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Nickels and Dimes

A publishing company is asking for a fee to retract an article, Ivan Oransky at Retraction Watch reports. "We've heard about a lot of barriers to retraction — author and editor stubbornness being the most frequent. But now there's a new one: A publisher that wants to charge authors $650 to retract," Oransky writes.

In this instance, it appears that a graduate student and his advisor both submitted the same paper to different journals for publication without the other knowing it, and both were published, Oransky says. The student Pit Pruksathorn, then at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, asked one journal, the American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, published by Science Publications, to retract the paper.

Jeffrey Beall, a University of Colorado, Denver, a librarian and blogger at Scholarly Open Access who noticed the duplicate publication and has been included on some of the emails, writes that the fee is "unethical. Scholarly publishers have an obligation to 'maintain the integrity of the academic record' and should immediately retract an article that is to be excluded from that record, without charge to anyone. This policy of charging disincentivises paper retractions — which are sometimes necessary — by adding a fee barrier."

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