Plagiarism charge prompts investigation of MU researchers

Monday, August 13, 2012 | 8:08 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The American Journal of the Medical Sciences last week retracted an article written by two doctors at the MU School of Medicine, saying they had plagiarized parts of a 2006 article published in a separate journal.

The article was co-written by Amar Jadhav and Anand Chockalingam of the School of Medicine and by a third researcher, Apeksha Ingole, who is affiliated with a medical school in India. The article, “Ventricular Ectopic Beats: An Overview of Management Considerations,” was published in the February issue of the journal.

According to the retraction notice published last Thursday, the article “plagiarized significant aspects of an article published” in the journal Heart.

MU officials were first made aware of the allegations on July 2 by the medical sciences journal, Christian Basi of the MU News Bureau said.

On Aug. 3, MU assigned the investigation to an ad hoc inquiry committee, which is responsible for investigating the charges and determining whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant further investigation by the Standing Committee on Research Responsibility, Basi said.

The month-long delay in initiating the investigation was the result of summer absences, Basi said.

The two researchers will remain Missouri faculty members while the investigation progresses.

“Nothing has changed regarding their employment status,” Basi said.

Researchers found to have committed research misconduct such as plagiarism are subject to disciplinary action, including possible termination, Basi said.

The retraction was first reported by the website Retraction Watch, which tracks article retractions in scientific journals.

The Missourian was unable to reach Jadhav, Chockalingam or the American Journal of the Medical Sciences for comment.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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