Plagiarism (published article)


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".


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.


Plagiarism of a PhD thesis


We received a complaint from an author claiming that her PhD thesis had been plagiarized in a journal article. After many discussions, the editorial office decided that the authors should resolve this issue among themselves, as it was an author dispute.


Habitual plagiarist


Author F published a single case report (CR1) in my journal. A few months later, I received a letter from author G who claimed that the case published by author F was a verbatim copy of his case report published in another journal H. On comparison of the documents it was obvious that CR1 was an exact reproduction of the article of author G. More than 90% of the sentences overlapped in both articles and even the clinical photographs were identical.




A paper was published with four authors from two universities and the contact author provided an exclusive license form on behalf of all of the authors. After publication, one of the authors contacted the editor claiming a case of plagiarism. The claim is that the published paper was a direct copy of an MSc thesis which this person had supervised 7 years previously.


Parallels between unpublished manuscript and a published article from other authors


I am seeking advice on a confidential ‘letter of concern’ from an author (X) of a manuscript submitted before I was appointed editor of the journal but rejected by me on the advice of the associate editor.


Plagiarism, double submission and reviewer ethicality


This is a complicated case which involves possible plagiarism, double submission and reviewer misconduct. The timeline is as follows: 


Sections of plagiarised text in an e-publication


An article was published online (e-pub), and a reader notified the editor about a section of the abstract that was taken from a review article published in another journal by different authors. Subsequent analysis of the e-pub manuscript found sections plagiarised from additional articles, often with citations but not quotation marks. Some sections were from manuscripts previously published by the authors in question.


Possible plagiarism


A review paper (paper 1) was published in journal A. A review paper on the same subject (paper 2) by a different author was published in my journal (journal B) later in the same year. The authors of paper 1 and the editor of journal A informed me that paper 2 had in part been plagiarised from paper 1.


Paper published that is a verbatim copy of another published one by another author


This is a report of two cases of possible misconduct by the same author(s): one that was identified during the review process and one only after it was published.