Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientific plagiarism: A growing problem in an era of shrinking research funding

25.01.2012
As scientific researchers become evermore competitive for scarce funding, scientific journals are increasing efforts to identify submissions that plagiarize the work of others. Still, it may take years to identify and retract the plagiarized papers and give credit to the actual researchers.

"We need a better system," said Harold Garner, executive director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech. Garner discussed the problem and solution in a Comment in the January 4, 2012 issue of Nature and in a January 19, 2012 radio interview with NPR's Leonard Lopate.

Garner, creator of eTBLAST plagiarism detection software, identified numerous instances of wholesale plagiarism among citations in MEDLINE. "When my colleagues and I introduced an automated process to spot similar citations in MEDLINE, we uncovered more than 150 suspected cases of plagiarism in March, 2009.

"Subsequent ethics investigations resulted in 56 retractions within a few months. However, as of November 2011, 12 (20 percent) of those "retracted" papers are still not so tagged in PubMed. Another two were labeled with errata that point to a website warning the papers are "duplicate" -- but more than 95 percent of the text was identical, with no similar co-authors."

But even when plagiarism is uncovered, it does not guarantee that the plagiarized articles will be retracted. In Garner's study, as noted in his Nature commentary, "Three of the 56 retracted papers are cited in books, including one citation after the retraction. Another eight were cited in other PubMed Central archived articles before retraction, and seven were cited after retraction."

Some researchers say plagiarism has become a pandemic in many large institutions and schools, and that there is an entire industry built on the business of copying the work of others for the purpose of developing theses content and technical papers.

Quelling the proliferation of scientific plagiarism by identifying and retracting plagiarized articles is not the only issue. Publication editors and researchers must agree on the definition of plagiarism as noted in Nature.

Said Garner, "Ultimately, plagiarism comes down to human judgment, similar to other questionable practices -- you know it when you see it."

The Comment in Nature appears here: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v481/n7379/full/481021a.html#/harold-garner-flag-plagiarized-studies

Watch Garner here: http://youtu.be/cuAjUqNF-R8

Garner also was featured in an interview with NPR's Leonard Lopate of WNYC, January 19, 2012. Lopate investigated with Garner the prevalence and problems presented by plagiarism of scientific and medical literature, and discussed ways that new detection software can help to identify plagiarized materials and encourage publication editors to retract these articles.

Listen to the interview: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/2012/jan/

About the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute

The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech is a premier bioinformatics, computational biology, and systems biology research facility that uses transdisciplinary approaches to science, combining information technology, biology, and medicine. These approaches are used to interpret and apply vast amounts of biological data generated from basic research to some of today's key challenges in the biomedical, environmental, and agricultural sciences.

With more than 320 highly trained multidisciplinary, international personnel, research at the institute involves collaboration in diverse disciplines such as mathematics, computer science, biology, plant pathology, biochemistry, systems biology, statistics, economics, synthetic biology, and medicine. The large amounts of data generated by this approach are analyzed and interpreted to create new knowledge that is disseminated to the world's scientific, governmental, and wider communities.

Aleta Todd Delaplane | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>