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New battle against plagiarism

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Two research scientists at the University of Texas, USA have developed an online search engine that curbs ‘questionable publication practices'. By deploying their new eTBLAST programme, Mounir Errami and Harold Garner managed to pinpoint 70,000 papers in the biomedical paper repository Medline that are highly similar. They estimate that over 200,000 duplicate papers are likely to exist in Medline alone.

Writing in the journal Nature under the title A tale of two citations, the scientists have said that their aim is to separate the duplicates from the original works. According to them, this is imperative in the current context, as science publishing is at a record high. They have termed copying, co-submission and duplication as the three main problems of today’s publishing. However, they are quick to condone and support certain types of repeated publications, such as errata, clinical-trial updates and conference proceedings.