The 2008 paper, “Role of cytochrome P450 in drug interactions,” is a review article purportedly written by Zakia Bibi. The article’s text matches almost exactly that of the 1998 article “Clinically important pharmacokinetic drug–drug interactions: role of cytochrome P450 enzymes” by E. Tanaka of the University of Tsukuba in Japan. The text string in the Bibi article is almost entirely replicated from Tanaka, including each section of the article (e.g. Introduction, Discussion, etc), most punctuation, and the references.
The allegedly plagiarized article has been cited 37 times according to Google Scholar and 14 times according to Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science database. These citations really belong to the author of the 1998 paper, which was not published online until 2002.
Since 2010, concerned scholars have reported the plagiarism numerous times to Nutrition & Metabolism. The journal lists M. Mahmood Hussain, a professor at the Dept. of Cell Biology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York as its Editor-in-Chief, yet he does not include his editorship on his C.V.
He has not returned any emails regarding the alleged plagiarism. Responding to one email reporting the plagiarism, a February 13, 2013 email sent from BioMed Central’s journal development editor, Lucy Abel, says, “I am contacting you on behalf of BioMed Central, the publisher of Nutrition & Metabolism. Thank you for alerting us to this claim of plagiarism, which we are taking extremely seriously. We are investigating as a matter of urgency, and would appreciate if you could send us a copy of the original article.” Yet the issue still remains unresolved.
BioMed Central has failed miserably in this case. The publisher needs to take immediate action on the suspect paper and should apologize to Dr. E. Tanaka, the author of the original paper. BMC should also apologize to all scholars in this field and especially to those who have been attempting to set the record straight since 2010.
Hat tip: Dr. Terrence P. Delaney, University of Vermont