Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Anna University case: An update


The website of the Linköping University (academic home for two of the victims of this plagiarism carries a news item on this case. Many of the details are known, but this one is new (and it's a direct quote from Sergei Simak, one of the authors of the original paper, and the bold emphasis is added by me):

"Only the title had been changed, and some items in the list of references. There was also an alteration to an illustration; a fictive element, Tp, had been added."

Even in this sordid affair, there is something to laugh about ...

A Swedish newspaper published a report on this case (thanks to Sridhar for the alert). Rahul has posted a translation of this report on his blog. We learn that at least two of the authors have distanced themselves from the plagiarized paper. There's also a curious twist: "One of [the other two] claims in an email to the Swedish researchers that he received a draft from a researcher in Nepal."

As they say, read the whole thing, and Rahul's comments at the end.

* * *

Before closing, I just want to quote the last paragraph from the newspaper report:

According to the Swedish regulation[4] on university colleges[5], it is the duty of the university college since September 1st, 2006 to investigate all reported cases of suspected scientific cheating.

The ball is in Anna University's court; let's see how it plays this one.

3 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...

    What I'm astonished about, is that the referees didn't catch the fictitious element!

  2. Anonymous said...

    >One of them claims in an email to the Swedish researchers that he received a draft from a researcher in Nepal.

    Here comes that email (with original grammar and punctuation):

    In a recent paper (cited above) titled :Determination of Dopant of Ceria System by Density Functional Theory" and I came to know the paper is
    published in PNAS proceedings, before some days(1 year ago) I was
    discussing with one person Ashok kumar ( at that time he was in Nepal niversity )to do some thoretical calculation in DFT theory but he misguided me and he sent the manuscript to me for corrections after thatt I have raised some questions about manuscript that also he replied to me, but he was insisting me not to include his name , he said just as help and I was beleving him now only I came to know it is purely
    cheating but really I dont know where he got the data, I was not aware
    of this and the PNAS is not available in our university and anywhere in
    our place I was so much cheated by him since i dont aware of this
    because I am the initial stage of my research , I was having interest
    to theroritical calculation based on that I wanted to do some
    experiment.
    I am extermely sorry mistake caused by me ,I apologize for this mistake
    and beg your pardon. I am not aware of the seriousness of the mistake,
    as I am a student. Really I am not aware of this earlier issue(published
    in PNAS proceedings).
    yerteday before I came to see with other it has proceedings of PNAS.
    As I am student I dont know anything about earlier things , Please
    consider my future and forgive me and I am promosing you I am not doing
    anything purposly, please beleive me.
    Thanks
    Your Truly
    K. Muthukkumaran

  3. pradeepkumar said...

    My friends and former colleagues in Uppsala, Sweden inform me that although they read the report in DN (the largest circulating daily in Sweden), they were not aware about the involvement of Anna University researchers. The Indian link was completely missing in the DN report!