When Research is a Copy of a Copy

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Oct 3, 2016 9:55:18 AM

12206.jpgAccording to a recent post on Retraction Watch, Hossein Jafarzadeh, a PhD candidate at the University of Tehran, has found himself in a unique position: Having had a paper retracted for being a duplicate publication of two papers he co-authored that were, themselves, retracted for plagiarism.

Jafarzadeh, in 2014, published a pair of papers, one in February and one in July, in the journal Materials Science and Engineering. Those papers were largely identical, so much so that they were both pulled for plagiarism, albeit they were accused of plagiarizing from different sources.

Karen Abrinia, Jafarzadeh’s co-author on the papers, explained the original plagiarism by saying that they were the result of images that were taken from other papers, She claimed the researchers sent out samples from the research to a 3rd party for microscopic photography but received back images from other papers.


Federal Trade Commission Targeting Predatory Publishers

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Sep 12, 2016 4:00:00 AM

In late August, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint against OMICS, an open access academic journal publisher that has long been at the center of the debate over “predatory” publishers.


Mexico's President Faces Plagiarism Allegations

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Aug 24, 2016 10:07:12 AM

In Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto is facing allegations of plagiarism in his law school thesis with one reporter saying that nearly 29% of his 200-page thesis was plagiarized from other sources.

The allegations come from local journalist Carmen Aristegui. Aristegui posted on her site saying that 197 of 682 paragraphs of President Peña Nieto’s 1991 law thesis were copied from other authors but that the text involved was not put into quotations and, in some cases, the authors were not mentioned in the bibliography.

This isn’t the first time that Aristegui and her research team have clashed with President Peña Nieto. In 2014, they uncovered evidence that President Peña Nieto’s wife purchased a $7 million house from a government contractor, which sparked an integrity scandal.


Food Critic Fired Over Plagiarism Allegations

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Aug 18, 2016 12:21:09 PM

Freelance food critic Elliott Shaffner has been fired both from both the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly and has had her articles removed from both publications. This follows allegations that she used uncited language from another reviewer in her articles.


When Politics and Plagiarism Mix

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Jul 26, 2016 9:45:03 AM


Shortly after Melania Trump, the wife of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump finished her speech at the Republication National Convention, she began to face allegations of plagiarism.

Specifically, there were allegations that her speech borrowed several passages from a similar 2008 speech by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention. In addition to several dozen copied words, two paragraphs closely mirrored one another in theme, structure and ideas.


Of Blockchains, Blogs and Plagiarisms…

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Jul 21, 2016 9:46:23 AM


Blockchain, a technology most commonly associated with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is a distributed database that’s designed to preserve the integrity over the overall database despite it being publicly available.

The idea is that, as items are added to the database, they are added as blocks to the chain (hence the name) and then are encrypted and distributed to the entire network so they can be read but not altered as any tampering would break the chain. 


InterAcademy Partnership Releases Revised Guide for Responsible Research

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Jul 8, 2016 10:00:00 AM

On February 11, the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) released its new guide on research ethics called “Doing Global Science: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in the Global Research Enterprise”. 

Doing Global Science aims to help researchers from across the globe avoid ethical issues that could limit the reach of their research. The guide covers every part of the research process starting with the planning and preparing phase all the way to communicating the outcome with the public. Along the way, it discusses falsification, plagiarism and even informed consent in research projects.


Trump Institute Plagiarism Scandal

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Jul 5, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Donald Trump has become one of the most polarizing figures in American politics. Constantly beset by controversy, Trump’s colorful past has become the source of a great deal of scrutiny by both his opponents and his supporters.

However, little of Trump’s enterprises have generated more controversy than Trump University. The non-accredited school has been the subject of several lawsuits with many students saying that the school took their money but failed to live up to promises that were made.


Turning the Tide on Fake PhDs in Russia

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on Jul 1, 2016 2:15:39 PM

Back in January, we took a look at the issue of fake PhDs in Russia and the struggle that was faced by academics in the country trying to address the problem.

The news was not good. An anti-plagiarism group named Dissernet had exposed over 3,500 falsified theses, over five per day since it began work, and the new cases were still coming. Thesis plagiarism, it seemed, was just too well-entrenched into the Russian political process and it would be honest academics and students in the country who would pay the biggest price.


Battling Piracy in Academic Publishing

Posted by Jonathan Bailey on May 11, 2016 9:33:11 AM
Last year, we took a look at a lawsuit that was filed by publisher Elsevier against several sites, the most prominent of which were Library Genesis and Sci-Hub.

Both Library Genesis and Sci-Hub make paywalled research papers available for free to users both through direct download of already-accessed works through EDU proxies that allow them to download any paper not in their library.