Sunday, August 15, 2010

Articles withdrawn from Open Access Database

I just ran across an article from 2007 about arXiv.org, one of the many Open Access databases, that withdrew 65 papers on General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology by 14 Turkish authors on the basis of the papers containing plagiarized material. One of the authors, a grad student at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, was listed on 40 (!) of the papers.

The papers in question are replaced with a reference that they are plagiarized and the true sources are given. This is extremely important - don't just remove without a trace, but leave a note both of who the plagiarist was and the true source, in case any of the plagiarized versions are referenced elsewhere.

This is one of the advantages of online Open Access - in a printed journal, the retraction appears sometime later. Online, the reference itself can be replaced with the retraction notice, giving credit to the original authors.

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