Friday, February 24, 2012


Just. Wucking. Fow!

The links are to two anonymous comments on a post by Rahul, who alerted me in this comment.


  1. Anonymous said...


    I would like to gauge for myself the seriousness of the issue. Unfortunately, I don't have access to eJournals. Abi, would it be possible for you to please forward me all the papers to which the anonymous poster refers (including the recent-most two with which this row began)? Please see if you can. Hope it's not too much of a bother for you, and thanks in advance. My email ID (no spaces): a j 1 7 5 t p >AT< yahoo [DoT] co {dOt} in.


  2. Pratik Ray said...

    Here's a question for those who are actually guiding students - when your students write a paper, how do you detect whether anything other than the actual work itself has been plagiarized? Nobody that I know has all the papers published since publishing began in his own mind, and therefore cannot automatically detect the sort of plagiarism that's been reported in this case.

    I guess the only way you could detect it was if the paper read strikingly similar to something you read at some point of time - but this is in no way foolproof. So would you use something like turnitin (or equivalent for scientific articles) each time? I doubt if any professor, anywhere in the world would do that, unless he actively mistrusted the student (in which case he would probably not be working with the student in the first place).

    It is all very well to say that all the authors should take the responsibility, but riding such high moral horses don't even remotely attempt to address the key issue - how do you catch a co-author whom you don't suspect, but who might have plagiarized a part of the paper that's being written and submitted?

    I think the days of a single corresponding author handling the entire submission should be over. The publishers could offer access to plagiarism detecting softwares, and ALL the authors should be asked to create and use their online account with the publisher to use the software and certify that the paper is plagiarism free.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Pratik -- as I said in my first post on the subject, you can't tell and this could have happened to any of us. It is Rao's response that leaves a bad taste. But moreover, I have some questions also about whether the papers they plagiarised from were cited adequately -- see the last two paragraphs of this post. Finally, the student claims he "did not know" it is wrong to lift sentences like this. If he really did not know, his advisor bears some responsibility for that ignorance.

  4. Dheeraj Sanghi said...

    @Pratik, it is actually quite simple. In most cases, I catch it by just noticing that the language constructs and style are different for some sentences. Not fool proof, but works most of the time. And by the way, turnitin is getting very popular, and lots of faculty members use it, not because they mistrust the ethics of the student, but they mistrust the training of the student. A lot of college students, including Masters and PhD students have simply not understood that it is wrong to lift even 1 line from somewhere else. And therefore they are not careful when they recall some line they had read somewhere. To guard against that, it is common these days to use turnitin kind of softwares.

  5. ktwop said...

    The ability of Rao and Krupanidhi to detect plagiarism by their student(s) is not the issue. It is their competence as supervisors and responsibility as senior authors to have inculcated the ethics and levels of integrity among their students which is.
    They obviously do not even pose the question to their students as to whether other peoples work has been used and if so has it been properly cited. Just asking the question would be the first step.But they don't seem to consider it important - and that's the point.

  6. Ungrateful Alive said...

    "not because they mistrust the ethics of the student, but they mistrust the training of the student" --- I know where you are coming from, but I still cannot stifle a snigger at this deft nurture over nature footwork.