Journal withdraws paper on grounds of prior publication but avoids issue of plagiarism

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 03 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:925
  1. Jonathan Gornall
  1. London

    After more than a year of deliberation the journal of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine is to withdraw a Korean paper at the centre of a dispute about authorship and plagiarism (BMJ 2007;334:717-20, 7 Apr doi: 10.1136/bmj.39168.517234.AD), solely on the grounds that it had been published previously in another journal.

    In a statement issued last week the board of Fertility and Sterility made no reference to the allegations of perjury and plagiarism that had been made by its editor in chief in the LA Times two months earlier. On 18 February Alan DeCherney had told the newspaper, “I'm sure that it's plagiarism,” and said he would be recommending to his editorial board that all the listed authors be banned from publishing in Fertility and Sterility for three years (, 18 Feb, “Credit for U.S. journal article at issue,”,0,6268481.story?coll=la-headlines-california).

    In the event Fertility and Sterility has announced that only one of the authors will be banned.

    The decision has infuriated Jeong Hwan Kim, a Korean doctor now working in Singapore, who wrote to Fertility and Sterility in March last year to alert the journal of his concerns relating to the paper “Quantification of mitochondrial DNA using real-time polymerase chain reaction in patients with premature ovarian failure” (Fertility and …

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