Duplicate submission from 2002 in American Journal of Psychiatry earns an Expression of Concern
The American Journal of Psychiatry has issued an Expression of Concern about a 2003 paper that was apparently simultaneously submitted to a German-language journal. According to the notice in the August 2011 issue of the journal (link added):
The February 2003 article “Parahippocampal Volume Deficits in Subjects With Aging-Associated Cognitive Decline” by Johannes Pantel, M.D., Ph.D., et al. (Am J Psychiatry 2003; 160:379-382) which was accepted for publication September 6, 2002, reported results identical to those published in the September 2002 issue of Nervenarzt (“Strukturelle zerebrale Veränderungen bei Probanden mit leichter kognitiver Beeinträchtigung Eine MR-volumetrische Studie”; Nervenarzt 2002;73:845-850). This duplicate publication is a violation of our editorial policy which states that all submissions must represent original material, cannot have been published previously, and are not being considered for publication elsewhere.
Expressions of Concern, as Retraction Watch readers likely recall, often — but don’t always — precede retractions. The study has been cited 38 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
We’ve tried to contact corresponding author Johannes Schroeder of the University of Heidelberg, as well as the editor of the journal, about what happened here and to find out more about how this came to everyone’s attention. We’ll update with anything we hear back.
In the meantime, we should note duplicate submissions of papers in German and English are not uncommon. Our understanding is that such duplications are only acceptable if a journal editor knows the material has been published elsewhere in another language, and gives the authors permission to publish a translation. That doesn’t seem to have been the case here.
Hat tip: @Neuro_Skeptic