Correspondence with Dr. Patrick D. Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief, Invertebrate Biology (formerly - Transactions of the American Microscopical society)
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Request to retract an article Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:40 AM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: preynold@hamilton.edu

To: Dr. Patrick D. Reynolds, Editor-in-Chief, Invertebrate Biology

From: Michael Pyshnov

March 27, 2008

Request to retract the article "Cell Patterns Associated with Normal and Mutant Morphogenesis in Silver-impregnated Imaginal Discs of Drosophila" by Ellen Larsen and Aaron Zorn, published in Trans. Am. Microsc. Soc., 108(1): 51-57, 1989.

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

I am writing to inform you that the article "Cell Patterns Associated with Normal and Mutant Morphogenesis in Silver-impregnated Imaginal Discs of Drosophila" represents a plagiarised version of my unpublished research and to request a retraction of this article. Below, are the grounds for my request.

1. On April 14, 1987, the TAMS received the manuscript "Cell Patterns Associated with Normal and Mutant Morphogenesis in Silver Stained Drosophila Imaginal Discs" (MS #483-87) which was written and submitted by Ellen Larsen (Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Canada), (presently - Department of Cell and Systems Biology). Ellen Larsen stated the names of the authors as Michael Pyshnov and Ellen Larsen. (The manuscript is scanned here: http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc11.htm ) The manuscript was accepted for publication
(http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc14.htm ).

For five years (1981-1986) Ellen Larsen was the supervisor of my PhD research. In January of 1986, however, she terminated my PhD program and removed me from the university. Several months later, Ellen Larsen submitted this MS to TAMS. She did it without my knowledge, but, in July of 1987 she asked me to sign the Copyright Transfer ( http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc15.htm ) as my signature was requested by the journal. I refused to sign the Copyright Transfer, first of all, because Ellen Larsen had contributed nothing to the scientific content of the work or to the ideas behind it. The second reason for my refusal was that the MS was of poor quality and it was a completely inadequate presentation of my research (even the number of experiments was not stated). The MS was written in a manner of a claim; it described, quite superficially, the results of my research of five years (two main discoveries made by me). It became clear to me that her goal was only to introduce her name as the co-author of the discoveries that she never made. I was outraged and complained to the Department protesting her authorship ( http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc16.htm). In answer to my complaint, the Department informed me that Ellen Larsen had withdrawn the article from publication ( http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc20.htm ).

Ellen Larsen and the university made no attempt to argue that my research should be published because of its scientific value: only a year and a half before that, the scientific value of my research was denied, I was told that my research cannot constitute a PhD thesis and my PhD program was terminated. However, when I was no longer in the laboratory, Ellen Larsen began to publish, without my knowledge, the results of my research as her own. At the time when I was asked to sign the Copyright Transfer for the publication in TAMS, I had no idea that Ellen Larsen had already plagiarised my discoveries in another article with another co-author (Larsen, E. and McLaughlin, H.M.G. 1987 The Morphogenetic Alphabet: Lessons for Simple-Minded Genes., BioEssays, 7(3): 130-132.). And, she had already sent another article for publication with yet another co-author (Mathi, S.K. and Larsen, E. 1988 Patterns of Cell Division in Imaginal Discs of Drosophila., Tissue & Cell, 20(3): 461-472.) in which my ideas were plagiarised.
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2. When I refused to publish with her the above MS, Ellen Larsen decided to claim authorship of the discoveries in a "new" article. She wrote a letter to the Editor of TAMS stating that she wanted to withdraw the MS, but saying: "I intend, however, to submit the results of a similar study (performed by myself and an undergraduate) in the very near future..." She did not inform the Editor of the true reasons for my refusal to publish the MS. I had no idea about this letter, and only several years later I was given, by the University of Toronto, a copy of it, reproduced below:

The letter is stamped "Office of the Chairman Department of Zoology University of Toronto" with the date SEP 16 1987. The letter is scanned here: http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc19.htm

In this letter Ellen Larsen admitted that in my research on the imaginal discs of Drosophila I discovered "disc specific cell arrangements and their modification in a homeotic mutant". These two discoveries were the subject of the withdrawn MS. She also admitted that the experiments described in the MS were performed by me. In her own words, repeated four times, the research in the MS was "his work". She made no claims whatsoever to the authorship of any part of the research, ideas and discoveries reported in the withdrawn MS.
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3. The Transactions of the American Microscopical Society published, in 1989 (Trans. Am. Microsc. Soc., 108(1): 51-57) the article "Cell Patterns Associated with Normal and Mutant Morphogenesis in Silver-impregnated Imaginal Discs of Drosophila" under the names of Ellen Larsen and Aaron Zorn. ( http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc21.htm )

The comparison of this article with the withdrawn MS shows that the discoveries reported in the withdrawn MS and admitted by Ellen Larsen in her letter to the Editor of TAMS to be my discoveries, are claimed in the 1989 article by Ellen Larsen and Aaron Zorn as their own discoveries.
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4. The Discussion in 1989 article opens thus: "In the course of the last six years, hundreds of discs from non-Ns larvae have been silver stained" ("non-Ns" here means normal, wild-type larvae). Here, the authors claim, as their own, hundreds of experiments that, in fact, were done by me.
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5. The 1989 article contains this footnote:
"We thank Drs. H. McLaughlin, K. Wright, and B. Goodwin, as well as S. Mathi, for discussion of this work. We are further grateful to Dr. N. Rivaud for help with the plates and with editorial assistance. We thank Michael Pyshnov for sharing his silver staining technique and his ideas with us."

The part of this footnote relating to my "sharing" of ideas with the authors is clearly fraudulent:
a) Ellen Larsen had the knowledge of my ideas as she was my PhD supervisor for five years. I did not "share" my ideas with her later. I did not know Aaron Zorn.
b) The "sharing" here fraudulently implies permission to publish, identical in meaning to making a "personal communication". In fact, however, I protested publishing the MS by Ellen Larsen with her name as a co-author, and her answer to this was the withdrawal of the MS. This fact is not in the footnote.
c) Acknowledging my "sharing" of ideas without attributing any specific idea used in this article to me, is a fraud. As an acknowledgement, it is meaningless.
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6. The withdrawn MS contained reference to my previous paper published in 1980 (Journal of Theoretical Biology, 87: 189-200). There is no reference to this paper in the 1989 article.

Yet, my paper in JTB was admitted by the University of Toronto and Ellen Larsen to be "the theoretical foundation of Pyshnov's studies" ( http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc36.htm See paragraph 22). Omission of the reference is a part of the fraud.
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7. Another document that was given to me, also, years later, by the University of Toronto is the letter of Ellen Larsen to the Chair of the Department, giving her comments on my accusation of misconduct ( http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc25.htm ). Below, I will show the discrepancies and lies in her comments, as they are related to the plagiarism in the 1989 article.

In the first part ("the alleged plagiarism"), Ellen Larsen says: "The papers in question deal with the significance of cell arrangement patterns which Michael discovered in fly imaginal discs. I suggested that one could look at mutations which change the type of appendage produced and see if the mutant also changed the cell arrangement patterns."

First, not only the "significance" of my discoveries is reported in the "papers in question", but the very discoveries are reported as the original results in both papers (see, below, the statements made in the abstracts).

Second, not only did I discover the cell arrangement patterns, but I, as it can be seen in Larsen's first recommendation for my scholarship, "...reviewed an extensive Drosophila literature, outlined an entirely novel approach to looking at morphogenesis in imaginal discs..." ( http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc02.htm ).

In the other recommendation, Larsen said: "He has hypothesized that each disc should have specific cell arrangements which are "prepatterns" of the adult structures." and: "The work which remains... how the rules are modified when genes are introduced which convert a disc for, say, an antenna to a disc producing a leg... Pyshnov's demonstrated creativity in conceiving of this novel approach plus his superb technical skills uniquely qualify him to carry out these studies of far reaching significance..." ( http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc04.htm )

It is clear that my discoveries were not accidental. They were the result of my new approach to the problem of morphogenesis, where I predicted the existence of organ-specific cell arrangements in the imaginal discs that develop into different organs and predicted that mutant discs developing into organs normally located in the other parts of the body, must have the cell arrangement specific for the organ into which they actually develop. I presented this theory and the experimental design to Ellen Larsen, and then - to the Graduate Committee. This was approved as my thesis project ( http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/doc01.htm ).

Ellen Larsen is lying when she is trying to present my discoveries as accidental and she claims to have made a suggestion to "look at mutations which change the type of appendage produced and see if the mutant also changed the cell arrangement patterns."

Ellen Larsen continues her story: "In the retracted work, wild-type discs were compared to mutant discs, in the second paper, discs from two mutant strains were compared..."

Ellen Larsen presents a web of lies in her comments. Giving a justification for publishing the 1989 article, she says that she made a suggestion to compare mutant and normal discs, but, in the next sentence, she denies that the 1989 article compared mutant and normal (wild-type) discs at all.

She says that the 1989 article compared "discs from two mutant strains". This is, again, not entirely true: the mutant disc from the second mutant was not analysed. She only reports looking at normal discs in the second mutant. Not a word about the second mutant is said in the abstract. And, of course, contrary to what she says, this article did report comparing wild-type discs with mutant discs and this was reported as the original results. In fact, the 1989 article is a repeat of the withdrawn MS.

The abstracts of both, the withdrawn MS and the 1989 article, show that in both articles wild-type (i.e. normal) discs were compared to mutant discs, and in both articles this was presented as the original results.

Each of the two abstracts contains four points:
a) My silver staining technique.
b) My first discovery.
c) My second discovery.
d) Significance of the discoveries.
And, in the two abstracts, the corresponding points have identical meaning.

Here is how the abstracts describe the discoveries:

My first discovery (comparing discs developing into different organs in normal larvae): In the withdrawn MS: "Disc-specific cell arrays were found in each type of disc studied." In the 1989 article (under the names of Ellen Larsen and Aaron Zorn): "Leg discs differ from antennal discs in the kind of cell arrangement found."

My second discovery (comparing the disc in the normal larvae, which develops into antenna, with the same disc in the mutant larvae, which develops into a leg): In the withdrawn MS: "...we compared normal antennal disc patterns with those of the Nasobemia mutant in which antennae are transformed into leg-like structures. The cell arrangement of mutant antenna discs resembles the one specific for leg discs but not antenna discs." In the 1989 article (under the names of Ellen Larsen and Aaron Zorn): "The arrangements in the antennal disc of the Nasobemia mutant (in which antennae are converted to leg-like structures) resemble those of leg discs rather than antenna discs."

Ellen Larsen also says that in 1989 article "the effects of temperature on cell patterns were also examined". I can only say that, if Larsen and Zorn did these experiments, their results only confirmed the same results obtained by me earlier. Larsen, indeed, proposed that I should do this, since it was known that at 29 degrees Celsius the effect of the mutation is partially reversed. The possible explanation of the effect of higher temperature on cell arrangement, as it is reported in 1989 article, was offered by me. However, Ellen Larsen chose not to report this part of my research (as well as many other parts) in the withdrawn MS, thus, the comparison with the MS does not show it as done by me.

The last part of Larsen's explanation is this: "The results of the second paper corroborate the first hence the similarity in conclusions presented in the two abstracts. I can see no justification for calling this plagiarism."

However, the authors did not say in the 1989 article that the same results were obtained by another author earlier. And this is called plagiarism. The 1989 article was published as an original research which it was not.
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8. In the second part of Larsen's letter to the Chair of the Department (Larsen's own "concept of intellectual property") she uses the most fraudulent language extolling the "culture of science" and at the same time perverting the facts and the rules of academia.

Here is an example of this fraudulent language. She says: "I gather that Michael Pyshnov believes that he "owns" the finding of cell patterns in discs and can suppress the use of ideas or subsequent experiments flowing from this discovery."

The fact, however, is that she did not use the ideas "flowing" from my discovery, but she plagiarised my ideas on which my discovery was based; the same applies to her "subsequent" experiments: she plagiarised the experiments that were already done by me.

Instead of making a confession in the face of documents proving plagiarism, she continues her fraud in an obscene celebration of the success of her fraud and her victory over the victim of her fraud. She is practically admitting that she published my research, and says that she had a right to do this. The fact, however, remains that in the 1989 article she claimed authorship of the discoveries that she never made. There is no satisfactory explanation of what she did, other than bold plagiarism, a falsification of the fact of authorship.
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There are more documents on my web site "University of Toronto Fraud" at http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/ There are also matters related to my attempts in Canada to return my research under my name and to stop the fraud. However, the documents related to these matters might not be needed to confirm the plagiarism in the 1989 article in TAMS. I do not know if you need other information for the case. I certainly will supply the additional information. I am sending you now the printed copy of this letter, (the e-mail is convenient for looking at the documents on-line). Please, tell me if you need a printed copy of the documents.

My research ended in 1986. I published two papers in the Journal of Theoretical Biology and several other papers on the subject of cell proliferation before starting my PhD research. My recent work (2005), (containing the computer program made by a colleague) is on the Internet at www.cell-division-program.com This program gives, for the first time, a 3-D model of cell arrangement, division and movement in the crypt of intestinal epithelium; it represents the tissue as an integral structure where cells are connected with each other.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov

4 Dromore Cres.,
North York,
Ontario M2R 2H5
Canada

Phone: 416 733 8936

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Re: Request to retract an article Thursday, April 3, 2008 12:27 PM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: preynold@hamilton.edu

April 3, 2008

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

On March 27, I sent you my request to retract the article "Cell Patterns Associated with Normal and Mutant Morphogenesis in Silver-impregnated Imaginal Discs of Drosophila" by Ellen Larsen and Aaron Zorn, published in Trans. Am. Microsc. Soc., 108(1): 51-57, 1989.

I hope that the usual investigative procedure and communications should apply in this case. I am asking you to let me know what steps you have taken and/or you plan to take.

Hope to hear from you soon.
Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.

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RE: Request to retract an article Thursday, April 3, 2008 12:58 PM From: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu> To: "'Michael Pyshnov'" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca>

Hello Michael,

I will raise this with the editors at our next conference call. These meetings only happen periodically, and I am uncertain when the next one will be, but I'll be sure to circulate your letter and get their feedback.

Sincerely, Patrick Reynolds

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Re: Request to retract an article Friday, April 4, 2008 2:13 PM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

April 4, 2008

Hello Dr. Reynolds,

I thank you very much for your efforts and I am looking forward for the fair review of my case.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.
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RE: Request to retract an article Monday, July 21, 2008 11:01 AM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

July 21, 2008

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

Can you, please, let me know about the progress of my case? I would like to stay informed of the stage of your investigation, so, that if any questions arise I would be able to provide references to documents, clarifications, etc. timely, which I think is very important.

I hope that I did not miss any messages on my email. I include our previous correspondence below.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.

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RE: Request to retract an article Monday, July 21, 2008 11:15 AM From: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu> To: uoftfraud@yahoo.ca

Hello Michael,
I have brought your case to the attention of the editors. Man6y are away in the field during the summer, and I am not sure when we will be able to discuss it; our annual meeting is in January, which will be the next time we are together for a meeting.

Best wishes, Pat Reynolds

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RE: Request to retract an article Tuesday, July 22, 2008 9:59 AM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

July 22, 2008

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

I am happy to hear that you have brought my case to the attention of the editors. I understood from your message of April 3, 2008, that you can get the editors' feedback and discuss the case at a conference call. I am very disappointed that this is changed and you now refer to the annual meeting in January. Does this mean that some question you wish to put to the editors can only be answered once a year?

I understand from reading the procedures set by the publishers for the cases of alleged plagiarism, that it is your decision, as the Editor-in-Chief, whether to retract the article or not. I also understand that your first steps would be to check the articles in question for plagiarism and, if you find it, to inform the authors of the allegedly plagiarised article of my complaint. Since these steps do not involve other editors, I did hope that this has been already done.

If the procedure that you have adopted is different from the one above, please, inform me. In particular, what is the time frame for the procedure that you have adopted?

I assume that, so far, there is no argument against my allegations of plagiarism, otherwise, I of course, should have been given the opportunity to answer such argument.

I thank you for your good wishes. My former co-authors constantly urge me to write up my research. But every time I start doing this, I find that I need this research back under my name. I really need your answers to all these questions above.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.

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Re: Request to retract an article Friday, September 5, 2008 3:16 PM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

September 5, 2008

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

On July 22, 2008, I sent you a message (quoted below), but I did not receive an answer. I suppose you were on holydays. Please, let me know what do you think about my questions related to the procedure.

Here is my previous letter:

I am happy to hear that you have brought my case to the attention of the editors. I understood from your message of April 3, 2008, that you can get the editors' feedback and discuss the case at a conference call. I am very disappointed that this is changed and you now refer to the annual meeting in January. Does this mean that some question you wish to put to the editors can only be answered once a year?

I understand from reading the procedures set by the publishers for the cases of alleged plagiarism, that it is your decision, as the Editor-in-Chief, whether to retract the article or not. I also understand that your first steps would be to check the articles in question for plagiarism and, if you find it, to inform the authors of the allegedly plagiarised article of my complaint. Since these steps do not involve other editors, I did hope that this has been already done.

If the procedure that you have adopted is different from the one above, please, inform me. In particular, what is the time frame for the procedure that you have adopted?

I assume that, so far, there is no argument against my allegations of plagiarism, otherwise, I of course, should have been given the opportunity to answer such argument.

I thank you for your good wishes. My former co-authors constantly urge me to write up my research. But every time I start doing this, I find that I need this research back under my name. I really need your answers to all these questions above.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.

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On September 29, I called Dr. Reynolds on the phone in his office. During about 1/2 hour conversation, I expressed my concerns about the delay in the procedure and asked why the letter to the author of the article, Ellen Larsen, has not been sent yet. Dr. Reynolds, six months after receiving my request for the retraction of the article, said that he does not know the procedure, although he mentioned that one of the editors, indeed, advised him to contact University of Toronto.

Yet, Dr. Reynolds is a member of the Council of Science Editors and he is the Chair of the Scientific Misconduct Review Board at Hamilton College.

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RE: Request to retract an article Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:11 AM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

September 30, 2008

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

Thank you for listening to my concerns yesterday.

I am sending you the link to the current Wiley-Blackwell web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp

The relevant items are:
#20. What is the situation regarding plagiarism? ("Dealing with misconduct" and "Available sanctions")
#21. What is the situation regarding retractions?

They also use the Flowcharts from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE): http://www.publicationethics.org.uk/flow-charts/cope-flowcharts-optimal.pdf/download The relevant is the Flowchart 4b, "What to do if you suspect plagiarism, (b) Suspected plagiarism in a published article".

One of your editors who suggested that you contact the corresponding author (in this case, Ellen Larsen) was correct. The steps in the investigation are set out pretty straightforward.

Another point that we talked about yesterday: Wiley-Blackwell policy does not set limit on when the article was published.

I hope this will be helpful.
Thank you again,
Michael Pyshnov.

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RE: Request to retract an article Thursday, October 2, 2008 5:00 PM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

October 2, 2008

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

I have found an additional link, this one to Elsevier web page, but there should not be any principal differences; Wiley and Elsevier cooperate, in particular, in the area of combatting plagiarism. The URL is: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/editorshome.editors/2_Plagiarism_complaints

It is very important that they stress the following: "Complainant must be made aware that matter cannot be investigated unless at some point the journal Editor informs the corresponding (or complained-about) author (due process)"

On this page, there is a link to the Letter Form that should be sent to the author of the article: http://www.elsevier.com/framework_editors/PERK/PDFs/Form_letters/Form_Letter_A.pdf I give the copy of the Letter Form below.

Hope to hear from you soon,
Michael Pyshnov

Form Letter A
Communication to author
[letterhead of the journal editorial office or the Editor’s general contact information] [date]
[title of article, date of publication]
Dear [author]
Concern has been raised about the publication of the article listed above, for which you are the corresponding author. As the editor of the journal, I must take seriously any allegation raised that if true would violate the journal’s policies (set out in our ethical statements, instructions to the author, and the like).
[The substance of the complaint is that {description}, which if true, would violate our publishing policies.] OR [Attached you will find a copy of the communication which raises the concern noted.]
Please provide me a prompt and full response within 30 days, which I will also [discuss/share] with the party raising this concern.
Depending on the nature of your response, I should also inform you that I [may OR also] consider it necessary to inform and involve the research institution at which the underlying research took place [or is alleged to have taken place], and [possibly] the funding agency that supported the research [or that allegedly supported the research].
Please note that if we do not have an adequate and timely response, we may be forced to conclude that the allegations are truthful. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Very truly yours,
[Editor name]
[Editor-in-chief]

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RE: Request to retract an article Wednesday, October 8, 2008 9:06 AM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

October 8, 2008

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

I am disappointed that you are not answering my emails and I would like to ask you if you are committed to sending, without further delay, the letter with my complaint to Ellen Larsen and demanding a prompt and full response.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.

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RE: Request to retract an article Friday, October 31, 2008 8:32 AM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

October 31, 2008

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

As you know, I have corresponded with Ms. Jennifer Lynch, Science Editor at Wiley-Blackwell.

Ms. Lynch has informed me that you have been researching my request thoroughly and that you are presently striving to respond to me.

I, therefore, believe that you are now familiar with the evidence, and you have done the first step - finding documentary evidence of plagiarism. I am asking you to forward to me the response of Ellen Larsen as soon as you will get it.

Please, confirm to me what steps have been taken and what stage of the procedure you are now in.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Please, find attached below my letter to Ms. Lynch.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov

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October 31, 2008

Dear Ms. Lynch,

Unfortunately, your letter of October 30, 2008 did not directly answer my concern about the delay in the article retraction procedure that was the subject of my letter of October 16, 2008 and, again, of October 29, 2008.

You have not answered my repeated question about the timeline for the article retraction procedure. You do not deny that I am entitled to receive this information, but you do not offer an explanation as to why you did not answer this question.

You said that you only believe that the delay in the process has occurred because "Dr. Reynolds has been researching your request thoroughly and seeking advice so that his decision is well informed and grounded in ethical precedent."

I submit to you that while the above is certainly reassuring, the first steps in the procedure adopted by Wiley-Blackwell (the COPE Flowchart 4: "What to do if you suspect plagiarism, (b) Suspected plagiarism in a published article"), i. e. what should be done before the Editor's letter is sent to the lead author of the affected article and the author is asked for a prompt response to my allegations, took too long - seven months.

I thank you for informing me that Dr. Reynolds is striving to respond to me presently. And, therefore, I would like to believe that the causes for delaying the due process are now behind us. If this proves to be too naive, I will proceed to further and wider consultations with scientific community.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov

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RE: Request to retract an article Monday, November 24, 2008 2:11 PM From: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu> To: "'Michael Pyshnov'" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca>

Dear Mr. Pyshnov,

Your request to retract an article published in Transactions of the American Microscopical Society in 1989 and the history of this issue on your website have now both been thoroughly reviewed, and full consideration has been given to your request with reference to Wiley-Blackwell policies pertaining to charges of plagiarism and retraction of articles (http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/bauthor/faqs_copyright.asp#1.20 and http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/bauthor/faqs.asp#policy, respectively). I have corresponded with Dr. Larsen, and consulted representatives of our co-publishers, The American Microscopical Society and Wiley-Blackwell, and former and current editors. We investigate complaints with scrupulous fairness, due to the potential for great harm to an author's career and reputation. Given that the charge of plagiarism in this article against Dr. Larsen has been dismissed by three investigations of the employer, the University of Toronto, and again by the Canadian federal funding agency NSERC, and in the absence of any new substantive information in the nearly two decades since publication in TAMS, the journal has no grounds to retract the article, nor to consider its removal or withdrawal. Despite your evident dissatisfaction with those investigations, neither the journal nor its co-publishers have standing to challenge their legitimacy.

It is worth noting that it is standard practice to discourage removal of an article, as discussed in the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers guidelines on "Preservation of the Objective Record of Science," (see document 2006-03, at http://www.stm-assoc.org). Accordingly, we also attach importance to maintaining the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record for researchers and librarians.

Our policies have been designed with all referenced concerns in mind, and are based on current best practice in the scholarly and library communities.

Sincerely,
Patrick D. Reynolds, Ph.D.

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RE: Request to retract an article Thursday, November 27, 2008 8:05 PM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Patrick D. Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

November 27, 2008

Dear Dr. Reynolds,

You explain your decision not to retract the 1989 Larsen and Zorn article thus:

"Given that the charge of plagiarism in this article against Dr. Larsen has been dismissed by three investigations of the employer, the University of Toronto, and again by the Canadian federal funding agency NSERC, and in the absence of any new substantive information in the nearly two decades since publication in TAMS, the journal has no grounds to retract the article, nor to consider its removal or withdrawal. Despite your evident dissatisfaction with those investigations, neither the journal nor its co-publishers have standing to challenge their legitimacy."

(Please, notice that the repeated references in your letter to removal and withdrawal of an article are excessive as I never asked for the removal or withdrawal of the paper, but only for the retraction.)

I submit to you the following:

1. You should have presented your own findings of facts with references to evidence and the applications of law. The procedure required you, in the first step, to compare the articles in question for plagiarism. But you do not report your findings. Instead, you made an assumption that the local Canadian investigations denying plagiarism are legitimate, and you never mentioned a single point of evidence that could constitute the grounds for your decision. This was completely wrong. Your decision should not have been based on the supposed "legitimacy" of Canadian local investigations.

2. According to the procedure (Flowchart 4b of the COPE) you should have sent me the response of E. Larsen, so that I could make my comments, but you did not do this. I request that you do so now.

3. Your statement that you have no "standing to challenge their [local investigations] legitimacy" is completely erroneous. It is a well known fact that local investigations can cover up misconduct in research, and, in this case they have no "legitimacy". They cannot be blindly accepted. A journal's conclusions can potentially be totally different from the conclusions of the local investigators, but you made this legitimate possible outcome to appear illegitimate, forbidden and impossible, as you refused to challenge the "legitimacy" of Canadian investigations. While you could consult local investigations, you could not pronounce them legitimate a priory, otherwise, you make your own procedure and the due process impossible. Of course you have an obligation to conduct your own independent investigation of the documentary evidence in the case. And, if your findings contradict the local investigations, but you refuse to challenge them, you can find yourself doing greater harm - even perpetuating a local fraud. You are rrequired by the procedure to send your own findings to the local employer and the funding agency. Did you send them their own investigations instead?

4. Blindly accepting the results of Canadian investigations of misconduct was wrong:
a) The special report of Prof. Arthurs on the case of Prof. V. Fabrikant (http://pyshnov.wordpress.com/arthurs-report/), stated that two university investigations were "misleading", "superficial", "not based on a proper inquiry", "clearly and seriously deficient" and "inadequate".
b) Recently, Canadian Medical Association Journal published the paper "Call for arm’s-length national research integrity agency" (http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/176/6/749). It starts thus: "It's the classic Canadian response to a problem like scientific misconduct, says Toronto physician– scientist Dr. Paul Pencharz. "Deny, deny, deny. Sweep it under the carpet."
c) Next, the editorial titled "Research misconduct? What misconduct?", in the same journal (http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/176/7/905) asked: "Why has Canada lagged so far behind its Western counterparts in establishing comprehensive mechanisms and processes to deal with scientific misconduct?", and it said: "Let’s not wait for the next scandal."

"Deny, deny, deny" is "the classic Canadian response", not an exception, and this is well known. The system of investigations in Canada is below the standards that you and your journal have to adhere to.

5. I must also bring to your attention the fact that your impression that there were "three investigations of the employer, the University of Toronto, and again by the Canadian federal funding agency NSERC" is incorrect. The University of Toronto President lied when he said that my complaint was "fully investigated by the University and by NSERC" (document #43). As a matter of fact, NSERC did not investigate my complaint and does not investigate other complaints. NSERC sends the complaints back to the university. The CMAJ article, referred to in the paragraph 5c, said: "Currently, the investigation of misconduct allegations is the domain of universities..." and "...the councils [NSERC and others] refer all complaints to the university that employs the alleged miscreant for investigation." Here you have a competent Canadian proof that the fact that NSERC is involved in the case, does not guarantee the correctness and "legitimacy" of the university investigation. On the contrary, there are grave doubts that a Canadian university becomes capable of conducting proper investigation by the involvement of NSERC. These grave doubts, the dissatisfaction with the flawed Canadian system of investigation of misconduct in science, and the failure of two university investigations, over many years, to stop the fraud in food science that became a concern around the world, prompted "An Examination of Research Integrity Issues..." of 2007 (www.mun.ca/marcomm/public_affairs/issues/pencharz_report_2007.pdf), that made recommendations to bring the investigations to the accepted international standards. The changes, however, are still resisted.

Therefore, your assumption about the "legitimacy" was wrong, and it became outrageously wrong when it resulted in your refusal to present your own findings relying on the evidence in the case.

6. You report that you thoroughly reviewed the "history of this issue" (i. e. my complaints to the local investigators and their answers). You know, therefore, that two University of Toronto investigations (documents #24 and #27) admitted the fact that E. Larsen repeated my original experiments and published my original experiments and results as her own, and you know that they did not consider this publication a plagiarism. These investigators committed several other similar frauds and falsifications of the academic law. You had no right to disregard all these obvious frauds in the investigations and make the decision that "the journal has no grounds to retract the article".

7. You did not challenge Canadian authorities and you did not challenge their fraud. As a result, your report does not have any analysis of the "history of this issue". Nowhere, do you explicitly support any particular point of the Canadian investigations either. Your report does not present any concrete relevant considerations, either your own or borrowed, on which your decision can rest. You do not present a single reference to any documentary evidence that can support your decision. You had seven months to conduct your investigation, but your report is totally devoid of any reliance on facts, and, you wrote an untenable decision that is totally unsupported by evidence. I am certain that you could not find a single piece of evidence supporting your decision.

8. While you are telling me that my request for retraction has been "thoroughly reviewed", with the implication that my request was found invalid, you do not report any conclusions of your review and I have no opportunity to answer any. Adding this to your refusal to challenge the supposed legitimacy of Canadian investigations, I believe that your impartiality and your numerous assurances of your "scrupulous fairness" are seriously undermined.

9. You have noted (and it stands as a material part of your decision), "the absence of any new substantive information in the nearly two decades since publication in TAMS". This is not correct. The document #25 presents the new substantive information - Larsen's admissions that she used my ideas and data. There are new admissions of the facts that any honest investigator would call the facts of plagiarism (in documents #24 and #27; I spoke of them in paragraph 6). There is also a new and extremely important admission made jointly by E. Larsen and the University of Toronto (document #36), that "the theoretical foundation" of my research was published by me in 1980, i. e. before I came to this university. All the above information came after the publication in TAMS.

10. The 1989 paper of Larsen and Zorn was accepted for publication by the same journal that had, at the same time, the manuscript of 1987 with the same title and claiming the same discoveries, but with different authors. It was absolutely wrong to publish this paper in the first place. In this case, the retraction should only require some simple honesty to admit the journal's mistake or whatever it was. Your journal was notified on April 27, 2008, and it cannot continue to support this plagiarised, fraudulent publication. The information (the 1987 manuscript and the accompanying documents) that your journal was aware of at the time of publication, and that was put before you again, is absolutely sufficient grounds for retracting the 1989 article immediately. This publication, falsifying my authorship of the discoveries and very seriously damaging my credentials, with extremely serious consequences for my life, amounts to defamation, to say the least. I request an immediate retraction of this paper and the publication of all reasons for the retraction, explicitly restoring my rights as an author.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov

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Correspondence with Wiley-Blackwell

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Concern about the retraction procedure Thursday, October 16, 2008 11:00 AM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: odean@bos.blackwellpublishing.com October 16, 2008

Dear Mr. Dean,

I would like to express my concern about the delay in the article retraction procedure that I initiated with the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Invertebrate Biology (formerly - Transactions of the American Microscopical Society), Dr. Patrick D. Reynolds.

The article in question is this: "Cell Patterns Associated with Normal and Mutant Morphogenesis in Silver-impregnated Imaginal Discs of Drosophila" by Ellen Larsen and Aaron Zorn, published in Trans. Am. Microsc. Soc., 108(1): 51-57, 1989.

This article contains plagiarised version of my research, ideas and discoveries. Below, are the essential facts.

1. In 1987, my former PhD supervisor, Ellen Larsen (who, in 1986, terminated my PhD research of five years) sent to the Transactions of The American Microscopical Society, without my knowledge, the manuscript that had the following title, authors and abstract:

Cell Patterns Associated with Normal and Mutant Morphogenesis in Silver Stained Drosophila Imaginal Discs

Michael Pyshnov and Ellen Larsen

Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1, Cananda

Abstract. Outlines of cell borders on the basal side of cells in the imaginal discs of Drosophila larvae were studied after impregnation with silver. Disc-specific cell arrays were found in each type of disc studied. To determine if these patterns have morphogenetic significance, we compared normal antennal disc patterns with those of the Nasobemia mutant in which antennae are transformed into leg-like structures. The cell arrangement of mutant antenna discs resembles the one specific for leg discs but not antenna discs. We suggest that these cell arrays are under genetic influence, and are generated by specific patterns of cell division. Thus, they possess the characteristics of long sought after "pre-patterns" for morphogenesis.

2. The MS was accepted for publication and, then, Ellen Larsen asked for my signature. I refused to sign it and complained to the Department of her attempt to obtain co-authorship of the research that was entirely my own research. In response, Ellen Larsen withdrew the MS from publication.

3. This same journal, however, published, in 1989, the paper with these title, authors and abstract:

Cell Patterns Associated with Normal and Mutant Morphogenesis in Silver-impregnated Imaginal Discs of Drosophila

Ellen Larsen and Aaron Zorn

Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1, Canada

Abstract. Cell borders on the basal side of imaginal discs of Drosophila melanogaster were delineated after impregnation with silver. Leg discs differ from antennal discs in the kind of cell arrangement found. The arrangements in the antennal disc of the Nasobemia mutant (in which antennae are converted to leg-like structures) resemble those of leg discs rather than antenna discs. This finding suggests that the disc-specific cell arrays have morphogenetic significance, and may in fact create a "pre-pattern" for the development of appendages.

4. I found this paper in 1993, and I obtained from the University of Toronto the Affidavit of Documents that contained the following letter written by Ellen Larsen to the Editor:

September 16, 1987

Dr. Eugene H. Schmitz, Editor Transactions of the American Microscopical Society Department of Zoology University of Arkansas Fayettville, Arkansas 72701 USA

Dear Dr. Schmitz,

I am writing with reference to MS 483-87. I regret that owing to circumstances I shall outline below, I must withdraw this manuscript from consideration. I intend, however, to submit the results of a similar study (performed by myself and an undergraduate) in the very near future, one which because of its somewhat wider scope may actually be a more satisfying contribution.

The first author of MS 483-87, Mr. M. Pyshnov was a graduate student under my supervision for some five years. In my opinion he is a very creative scientist with great technical flair. Unfortunately, after discovering disc specific cell arrangements and their modification in a homeotic mutant he became unable to do more research. A year after he produced his last preparations (those found in the MS) his graduate student status was changed to "lapsed student", ie, one who is free to return to complete requirements but who is no longer officially registered. I was hoping that publication of his work would encourage him and enable him to resume his progress towards a degree. Unfortunately he has changed his mind and decided for reasons of his own that he does not want his work published. I am not only disappointed with his decision but embarrassed to have to retract the work after so many other people have given it their expert time and effort.

In the new paper I shall try to incorporate both the reviewers' and your excellent stylistic suggestions so that these efforts will not have been entirely wasted.

Sincerely,
/signature/
Ellen Larsen

5. This is undoubtedly a prima facie case of plagiarism that, in addition, includes clear admission made by Ellen Larsen in her letter to the Editor, that the research and the two discoveries in the withdrawn MS, were, in fact, my research and discoveries. Clearly, in the 1989 paper, Larsen fraudulently claimed as her own the same discoveries that were reported in the withdrawn MS; she plagiarised my unpublished PhD research. However, the University of Toronto refused to find plagiarism and to restore my authorship of the discoveries.

In the beginning of 2008, I found out that the Editor-in-Chief of a scientific journal has a duty to retract papers containing plagiarised research. On March 27, 2008, I sent my request to retract the above paper to the current Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Patrick D. Reynolds. According to the practically universally adopted procedure for retractions, and to the procedure of Wiley-Blackwell, the Editor-in-Chief must send, at some point, the letter with my complaint to the author of the paper. However, for over six months now, Dr. Reynolds has not done so. Instead, Dr. Reynolds says that he wants to talk to the other editors of the journal and that this will only be possible at the annual meeting in January of 2009 (previously, on April 3, 2008, he said that he will talk to the editors "at our next conference call").

On September 29, I called Dr. Reynolds. He said that he does not know the procedure, although he mentioned that one of the editors, indeed, advised him to contact the University of Toronto. Yet, Dr. Reynolds is a member of the Council of Science Editors and he is the Chair of the Scientific Misconduct Review Board at Hamilton College.

I fully understand that the Editor-in-Chief can consult with other editors. However, the due process has already been postponed for over 6 months and Dr. Reynolds wishes to postpone it by at least another 3 months. I am afraid that Dr. Reynolds is not committed at all to following the procedure.

Moreover, delaying the procedure of retraction now seems grossly unjustified if we consider the fact that this journal, in 1989, had all the evidence of the falsified authorship of this paper, clearly prohibiting its publication.

My question is this: What is the timeline for the procedure of retraction, in particular, how much time should it take before the letter with my complaint is sent to the author?

My PhD research was based on my original ideas and my previously published papers. I made important discoveries that continued my research in the area of cell proliferation. I need to return the authorship of the discoveries under my name.

My request for retraction and the following correspondence with Dr. Patrick D. Reynolds can be seen at: http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/journal.htm

The documents and the circumstances of the case are at: http://ca.geocities.com/uoftfraud/

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.

(The same letter was sent to four other addresses at Wiley-Blackwell, but I received no answers.)

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RE: Concern about the retraction procedure Friday, October 17, 2008 10:48 AM From: "Dean, Otis - Boston" <odean@wiley.com> To: "uoftfraud@yahoo.ca" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca>

Dear Michael Pyshnov,

Thank you for your message. I wanted to let you know that I have forwarded it to colleagues in the biological sciences who I expect will get back to you (as I am the Social Sciences publisher and this does not fall within my remit).

Sincerely, Otis Dean

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RE: Concern about the retraction procedure Friday, October 17, 2008 12:44 PM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Dean, Otis - Boston" <odean@wiley.com>

Dear Mr. Dean,

I thank you very much for your message. I hope that the problem will soon be resolved since my complaint of plagiarism in the article in question is fully documented.

Thank you again.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.

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RE: Concern about the retraction procedure Monday, October 27, 2008 10:56 AM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Dean, Otis - Boston" <odean@wiley.com>

October 27, 2008

Dear Mr. Dean,

I am writing to you again, as I was not contacted by the biological editors. My letter of October 16 with simple questions about the timeline of the article retraction procedure remains unanswered. Can you, please, let me know the name and email of the person in charge of answering my letter?

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.

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Retraction Procedure Emails - Transactions of the AMS Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:40 AM From: "Lynch, Jennifer - Boston" <jlynch@wiley.com> To: "uoftfraud@yahoo.ca" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> Cc: "Dean, Otis - Boston" <odean@wiley.com>

Dear Mr. Pyshnov,

Otis Dean forwarded your emails to my attention. Please be assured that Patrick Reynolds is taking your concern seriously and will be responding to you directly.

All the best,
Jen

Jennifer Lynch
Editor, Science Journals
Wiley-Blackwell
350 Main Street
Malden, MA 02148
Tel: (781)388-8463
Fax: (781)338-8463
jlynch@wiley.com

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Re: Retraction Procedure Emails - Transactions of the AMS Wednesday, October 29, 2008 12:41 PM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Lynch, Jennifer - Boston" <jlynch@wiley.com> October 29, 2008

Dear Ms. Lynch,

I thank you very much for your reassuring and kind message.

However, I contacted Wiley-Blackwell to receive an explanation of the gross delay in the due process, and, most importantly, to receive assurance that this delay will not result in further complications in the due process.

In any case (and I mentioned it in my letter of October 16, 2008), there are solid grounds for retracting the article in question immediately. This publication was, ab initio, (and, of course, remains now) wrong and illegitimate. The 1987 MS with my name as the first author was processed by the journal and accepted for publication. Therefore, publishing the 1989 article with the same title, ridiculously containing the correction made by the Editor on the title of the 1987 MS, but under a different authorship without my name, was wrong. The decision to publish it should not have been made. Clearly, retracting this article immediately would be a completely legitimate route to correct this wrong. I am not going now into blaming the journal for publishing this article in 1989, but I only point out that immediate retraction would be a right solution.

I still do not know what the procedure includes, how long it should take and when Dr. Reynolds will contact me. I hope you understand my frustration. I am asking you to let me know the main points of the current procedure and its timeline, understandably, to the extent that I am entitled to receive such information. Also, I would appreciate if you could tell me when I should expect to hear back from Dr. Reynolds.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov.

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RE: Retraction Procedure Emails - Transactions of the AMS Thursday, October 30, 2008 10:05 AM From: "Lynch, Jennifer - Boston" <jlynch@wiley.com> To: "uoftfraud@yahoo.ca" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> Cc: "Patrick Reynolds" <preynold@hamilton.edu>

Dear Mr. Pyshnov,

Thank you for your note. I hope you understand that I cannot speak for the AMS or Pat Reynolds. Wiley-Blackwell publishes Invertebrate Biology on behalf of the AMS, and while we offer guidance on policy, we do not set journal or society policy. I know that Dr. Reynolds has been researching your request thoroughly and seeking advice so that his decision is well informed and grounded in ethical precedent. I believe that this is what has been causing the delay in the process. He is striving to respond to you presently, and I have copied him here so he is aware of this correspondence. With regards to your specific questions about the process, I have outlined our company policy on retractions below.

John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (“Wiley” or “Wiley-Blackwell”) appreciates its responsibility towards maintaining the integrity and completeness of the scholarly record for researchers and librarians. The Company attaches the highest importance to maintaining trust in the authority of its electronic archive and of the journals that reside there. This policy has been designed to address these concerns and is based on current best practice in the scholarly and library communities.

It is company policy strongly to discourage withdrawal of an article in line with standard industry practice (see 2006-03: STM guidelines on Preserving the Record of Science, http://www.stm-assoc.org).

If there are irregularities with the content of the article then it is at the Journal’s discretion to print an appropriate statement in the journal. This can only take place after full investigation of the incident has taken place and the nature of the irregularity established beyond all reasonable doubt.

The lead author of the affected article would be notified and asked for a prompt response to any allegations and give all affected authors the opportunity to see any errata or notices prior to publication.

I hope this helps to clarify the process.

All the best,
Jennifer Lynch

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RE: Retraction Procedure Emails - Transactions of the AMS Friday, October 31, 2008 8:29 AM From: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca> To: "Lynch, Jennifer - Boston" <jlynch@wiley.com>

October 31, 2008

Dear Ms. Lynch,

Unfortunately, your letter of October 30, 2008 did not directly answer my concern about the delay in the article retraction procedure that was the subject of my letter of October 16, 2008 and, again, of October 29, 2008.

You have not answered my repeated question about the timeline for the article retraction procedure. You do not deny that I am entitled to receive this information, but you do not offer an explanation as to why you did not answer this question.

You said that you only believe that the delay in the process has occurred because "Dr. Reynolds has been researching your request thoroughly and seeking advice so that his decision is well informed and grounded in ethical precedent."

I submit to you that while the above is certainly reassuring, the first steps in the procedure adopted by Wiley-Blackwell (the COPE Flowchart 4: "What to do if you suspect plagiarism, (b) Suspected plagiarism in a published article"), i. e. what should be done before the Editor's letter is sent to the lead author of the affected article and the author is asked for a prompt response to my allegations, took too long - seven months.

I thank you for informing me that Dr. Reynolds is striving to respond to me presently. And, therefore, I would like to believe that the causes for delaying the due process are now behind us. If this proves to be too naive, I will proceed to further and wider consultations with scientific community.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Pyshnov

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Out of Office: Retraction Procedure Emails - Transactions of the AMS Friday, October 31, 2008 8:32 AM From: "Lynch, Jennifer - Boston" <jlynch@wiley.com> To: "Michael Pyshnov" <uoftfraud@yahoo.ca>

Thank you for your message. I will be out of the office on Friday, October 31, returning Monday, November 3. I will respond to you immediately upon my return.

All the best,
Jennifer Lynch

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