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A few years ago, I found a conference paper, of which I was a co-author, being re-published as an article in a (not highly ranked) journal. It was a textbook example of plagiarism, copy-pasting whole sections and using figures from our paper, which the author did not even cite. The author came from a foreign country and was an associate professor.

My co-author wrote an email to the author who committed plagiarism and asked him for an explanation. After a while, he admitted his misconduct (a soft version of it); his explanation was that he forgot to cite our paper. As a settlement, he suggested a new article to be written together with us. Without consent, he wrote a new article (in his language) and published it in another lowly ranked journal, putting himself as first author. I was listed as a co-author without being able to comment on the idea of writing this paper and without approving its content before publication. For me, it looked pretty much like a (self-)plagiarism---a translation of the original English paper. But, at that time, we did not want to further complicate this weird situation.

My question is how to deal now with this article I co-authored and could even be treated as a kind of self-plagiarism. May/should/must I exclude it from my CV?


PS. The publication of the journal we are talking about stopped five years ago. So, it is not possible to contact the editor any more.

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    If the journal in question stopped publication 5 years ago, why have you waited so long to do something about it? Have you just discovered that it happened? – David K Jul 29 '15 at 12:38
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    Who was the publisher of the journal? Are they still in business? – EnergyNumbers Jul 29 '15 at 12:54
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    what country does this person happen to be from? It sounds like he's trying to legitimize himself and cover over his former plagiarism off of your work. I'd contact his place of employment / university. – easymoden00b Jul 29 '15 at 14:42
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    You should send this information (including any evidence you have) to the Research Integrity Officer of this person's institution. Nothing might come out of it, but if you don't do this nothing will happen. You and your co-author should have informed the first journal's editor immediately after discovering the plagiarism. – Roland Jul 29 '15 at 16:05
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    @Lilienthal: Of course, I am asking whether to own or disown the translated paper. If I accept the authorship, this would be a self-plagiarism and the way to legalize the first plagiarism. If I deny the authorship, I would in some way say that the ideas presented are not mine ... – Alex Jul 30 '15 at 9:25
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Given that the publisher shut the journal down five years ago, there's not much more you can do at this point to have it removed or retracted at the source.

Instead, I would disown/disavow the paper by not including it in your CV and by making sure it is de-listed from your Google Scholar, Web of Sciences, SCOPUS, and other author citation index listing services.

This is easy in Google Scholar by deleting the article from your page in your author-view. For SCOPUS you have to send a correction request:

The same for Web of Science

For both Scopus and WoS, I would list the correction that you are not the same person as the author listed as the author of the paper. It would help communications with both services if you know your author identifier (Scopus Author Identifier, etc.). Something like the following should work:

Dear SCOPUS -

My author identifier is _________. One of the articles listed in my author record (____________ in the journal ________; DOI _________) was not written by me. Please delist it from my author record.

John Doe (Author identifier ________).

p.s. This is actually not an uncommon problem. Adding Famous Authors® to subpar articles is a form of authorial pagerank-jacking.

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    is it possible to contact places like SCOPUS and WOS to request it not to be indexed with the reasons? – user-2147482637 Jul 29 '15 at 12:41
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    Info added to answer. – RoboKaren Jul 29 '15 at 13:00
  • As I mentioned, the journal was lowly reputed. So, the article is listed neither in Scopus nor in WoS. However, your suggestion for corrections would be useful. – Alex Jul 29 '15 at 13:01
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    If it's not in your CV and not indexed any where that matters, then I really wouldn't worry about it. – RoboKaren Jul 29 '15 at 13:15
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The author agreement of the journals I know usually state that all authors must have given explicit approval before submission. It seems like this person did not respect that requirement.

This is a valid reason for you to write to the editorial board and request retraction. Since you say that the journal got discontinued, if the publisher is still in business, they might be able to assist.

Not putting the duplicated article on your CV is a good idea, but not enough to protect yourself from the behavior. Especially if the article contains plagiarism. You don't want to be associated with that.

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    The publication of the journal we are talking about stopped five years ago. – Alex Jul 29 '15 at 12:02
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    @Alex: You need to add this very pertinent piece of information to the original question. – aeismail Jul 29 '15 at 12:29
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    "Not putting in on your CV is a good idea" - I think the OP is referring to the original (legitimate) article in their inquiry on whether to exclude it from the CV, while I'm not sure whether you are referring to the original or the involuntary article here. (In case you mean the original article, I wonder whether it can really be so easy to sabotage someone else's work, by simply publishing what looks like self-plagiarism in the original author's name, thereby forcing the original author to exclude the legitimate works from their CV?) – O. R. Mapper Jul 29 '15 at 12:57
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    @O.R.Mapper I meant the duplicated one. There is nothing wrong with the original one. I edited my answer to remove that ambiguity. – Cape Code Jul 29 '15 at 13:02
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    Of course, one problem is that many journals only require agreement forms to be signed by the first author. – Kimball Jul 29 '15 at 14:29

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