Plagiarize, Anesthetize, Retract

Plagiarism, be it an art or a science, is all the rage in some circles these days. The Retraction Watch blog tells a most curious tale:

A contrite retraction letter, which appears in the December issue of A&A [Anesthesia & Analgesia], from the lead author, Sushma Bhatnagar, of New Delhi, India, called the plagiarism “unintended” and apologized for the incident. Straightforward enough.

But then things get sticky. Amazingly, the December issue of A&A also retracts a 2010 manuscript by Turkish researchers who, according to Shafer, plagiarized from at least five other published papers—one of which happens to have been a 2008 article by Bhatnagar in the Journal of Palliative Medicine. Shafer told Retraction Watch:

“Dr. Bhatnagar’s paper in Anesthesia & Analgesia was retracted because it contained text taken from a paper by Dr. Munir. However, Dr. Bhatnagar’s paper in the Journal of Palliative Medicine is one of the source journals for the plagiarism by Dr. Memis. To give you an idea how widespread this is, we recently rejected a paper that copied large blocks for text from a paper by Dr. Memis.”

BONUS: Tom Lehrer’s song Lobachevsky, the best song ever written about plagiarism.