IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

Copycats from IIT-Kanpur?

Posted on: October 11, 2010

BANGALORE: In one of the most blatant cases of plagiarism to hit the elite IITs, Bio-technology Advances, a review journal, has retracted two papers from IIT-Kanpur after the researchers allegedly stole chunks of their manuscript from several sources, including journal articles and Wikipedia.

The two retracted articles — “Microbial production of dihydroxyacetone” and “Molecular imprinting in sol-gel matrix” — are from researchers at IIT-Kanpur’s department of biological sciences and bio-engineering.

The journal’s retraction notice in the upcoming November-December 2010 issue states that the two-year-old articles were pulled out ”at the request of the editor as the authors have plagiarized part of several papers that had already appeared in several journals. One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that their work is original and has not appeared in a publication elsewhere.

Reuse of any data should be appropriately cited. As such this article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and we apologize to readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.”

The review paper, “Microbial production of dihydroxyacetone”, by Ruchi Mishra, Seema Rani Jain and Ashok Kumar, was found to have been plagiarized from Wikipedia and StateMaster.com.

The other paper, titled “Molecular imprinting in sol-gel matrix” by Radha Gupta and Ashok Kumar, reproduced texts from as many as five publications. What is more damning is that the papers continue to be listed among the publications of professor Ashok Kumar.

An embarrassed IIT-Kanpur has constituted an inquiry committee. ”This is a very serious issue. We cannot accept plagiarism of any sort. But at the same time we want to examine the case carefully. I have constituted a committee of eminent people to examine the issue and we will take action based on their findings,” IIT-Kanpur director Sanjay Dhande told TOI.

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