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 Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>