• UPDATE: On April 28 via e-mail, Breslow responded to C&EN’s request for comment:

    “The Perspective was requested by the editor of JACS, and I decided to accept the invitation since I thought the work definitely deserved JACS publication,” Breslow wrote. “However, I had written two reviews before in other journals, so I was concerned to avoid self-plagiarism. I knew that figures should not be duplicated, so I redid them and, of course, used a new title and introduction, and a new sequence of presentation, but then I am afraid I fell in love with my own words previously used—after all it was the same material being discussed—and did not make enough effort to change them.

    “I recognize that this was an error, and made it impossible for the journal to publish what I still believe was very important work answering a long-standing question. Apparently, many people had not read my previous reviews in journals with more specialized circulation, and wrote me favorably about the Perspective, seeing the work for the first time. However, repetition of so much was certainly an error, so I understand why the Perspective needs to be withdrawn.”

Latest News
Web Date: April 30, 2012

Breslow Paper In JACS Questioned

Critics cite similarities between Perspective and two previously published papers
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: Ronald Breslow, self plagiarism, origin of life research, Journal of the American Chemical Society, scientific ethics

NOTE: The article as originally posted on April 27 follows.

The Journal of the American Chemical Society and ACS are investigating allegations of self-plagiarism leveled against Columbia University chemistry professor Ronald Breslow. ACS, which publishes C&EN, says that appropriate action will be taken by the journal if the society’s ethical guidelines have been violated. At this time, the paper has been removed from the JACS website.

The paper in question is a JACS Perspective entitled “Evidence . . .

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