Plagiarism flushes sanitation paper

Retracted-sanitation-article

Just when another German minister is forced to resign after being accused of plagiarism, two less well-known sanitation scientists have been put to shame for the same offence.

Two scientists from India’s Center for Sustainable Technologies have had their journal article retracted after the publisher, Elsevier, discovered they had plagiarised a Swedish research paper.

The authors of the 2008 article, “A conceptual model of people’s approach to sanitation”, had plagiarised part of a paper that had already appeared in the Journal of Environmental Psychology in 2005.

Louise Dellström Rosenquist, the author of the plagiarised paper, “A psychosocial analysis of the human-sanitation nexus”, was attached at the time to the EcoSanRes programme of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).

For a journal that costs 7,000 Euros a year for an institutional e-subscription, you wonder why the plagiarism was not discovered during the submission process, but four years later.

According to Retraction Watch, that the retracted paper has been cited seven times and the paper that the authors plagiarized 10 times.

Related web site:  Wikipedia – Scientific plagiarism in India

Source: Ivan Oransky, Retraction Watch, 14 Feb 2013 ; ScienceDirect, 08 Feb 2013

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2 responses to “Plagiarism flushes sanitation paper

  1. Regarding plagiarism, this is not an isolated case. In 1999 I (Richard Carter) published an article with colleagues Sean Tyrrel and Peter Howsam in the Journal of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (“Impact and Sustainability of Community Water Supply and Sanitation Programmes in Developing Countries”, J.CIWEM Vol 13, pp292-296). In 2008 two Nigerian authors, Ademiluyi and Odugbesan published a paper which overlapped with ours by about 80% in the African Journal of Agricultural Research (“Sustainability and impact of community water supply and sanitation programmes in Nigeria: an overview.” Afr. J. Ag. Res. 3 (12) pp811-817). Despite writing to the authors and the journal editor, this matter was never resolved. I suspect this habit of “borrowing” or outright plagiarism is very common, and the sheer number of journal articles must make it very difficult for publishers to detect more than a handful of cases.
    Prof Richard C Carter, February 2013.

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