Sunday, April 22, 2012

Prof. Ashutosh Sharma Issues an Erratum

Here it is: Biomimicked Superhydrophobic Polymeric and Carbon Surfaces (April 2012), DOI: 10.1021/ie300772p.

This erratum presents an addition to the original article. Two schematic figures (Figures 1 and 2) and some text of the experimental protocol on the preparation of negative PDMS replica of leaf in the Experimental Section were inadvertently published in almost-identical form (but with different preparation conditions) to that in a thesis by [The Student] (1) The authors also inadvertently omitted the citation to this work. The authors sincerely apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of the journal, and to the thesis author for this oversight. [Bold emphasis added].

[This text is followed by a reference to The Student's MTech thesisi].

Here's the front page article in The Telegraph that started it all; hers's my first post on this case (and more; and much more at Rahul's post and its comments section). In a post on the problems in Prof. Sharma's paper, I said:

The Student's thesis deserved a citation [in Prof. Sharma's paper] for (a) having achieved much of what the authors of I&EC paper achieved, but three years ahead of them, (b) developing the protocol for making negative and positive replicas, and (c) reporting a set of results that ought to have been compared and contrasted with those reported in the paper.

In acknowledging the plagiarism committed by the authors, the erratum addresses (a) and (b), but indirectly. By its very nature, an erratum is probably not a good place for (c). Finally, the authors have done the right thing by apologizing to The Student.


  1. Anonymous said...

    I assume the concerned journal vetted the wording of the erratum, in which case the journal doesn't deem this "plagiarism", right?! If it were plagiarism, the journal would have retracted the paper. I discuss this more on my blog (