Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Sharma Case: An Update

First, go read Rahul's post -- he gives you a very good sense of how horribly badly Prof. Sharma has handled this issue.

There seems to be some misunderstanding -- see the first comment on Rahul's post -- that The Student didn't acknowledge Prof. Sharma and his group members. This impression is not correct: The Student's thesis does have an "Acknowledgements" section, in which Prof. Sharma and several members of his group (including First Author) are thanked for their help, innovative suggestions, etc.

Some quick observations (nothing out of the ordinary, but still worth mentioning):

  1. A good faith effort (and a very, very brave one at that) was made by The Student way back in December 2011 to point out to the authors that there are problems in their paper. Instead of badgering her into silence, if they had addressed the problems, and issued an erratum at that time, they would not be dealing with a front page story in The Telegraph.

  2. Just because the authors of the I&EC paper have a serious problem on their hands (why else would they tell Mudur that they are issuing an erratum?), they don't have a right to start questioning the contents of The Student's "Acknowledgements" section in The Student's thesis. Four full years and three full months later.

    But that's essentially what they have done -- in a sort of diversionary "Look there!" move.

  3. As any good story, Mudur's also leaves the readers with a lot of interesting questions, which cannot all be answered in 800-900 words.


  1. chitta said...

    The information on what is plagiarism at is very useful. Recently, I have asked all my students to go through it and take the test at . I think something like this should be made mandatory for all graduate students.

  2. Ungrateful Alive said...

    Is it just my ignorance or are most of the papers that are being raked up in these plagiarism threads really incremental, routine, uninspired, derivative, uncreative and boring?