Journal editors must abide by the same ethical standards expected of authors, says publisher
The British Journal of Sports Medicine has retracted an editorial, written by a former editor, Dr Paul McCrory, currently of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia.
The article appeared in the October 2005 print edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Dr McCrory was editor of the journal between 2001 and 2008.
The retraction follows concerns raised by Professor Steve Haake, of the Sports Engineering Research Group, Sheffield Hallam University, that the article shared similarities with one he had written for Physics World in 2000.
BMJ’s investigation revealed significant overlap between the two articles that would constitute unlawful and indefensible breach of copyright.
Forthcoming content submitted via the manuscript handling system, across BMJ’s portfolio of more than 65 medical and allied science titles, is now subject to formal appraisal for copyright infringement and plagiarism, using the iThenticate system, and has been for several years. This includes opinion pieces and editorials.
BMJ is a founding member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and has its own research integrity team who investigate and take action where needed to ensure best practice in publication ethics.
Kamran Abbasi, editorial director of BMJ, said: “Copyright infringement is a serious issue and we apply the same high standards to editors as we do to authors. We’re grateful to Professor Haake for alerting us to this breach of publication ethics, and are glad to be able to put the record straight.
“We now use software to help us to identify copyright infringement and plagiarism, but like most technologies it isn’t failsafe and the vigilance of readers continues to be appreciated.”
Notes for editors
Retracted article: McCrory P. The time lords – measurement and performance in sprinting. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2005;39:785-6.
BMJ Media Relations, London, UK
Tel: + 44 (0) 7825 118 107 or + 44 (0)7388 708 030
About the journal
The British Journal of Sports Medicine is one of more than 65 specialist journals published by BMJ. The title is co-owned with the British Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine (BASEM).
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