Publisher Elsevier has withdrawn an illustrated book on chemical elements and mineralogy, first published last year, from circulation upon discovering that several excerpts were plagiarized from Wikipedia. The lead author of the book, The Periodic Table: Nature’s Building Blocks: An Introduction to the Naturally Occurring Elements, Their Origins and Their Uses, was Theo Kloprogge, a professor at the University of Queensland, Australia, and the University of the Philippines Visayas. Kloprogge is a prolific researcher in the field of chemistry who has written 387 scientific papers. American geologist Tom Loomis and Filipino researcher Concepcion Ponce were also named as authors of the book. When contacted by Retraction Watch, Kloprogge admitted the plagiarism but declined to comment on the case. “What happened is too painful to talk about. We do agree with the retraction at this point in time, though we may publish an updated version in the future,” he replied.
Elsevier was alerted by chemist Thomas Rauchfuss, a researcher from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who himself learned of the case from a Wikipedia editor based in Finland. After the misconduct was discovered, the publisher sent a message of thanks to Rauchfuss: “I wanted to let you know that we investigated the plagiarism claim and found that many large sections throughout the book were taken from Wikipedia or similar sources, as you indicated. We are in the process of making the book unavailable on all of our platforms and withdrawing it for sale from all of our resellers.”Republish