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Blatant plagiarism

  1. Oct 11, 2007 #1

    siddharth

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    This was in the news here quite recently.


    This is the abstract of the original article, published by a group of Swedish researchers in PNAS last year.

    (http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/103/10/3518)


    And the this is the plagiarized article, by K. Muthukkumaran, Roshan Bokalawela, Tom Mathews and S. Selladurai, published last month in the Journal of Materials Science.

    (http://www.springerlink.com/content/k6p846386xq05722/)

    It's mind boggling that the second group attempted a word-for-word copy, from a journal such as the PNAS. It's so bizzare, that a host of conspiracy theories have sprung up in discussion here, and people are waiting for a response from Anna University, where two of the authors are from.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
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  3. Oct 11, 2007 #2

    ZapperZ

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    Did you read the letter to the Editor in this week's Nature? One of the author from a Turkish university who had his and others manuscript removed from ArXiv for plagiarism "explained" why there were phrases identical to other papers. They were just borrowing good English!

    Zz.
     
  4. Oct 11, 2007 #3
    I don't know if you have heard/read the rumour, Siddharth, that it was actually a plot by a group of frustrated IITians against the faculty from the neighbouring instituion for failing them in a viva-voce. :biggrin: :rofl:

    Check the third comment here. (By any chance, is that your blog?)
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  5. Oct 11, 2007 #4
    Hey, that's a great idea. I'm gonna go to a bank and borrow some money without asking. Borrowing money in the part of my finances that helps introduce me to expensive things should not be seen as stealing. Even if the money isn't my own the stuff I buy with it is, and that's the important part of buying anything.
     
  6. Oct 11, 2007 #5

    siddharth

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    Sheesh :rolleyes: Atleast, it was only the bits with "good english", and not the entire article with all the tables/data/figures/results etc.

    That's exactly the crazy conspiracy theory!

    Nah, that isn't my blog. However, in the link above, there's an interesting observation that one of the authors has published other articles with the same email address, so it's unlikely that the rumor is true.

    The article in the blog you linked is quite interesting. It says that 2 of the authors have "dissociated" themselves from the article. Huh? What does that mean? Unless the article was published without their knowledge, I don't see how this can happen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  7. Oct 11, 2007 #6

    Kurdt

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  8. Oct 11, 2007 #7

    Moonbear

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    I've reviewed papers with such blatant plagiarism, and indeed, it was easy to spot because there was a sudden shift from the most atrocious grammar I've ever seen to suddenly clear, complex grammatical phrases (of course, in one case, it was especially easy to spot because I had just read the paper they were plagiarizing a week before receiving the manuscript to review, and immediately noticed their phrases sounded extremely familiar). There is no excuse for it. If you want to publish in an English-language journal and are not fluent in English, there are plenty of English-speaking scientists who would be more than willing to assist with the English. Indeed, I work with someone from Slovakia who does this for his colleagues still in Slovakia on a regular basis. And if he's not quite sure how to phrase something, he'll ask one of our students to take a look. A number of scientific societies also provide such a service where they will help match people who need help with those who can provide the translations or proofreading, whichever is needed.

    It's unfortunate that article went to press before this was caught. PNAS owns the copyright to articles it publishes, so would be the ones who could choose to pursue this. Beyond that, it's an issue of academic integrity, and if the institution the authors come from wishes to pursue it, plagiarism is a pretty serious charge. If they don't act on it, then they're saying they condone plagiarism, and will make everyone else publishing from that institution suspect for similar misconduct.

    Edit: D'oh!! That second article has a US author on it! Absolutely NO excuse to blame it on poor English skills even, and it's not just an introduction, it's the entire abstract! I didn't download either article to see if the whole article is the same, or just the abstract.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  9. Oct 11, 2007 #8

    siddharth

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    Not just the abstract, but the entire article!
     
  10. Oct 11, 2007 #9

    robphy

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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  11. Oct 11, 2007 #10
    That's hilarious! One is reminded of an old addage, and I guess it's true... plagiarism really *is* the sincerest form of flattery :) I'd love to see this introduction that was considered so beautifully written that it *had* to be plagiarized.
     
  12. Oct 11, 2007 #11
    "Even if our introductions are not entirely original, our results are — and these are the most important part of any scientific paper. "

    So what exactly are the so-called original result they obtained ?
     
  13. Oct 12, 2007 #12

    siddharth

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