RETRACTION OF ACADEMIC ARTICLES DUE TO PLAGIARISING FROM DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS: AN ACT OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
1 Balearic Islands University (SPAIN)
2 Granada University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Although integrity, probity and rectitude are basic principles of academic university life, there are numerous evidences that show how corrupt or fraudulent practices are very present in higher education institutions (Chapman & Lindner, 2016, Denisova-Schmidt, 2017).
One of the roughest misconduct practices is plagiarism in academic articles (Fanelli, 2019), a behaviour that if is discovered provokes the retraction of the article from the journal in which has been originally accepted and published. The phenomenon of papers retraction is a key issue in scientific publishing as the amount of retractions of research papers has increased from practically cero in the 1990s to more than 1,000 in 2018 (Conroy, 2019).
The purpose of this work, which has an initial exploratory character, is to analyse the academic papers that have been retracted due to plagiarising from a Doctoral Dissertation or Thesis. In our analysis, we focus on bibliometric parameters (publication year, country, number of citations received by the retracted paper, scientific field of the retracted paper, etc.) and also we analyse the linkage between the author/s of the retracted paper and the author of the plagiarised dissertation (author in both cases -self-plagiarism-, author of the dissertation and student supervised by one of the authors of the retracted article, etc.).
For the location of retracted papers we used the Retraction Watch Database http://retractiondatabase.org (“Retraction Watch retractionwatch.com, is a site dedicated to reporting on scientific retractions and related issues. Retraction Watch is a project of The Center For Scientific Integrity”) and we established as search criteria articles retracted due to plagiarism from doctoral dissertations without introducing any other criteria. After running the search query a total of 19 articles were obtained. These 19 articles are the sample of our analysis.
Main results suggest that, first of all, the retraction of an article because of plagiarism from a dissertation is quite low: only 19 cases out of 22539 retracted articles that are stored in the database of Retraction Watch (as February the 28th 2020).
By country, China is the country with more retracted papers due to plagiarism from dissertations and by academic disciplines, most of retracted articles are from science disciplines (physics, technology, etc.), in second position articles from medicine and health sciences and finally articles from social sciences and humanities.
Most of the articles retracted were published in impact journals (indexed in SOPUS or WoS) and are still available to download in academic social networks as Researchgate or Academia.edu.
The percentage of retracted articles due to plagiarism from dissertations is quite low if compared with other causes of retraction. The fact that almost all articles are still available through academic social media as Researchgate provokes that other scientists that use this social media to locate articles can cite again these articles without being aware that have been retracted; such problem has to be analysed and sorted out by the academic social networks.
This paper is part of the activities of the research project AIPost funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (ref. RTI2018-098314-B-I00).
Keywords: Academic misconduct, academic integrity, plagiarism, retraction, dissertation, doctoral students.