Author: Journal’s unapproved edits distorted my ideas

Researcher Floribert Patrick Endong had been looking forward to seeing his paper in print. Several months after he submitted it to Gender Studies, the journal told him in March that it was online. But when he read it, Endong was disappointed to see some changes he had not approved, which he believed “deformed much of … Continue reading Author: Journal’s unapproved edits distorted my ideas

Gender-based violence researcher now up to 10 retractions for plagiarism

A publisher has retracted all of the papers it published by a researcher in Nigeria, citing plagiarism. The papers, all about terrorism and gender-based violence, were written by Oluwaseun Bamidele. The journal editors and the publisher, Taylor & Francis, decided to retract nine papers by Bamidele because of the overlap to other works — which he also […]

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HIV paper pulled for lack of consent, errors

A researcher failed to obtain proper consent from HIV patients included in his study about risky sexual behavior, according to the journal that retracted his paper. The study, based on interviews with 154 men and women living with HIV, concluded that experiencing negative life events correlated with risky sexual behavior. But although the author claimed to have complied with […]

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Lesson learned: “What makes a journal great?” essay pulled for plagiarism

In 2011, a Nigerian journal published an essay entitled “What Makes a Journal Great” by its newly appointed editor, outlining his editorial philosophy — a philosophy that apparently includes lifting text from another source. That’s right — the Nigerian Medical Journal is now retracting the essay by Francis A. Uba, a surgeon who currently is provost of the […]

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Journal runs retraction, editorial over duplicate submission of pathology paper

The International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has taken a hard stance against overlapping publications in a recent retraction note and editorial. Shortly after publishing a paper about the glycosylation patterns of endothelial cells in usual interstitial pneumonia, IJOEM editors discovered that it had been accepted by the Scholarly Journal of Biological Science two weeks before […]

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A unicorn: Journal publishes euphemism-free plagiarism notice

It’s always nice when a journal editor actually uses words the way they’re meant to be used instead of employing euphemisms. In 2009, the African Journal of Biomedical Research published an article on the differences in heart rates when people ran backwards versus forwards. Unfortunately, five years later, the journal found out the paper was a […]

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On the Ground in Nigeria: Ebola Response

Nigeria volunteers

By Lisa Esapa, CDC-Nigeria

For the last few months, there has been a constant buzz about Ebola among my friends and colleagues in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. Everyone had a theory about if, when, or how Ebola would come to Nigeria. When we heard about a probable case in Lagos, my heart sank. Lagos is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with a population of 15 to 20 million people. Lagos is crowded and loud, with sprawling slum areas that occupy the spaces between the river banks, markets, and developed areas. The stakes for stopping this outbreak from spreading are incredibly high.

EOC

CDC Ebola Response team members working in EOC in Lagos, Nigeria.

For the past 17 months, I’ve been stationed in Abuja, Nigeria, with the Global Immunization Division, working on polio eradication and routine immunizations as part of CDC’s emergency response efforts. I was deployed from Abuja to Lagos just over a week ago to work on setting up Nigeria’s own Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Ebola. I’m a public health advisor, which I have learned in my 6 years at CDC means I have to be a jack-of-all-trades. This is certainly true for this response. Nine CDC staff in Lagos are working with Nigeria and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on infection control, airport screening, contact tracing, epidemiology and surveillance, communications, and management. I fit into the last category, but really my job is to be sure that all the different pieces are coming together and working. Our days start around 7:30 am with discussions over breakfast at the hotel. We then move to the Ebola EOC, temporarily located in a psychiatric hospital.

The drive to the EOC is the first adventure of the day. Traffic in Lagos can be quite challenging; lanes are congested with cars, while street venders move between the lanes of traffic at intersections selling daily papers—Ebola is the headline in 80 point font in all of them.

Talking to people, you can tell they are nervous and scared. Part of the work of the EOC is to put out accurate messages on prevention and counter the misinformation about Ebola that circulates. For example, the current rumor is that drinking salt water can prevent Ebola. There is a lot of stigma around Ebola and anyone associated with the disease. Many of the people who had contact with Ebola patients have been shunned by their communities. We are working with UNICEF and the U.S. Consulate to determine ways to support this group of people.

Nigeria Volunteers

Volunteers assemble for a lesson on personal protective equipment in Lagos, Nigeria.

During the course of the day, some team members go to an isolation ward (which houses the current patients), the airport, the lab, or the U.S. Consulate. In a “typical” day, I may work on a number of varying tasks, such as finalizing guidance documents that can be shared with states or healthcare workers, meeting with teams leads and partners, drafting a budget for specific activities, and explaining Nigerian culture to the team members. Luckily, this is part of my toolkit—being able to work in a different culture and help ensure my team doesn’t run into problems. Even a job like coordinating the motor pool is no small task, since security is always a concern in Nigeria and we have to travel in armored vehicles around the city. Connectivity has also been a major challenge this week. Sometimes the simplest tasks, like sending an email, can be the hardest to achieve!

The days are long; the team arrives back at the hotel between 9pm – 10pm each night. As we eat dinner, we discuss the events of the day and plan for the next day. The pace is extremely hectic, but, we all understand the urgency of the situation. We are all tired and at times frustrated when things don’t happen as quickly as we might like. In this type of environment, patience can sometimes wear thin.

Yesterday, we got word from the hospital that another one of the patients with Ebola had died. This was the fourth death from Ebola in Nigeria. I might not have known the patient personally, but I’m still deeply saddened by the news. We’re all a part of the response and working as hard as we can to ensure that no one else will become infected. With the bad news, there was also good news from the hospital that other patients are recovering and may be ready for discharge in the coming days. Compared to other countries in the West Africa Ebola outbreak, case numbers in Nigeria are low and we’re all holding our breath hoping that we’ve done enough to prevent any further spread of the disease.

For more on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, visit www.cdc.gov/ebola.

Terrorism journal retracts paper on Boko Haram for plagiarism

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism has retracted a 2013 article about Boko Haram, the Nigerian extremist group accused of massacres and, recently, the kidnapping of approximately 276 schoolgirls in that country. Here’s the notice, which pretty much says it all: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism acknowledges that the accepted research note titled, “The Trilogy Links: […]

Stunner: Researchers retract paper because company complains it’s hurting profits

It’s not unusual for us to hear allegations that journals have caved to corporate demands that they retract papers. And companies have certainly objected to the publication of results that painted their products in an unflattering light. But what we’ve never explicitly seen is a retraction notice that comes right out and says that the […]