Journal bans authors of plagiarized papers and reviewers with non-institutional emails

Reading time
2 mins
Journal bans authors of plagiarized papers and reviewers with non-institutional emails

As a preventive measure against plagiarism and instances of fake peer reviews, DNA and Cell Biology has reportedly declared that it will impose a 3-year ban on any author who submits plagiarized manuscripts and will not accept any suggestions of preferred reviewers with non-institutional email addresses. This move stemmed from a recent inflow of submissions with overlapping text, says editor Carol Shoshkes Reiss in a recently published editorial.

Questionable submissions to the journal will be immediately rejected and the authors’ institutions and funding agencies will be informed of the plagiarized submissions, according to the editor. Further, the authors of plagiarized submissions will be marked in the journal's electronic system, and they will be barred from submitting papers for the next three years.

The decision will be based on the report of the plagiarism detection software that the journal uses. However, the journal does not have a specific cut-off for the percentage of textual overlap that will lead to a decision of plagiarism. While the journal has a more lenient attitude towards the use of borrowed phrases in the materials and methods section, long chunks of overlapping text in the introduction, results, and discussion section would lead to a rejection.

The journal has also decided to stop accepting reviewers with non-institutional email addresses – as these addresses can easily be created under a fake name – as a preventive measure to curb the recent upsurge in cases of fake peer review in academia. The journal’s policy is to allow authors to suggest potential reviewers, but only those reviewers with an academic or institutional email address will be considered.

While vigilance is definitely required to counter plagiarism, one area of concern is the effect banning authors and reporting the issue to funders and the authors’ institution could have on the career of authors who plagiarize unintentionally. Such an action could prove to be especially damaging for non-native speakers of English whose limited understanding of the language often leads them to borrow phrases or even sentences from existing literature, although they do not intend to plagiarize.

Many have welcomed the journal’s move to resist fake peer reviews and see it as a step in the right direction. However, it remains to be seen how effective these measures would be in addressing unethical behavior in authors.

Please share your views on this in the comments section below. 

Be the first to clap

for this article

Published on: Nov 02, 2015

Senior Editor, Editage Insights. Researcher coach since 2015
See more from Kakoli Majumder


You're looking to give wings to your academic career and publication journey. We like that!

Why don't we give you complete access! Create a free account and get unlimited access to all resources & a vibrant researcher community.

One click sign-in with your social accounts

1536 visitors saw this today and 1210 signed up.