Markup Help 
All posts Reviews Conferences Research

Last week I , and severalothers, wrote about theextraordinaryand unfounded conclusions published in a JACS perspective, that dinosaurs may have evolved intointelligentlife elsewhere in theuniverse.

Well it gets worse, because as Stuart Cantrill (editor of Nature Chemistry) pointed out on twitter (@stuartcantrill),this isn't the first time Prof Breslow has made these claims. Nor in fact is it the first time he's published this article. It also appeared in the Israel Journal of Chemistry last year. Huge chunks of the JACS article are copied verbatium from the IJC review.

Here's Stuart's analysis of the JACS article, he's highlighted the bits that appear in the IJC review. The subsequent pages are covered with just as much highlighter pen.

I wonder if JACS's has a policy on selfplagiarism?

EDIT: Here's the self-plagiarisedsections from the remainder of the paper.

UPDATE: Breslow defends himself to Nature

UPDATE 2: Here's a copy of the email I sent to the JACS editors yesterday. If I hear anything back I'll be sure to let you know.

Dear Editors,
I am sure you are aware of the controversy surrounding Prof. Breslows perspective article recently published in JACS ( http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja3012897). The concluding comments concerning, what has become known on twitter as, the spacedino story has been the subject of discussions on numerous blogs. E.g. http://www.chemistry-blog.com/ & http://blog.chembark.com/2012/04/12/breslow-and-dinosaurs-in-jacs-oh-my/

The consensus is that the spacedino comment was just a poor joke, however there is much more concern about the issue of self plagiarism. The majority of Prof. Breslows JACS article is copied verbatim from a review he published in Israel Journal of Chemistry ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijch.201100019/abstract) last May. The fact that it then appeared in JACS seems to run contrary to your ethical guidelines ( http://pubs.acs.org/userimages/ContentEditor/1218054468605/ethics.pdf) which state:

Authors should not engage in self-plagiarism (also known as duplicate publication) - unacceptably close replication of the authors own previously published text or results without acknowledgement of the source. ACS applies a reasonable person standard when deciding whether a submission constitutes self-plagiarism/duplicate publication. If one or two identical sentences previously published by an author appear in a subsequent work by the same author, this is unlikely to be regarded as duplicate publication. Material quoted verbatim from the authors previously published work must be placed in quotation marks. In contrast, it is unacceptable for an author to include significant verbatim or near-verbatim portions of his/her own work, or to depict his/her previously published results or methodology as new, without acknowledging the source.

I write for http://www.chemistry-blog.com and I would very much like to share your comments on this issue with my readers. We are particularly keen to hear why Prof. Breslow appears to have been exempt from your ethical guidelines.

Yours Sincerely,

Posts linking to this one

The chemblogosphere has certainly taken an activist turn in the past few years. Remember feeling the excitement of Paul's 2009 NaH oxidant live-blog? The ensuing four years saw chem blogs "cantrilling" space dinosaurs, uncovering IBX's secrets, investigating...
Because we are aren’t we? Really what’s the point? We should be off writing grant proposals, research papers, and (if there is anytime left) maybe do a spot of teaching. Blogging’s not going to get us anywhere, nobody takes it seriously so...
Shawn Burdette of WPI tweeted an interesting set of coincidences between two papers, a JACS from Pierre of the University of Minnesota in 2009 and an interesting counterpart in Chemistry: A European Journal from Yan of Beijing Normal University in...
The Breslow “dinosaur” story has intensified to a crescendo. What started as bewilderment over a silly press release issued by the ACS about an otherwise unremarkable paper, has morphed into serious accusations of misconduct in the form of self-plagiarism...
This image has been plagiarized from an unknown sourceSince I’ve already given my advice to the ACS regarding how to deal with the space-dinosaur situation, it is only fair that I offer some thoughts to Ronald Breslow as well. Once faced with the facts,...
The “Space Dinosaur” paper by Ronald Breslow of Columbia University continues to attract negative attention (1 2), and it does so because the American Chemical Society continues to mishandle the situation on two levels. The first set of problems...