Oops: Plagiarism discovered in the Journal of

Academic and Business Ethics.

Yesterday, the Washington Post  reported  that an academic journal —  had to retract 60 research articles had to be retracted because its peer review process had been compromised.

Apparently, the Journal of Vibration and Control (JVC) —  no, I didn’t make that title up —  fell victim to a “peer review ring”.  A close knit group started cloning their electronic identities as experts.

So, while the journal thought that it was sending candidate articles to a broad sample of experts —  they were really sending them to a small handful of cronies.

In fact, because of the law of averages, on at least one occasion, an author got to peer review his own paper.


When the fraud was discovered, the journal ‘fessed up , retracted the compromised articles and allowed the senior editor to resign.

But, will the Journal of Vibration and Control (JVC) ever be able to restore its good name?

The incident reminded me of my absolute favorite academic journal scandal…



Awhile ago, I got an email from the Executive Director of the Academic and Business Research Institute:


I have recently been made aware of a case of plagiarism in one of our journals.

The Journal of Academic and Business Ethics Volume 5 contained an article with a significant amount of plagiarism that went undetected in the review and publication process.

…  the manuscript has been removed from publication and the author notified.

AABRI takes plagiarism very seriously.

Effective August 2012 every manuscript received for review is evaluated with plagiarism detection software prior to editorial review.

Prior to that it was only used for manuscripts or sources that appeared questionable.

Unfortunately, the manuscript in question had not yet been through the Turnitin.com review process.

I want to take this opportunity to apologize to our authors, readers, and other stakeholders for this occurrence.

I have to commend the AABRI for the way they handled the “delicate” matter … better to be upfront and take your licking, and then move on.

It doesn’t come much more embarrassing than this: an ethicist getting caught on an ethics violation.

You can’t make thus stuff up …

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