In the age of search engines, plagiarism is possibly the easiest way to self-destruct. M. Sreenivas is the latest to induct himself into the Plagiarism Hall of Shame. Hiis co-"author", T. Srinivas, has made moves to stay out of it, but they have also landed him in a different Hall of Shame -- the one for not doing anything about what is euphemistically called a guest authorship. [Thanks to reader "B" for the alert].
T. Srinivas is a professor of mathematics at Kakatiya University. While M Sreenivas is a faculty member at Alluri Institute of Management Sciences, Hanamkonda, he also appears to be a PhD candidate at Kakatiya University, working under Prof. T. Srinivas (in an area which is apparently outside the latter's expertise).
Just as in the Selladurai scandal at Anna University (more links here), the student -- in this case, M. Srrenivas -- takes all the blame. Here's an excerpt from his letter with some cringe-worthy abjectness:
As per the letter dated August 25, 2009, I corresponding author, M. Sreenivas, take this humble opportunity to request you that the article titled Probabilistic Transportation Problem (PTP), appeared in Volume 3, Issue 1 of International Journal of Statistics and Systems, I ashamed for the situation and I have been stopped such type of submissions to the Journals.
The "guide" corroborates this story, but there's a catch (see below):
Recently I have received a letter from American mathematical reviews .From this only I came to know that some bad things happened in 2007 without my knowledge and my name was included in the papers of M.Sreenivas, a student of O.R. and working in a private college (Business Management ).
The catch is this: his department's website had listed the plagiarized (and published) papers under his name (when I checked a few days ago, they were still listed; I'm not able to access the website now, but SIAM folks took a snapshot). When the SIAM editors pointed this out, this is the reply they got:
I have already mentioned that I have worked in Algebra but no idea in O.R. and Mr. M .Srinivas , working in a Business Management College, has written the articles and communicated by including my name without my notice. After the publication only he brought the reprints to the department. All the faculty members know that my contribution to those papers is nil. In the department we don't have any expert working in the field of O.R. We were of the opinion that the work is original and genuine, but we never thought that such type of coping by M. Srinivas. Moreover we were of the opinion that these papers were published after the verification and positive response from the referees. While preparing the departmental profile the Head asked to give the list of papers and M. Srinivas gave the list and thus these papers were included in the list of publications, because my name is there. To be frankly speaking we felt happy because he published so many papers by including my name that too with out my contribution. That is the reason why I gave the apology, even though the mistake was done by my student. Still we don't know how many papers are not genuine. So we are removing all the papers of M. Srinivas from the list of publications and from the web.
I don't know which is more damaging: plagiarism or not removing your name from the plagiarized papers (even after their publication) though "my contribution to those papers is nil."
[Update: I found seven papers by T. Srinivas and M. Sreenivas (mis-spelled as M. Srinivas, I think) listed in the website of the math department at Kakatiya University:
Transportation Management & Services by T. Srinivas and M. Srinivas, Kakatiya Business Review (KBR), Vol. 3, No.1, September 2006, PP: 121-128, Warangal.
Effectiveness of Distribution Network by T. Srinivas and M. Srinivas, International Journal of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management (IJISSCM), Vol.1, No.1, January-March 2008, PP: 80-86, USA.
A 7 Step Approach for Transportation Optimization by T. Srinivas and M. Srinivas, Pratibimba, Vol. 8, Issue: 1, Jan-June 2008, PP: 67-69, Bhubaneshwar.
Transportation Applications of Neural Networks by T. Srinivas and M. Srinivas, International Journal of Computing and Applications (IJCA) Serials Publications, Vol.2, No.2, Dec 2007, PP: 157-162, New Delhi.
Modeling the Transportation Problem As a Flow Problem by T. Srinivas and M. Srinivas, Proceedings of the first International Conference on Emerging Technologies & Applications in Engineering, Technology & Sciences (ICETAETS – 2008), Vol. III, PP: 2616-2619, Gujarat.
The Role of Transportation in Logistics Chain by T. Srinivas and M. Srinivas, Indian Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences (IJMMS) Serials Publications, Vol.4, No.2, June 2008, PP: 75-82, ( in press ), New Delhi.
T.Srinivas and M. Srinivas : Transportation: More for less criteria, International Journal of Statistics and Management System, Serials Publications, Vol. 3, No. 1–2, Jan, 2008. (in press), New Delhi.
Of these, 2,6 and 7 have already been flagged for plagiarism at SIAM. By his own admission, T. Srinivas has made no contribution at all to any of these papers. Why, then, is his department claiming 'credit' for these publications? ]
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We have to thank the editors of 4OR, who caught the plagiarism by Sreenivas and Srinivas a while ago, for this bit of humour:
We communicated to these “authors” our ban from publishing in 4OR, and our intention to publicize by all appropriate means the fact that they submitted such a paper. Their answer is worth reporting:
We are very sorry in sending such type of article to your journal. Actually, we are working on the topic. Sorry once again.
Dr. T. Srinivas
(Is the second sentence a threat?)