Friday, November 12, 2010

Blatant plagiarism

I've seen my work plagiarised in the past, but I get particularly irritated when I see it being done badly. Here are some pretty wretched examples, by way of illustration. This is the first page of a paper I wrote with colleagues in 1996, before I even had my Ph.D., and when I was still at Liverpool. Note the phrase "Today's supercomputers still employ the kind of sequential logic used by the mechanical dinosaurs of the 1930s." Now, see these course materials, this article, and this article. In each case, they've taken my own words (and not just the sentence highlighted above, often whole paragraphs from the paper), and presented them as their own.

This got me annoyed, so I decided to do a little random digging. By googling random phrases from my Ph.D. thesis (PDF download) from 1997, I was able to uncover wholesale theft of my material.

This example is particularly galling; G.P. Raja Sekhar of the Indian Institute of Technology is presenting whole swathes of my own work as his own. Before proceeding, I should point out that I have asked Sekhar to remove his version, but he has apparently declined to do so.

In the illustrations below, I've presented the original (thesis) version on the left, and the stolen versions on the right. As you can see, no attempt has been made to hide the plagiarism in any way, and it's extensive (click on the thumbnails for a closer look).





It's not just the reuse of the odd figure here and there; it's systematic theft of figures (some of which took me hours to draw) and large sections of text.

C. Saravanan of Vel Sri Ranga Sanku College, Bing Hu, QiKai Xu, Chenjue Wang and Xiaoyang Kuang of City College of New York, and Tankut Yalcinoz of The Fountain; you are all plagiarists. But G.P. Raja Sekhar; if you want to use my material, I'll happily share the Powerpoint with you. Just don't pretend you wrote it.

Update (12/11/10, 13:38): Dr Raja Sekhar has been in touch. He offers the following statement: "This is to state that the Lecture Notes DNA Computing - Graph Algorithms published by POSTECH, South Korea is a result of some joint work with my students listed in the preface whom I have acknowledged. Some of the material contains the work of Martyn Amos and was not cited and we deeply regret this and withdraw this article from anywhere it appears."

6 comments:

computerlover1991 said...

Glad to see this was resolved. I was curious. What did you use to draw the figures? Thank you, and I enjoy your blog and work.

Martyn Amos said...

Thanks for the nice remarks. The original figures were drawn (back in 1996!) in xfig.

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