Thursday, November 8, 2007

Plagiarism of Swiss Medical Paper

The "Tages-Anzeiger", a Swiss German-language daily newspaper, published an account on Nov. 7, 2007 (page 36) of the problems encountered by Berne medical researcher Werner Pichler.

A paper that he wrote about immunology for the magazine "Allergy" was published at a later date by the Czech researcher Marcela Z. in "Folia Biologica". The papers are almost identical.

The problem is, that Pichler had submitted the article to "Lancet", and it was rejected there. One of the peer reviews done on his manuscript was done by a researcher leading a laboratory in which Marcela Z. was working.

Luckily, he managed to have his paper published before Marcela Z. published hers - with co-authors who now say that the paper was published in their name without their knowledge.

The discovery of the plagiarism was by chance. Another researcher who was aware of Pichler's work happened on Marcela Z.'s article while researching in online databases.

Marcela Z. is said to have been terminated from her position at the University of Prague, and proceedings on her doctorate are said to have been stopped. She was unavailable to the newspaper for comment.

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