied from other papers.


Plagiarism in a book title


We received a complaint of plagiarism by Dr A concerning a book that has just been published. This case is ongoing since January 2012.