I was in my first semester that a professor asked me for a collaboration with someone else. We have started the project but because of Mr. C bad behavior and lack of contribution our professor fired him from the project. Consequently, we had published a paper 2 years ago based on that project. After a few months, we have accidentally found out that the initial draft of the paper in another language has been published at a conference with Mr.C name and his wife on the conference proceeding. It is worth mentioning that we kept our data and updates of drafts in a shared Dropbox account that Mr. C had access to. We emailed to the conference and told them to remove the conference proceeding because it had been uploaded without our permission, so they removed it from the conference proceedings. Few days after that the journal that has published our paper sent us an email saying that someone (that we know its Mr. C) told them that our paper has published before and it is a case of a redundant publication and plagiarism. Then we have told everything to the journal about the situation. Unfortunately, because Mr. C have powerful connections in government he was able to make the conference proceeding available once again! now the conference won't listens to us and they don't answer us. The conference proceeding is in another language but the context is about 80% the same as the journal paper that is in English! We don't know what to do. We did not hear about this case from the journal for 3 months now.

Is it possible for the journal to retract our paper at this point because of the duplication and redundancy or plagiarism? What should we do?

UPDATE: The conference website is down known and not available anywhere at the moment but the conference has sent the proceedings to an indexing website which is only available in our native language. Also in that website proceedings can be bought only with the X currency and it is not an international indexing website.

Still, I am scared that there might be a possibility for the journal to retract our paper due to duplication! Is it possible?

marked as duplicate by Scientist, cag51, scaaahu, David Richerby, Flyto Aug 10 '18 at 13:39

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    You and someone else - a very similar story was posted on here a few days ago - unless it was a case of plagiarism as well... – Solar Mike Aug 4 '18 at 21:24
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    See this:academia.stackexchange.com/q/114181/72855 – Solar Mike Aug 4 '18 at 21:29
  • I don't recall submitting this questions anywhere before. Our problem might be similar but there is a primary difference because our problem had been raised because of different situations. My question is still not answered that Is it possible for the journal to retract our paper at this point because of the duplication and redundancy or plagiarism? – Jam B Aug 6 '18 at 20:40
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    One of the most interesting “coincidences” is the government link ie a Mr X who has strong influential connections... so similar between both stories... – Solar Mike Aug 6 '18 at 21:36
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    @JamB chill they are pointing out that the questions and language used in the questions are strikingly similar. That question, under a different account, was closed as being unclear. If it was your question the procedure would be to ask for the other to be reopened and to provide additional details as to why it should be reopened. It seems like red tape to you but it keeps the community cleaner not to have to wade through similar questions all the time. – scrappedcola Aug 8 '18 at 18:27

The key statement in the above may be "Mr. C have powerful connections in government". That is an issue that may be impossible to overcome. If there is an ethics process in your profession generally, you can bring things to their attention. You can bring it to the attention of the conference committees and journal editors. Unfortunately you may be fighting powers that you can't overcome.

Given sufficient power and influence, yes, they can do whatever they want - ethical or not. If you can shine enough light on it you might get some satisfaction and it may come back to haunt Mr. C in the future, but making powerful enemies in some places isn't necessarily wise (or even healthy). Proceed cautiously. If you can build allies, it may help.

  • Thank you for your answer, do you know how much time does it take for a journal to decide on a decision for retraction or closing a case? Because it been 3 months now and we did not hear anything from the journal. Does this mean that our case is closed? – Jam B Aug 8 '18 at 18:43
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    @JamB, only the editors can tell you if it is closed. The time for a journal can be highly variable as they don't have deadlines for a particular paper. It can depend on reviewers and on what the editors think about the reviews. A special case could take more or less time, but it is too hard to guess. – Buffy Aug 8 '18 at 21:47

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