Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Plagiarism by Iranian ministers

A.Q. Khan has some company. Khan only plagiarized a popular science article. But here is a case that involves two Iranian ministers and the journal Nature. From the Oct 1st issue of Nature (you may require a subscription to access the story):

Two Iranian government ministers have co-authored peer-reviewed papers that duplicate substantial amounts of text from previously published articles, according to an investigation by Nature.

Three journals have already confirmed that they will retract papers co-authored by Iran's science and education minister Kamran Daneshjou, a professor in the school of mechanical engineering at the Iran University of Science & Technology (IUST) in Tehran. Before being appointed science minister in early September, Daneshjou was also head of the interior ministry office overseeing the disputed presidential elections in June that kept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power. A further publication by Iran's transport minister and his deputy has also been called into question.

In an online story last week (see Nature doi:10.1038/news.2009.945; 2009), Nature revealed that substantial sections of text in a 2009 paper in the journal Engineering with Computers1 by Daneshjou and IUST colleague Majid Shahravi were identical to a 2002 paper2 by South Korean scientists in the Journal of Physics D. New York-based Springer, which publishes Engineering with Computers, has told Nature that it will retract the paper. The work also duplicates smaller amounts of material from papers given by other researchers at conferences3,4,5,6, as well as a 2006 article7 in the International Journal of Impact Engineering.

Yikes!

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