An end of the year tradition is to get the bad stuff out of the way, so that the New Year can be ushered in without contamination by the bad (this includes cleaning the house!). Apparently (like choosing the right person for “first footing”) this brings good luck, though personally, I think that stochastic processes rule and so there is nothing special about any particular day. Nonetheless, traditions are what bind us culturally, so onwards with the “bad”.
In universities we have very clear rules on plagiarism. Though these vary slightly between institutions, in essence they are the same. Students MUST NOT copy the work (text or figures) of others without explicit attribution, e.g., Fig. 1 from ref #XX. Wholesale copying is major plagiarism, mark of zero, interview with the “plagiarism and collusion” committee. Minor infringements equal a loss of some marks and a reminder of the letter of the law. Repeated minor plagiarism equals major plagiarism. Here at Liverpool we play baseball: three strikes and you are out…
So, it is most revealing, following Pep’s apologia and the fact that Pep is both an editor at Nature Materials and the only person to argue the case against Raphael’s paper in Small – Francesco Stellacci and his co-authors have been incredibly silent – that we have a total of five counts of plagiarism now.
To summarise what is elsewhere on this blog and Raphael’s blog:
Nature Materials 2004 3:330-336 Figure 1 A is reproduced as Figure 1 centre panel/inset four years later in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2008 105: 9886–9891
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 11135-11149 Figure 1, panel A is a crop from Figure 8 in the same paper.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 11135-11149 Figure 1, panel A , the crop from Figure 8 in the same paper is reproduced in Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy 4, 24–35, 2009, as Figure 1.
J. Phys. Chem. C 2008, 112, 6279-6284 Figure 3, top left panel is reproduced again in Journal of Scanning Probe Microscopy 4, 24–35, 2009, Fig. 3
Cases 3 and 5 were reported to the relevant editorial offices on December 16, with a prompt acknowledgement from all except… …Nature Materials, which remains silent. Well, maybe they have a particularly heavy festive season there and are out of action from mid-December until the New Year.
For those who want to check, the links above to Chem. Chommun., JACS, Nat. Mat. and PNAS are via PubMed – direct links to these papers can be found on Raphael’s blog.