Self-plagiarism and Bogus Authorship

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Margaret Munro has written a piece about self-plagiarism by a researcher at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. This is an excerpt:

Four scientific reports -- three of them dealing with Canadian space experiments -- have been retracted after a long-running dispute at Queen's University over self-plagiarism and "bogus authorship."

"They were retracted over concerns of duplication, primarily," says Douglas Braaten, executive editor of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, who has pulled three Queen's papers dealing with microgravity experiments conducted on the space shuttle and the international and Russian space stations.

The fourth paper, on railway steel, was almost identical to an earlier publication. It represents "a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system," say the journal editors who recently retracted the duplicate paper, which was uncovered as part of an alleged "academic misconduct" case involving "holus-bolus" recycling by a senior scientist at Queen's in papers published with some of his students and associates in Kingston, Ont.

Titles and authors' names on the papers change, but large chunks were duplicated in papers co-authored by Reginald Smith, Postmedia News has learned.

Smith declined to comment for this story, but others say the dispute highlights problems with the way scientific misconduct is defined and dealt with in Canada.

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