Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Big in Iran

(With apologies to Alphaville).

After yesterday's post on plagiarism, I didn't think it could get any worse. I was wrong.

Another search turned up a second Iranian remix of our (clearly legendary) 1997 paper on DNA-based Boolean circuits. Again, ours is on the left:

This version is due to Mahnaz Kadkhoda and Ali A. Poyan, of the University of Birjand and Sharood University of Technology respectively, and it appeared in the proceedings of the Second International Conference on Quantum, Nano and Micro Technologies (2008). Notice, once again, the direct copying of sections of text.

I've made the full versions of our paper and their paper available here, as they serve to illustrate the point made yesterday about a culture of "remixing" existing work, adding a little spin and then releasing it as one's own. Although there are differences between the two papers, they aren't technically significant. In this case, they've simply inverted our scheme, and thus claimed a new method which is "much faster and easier" (it isn't, as it still requires a fairly brutal gel extraction step).

But there's more.

By Googling a selected phrase from the original paper, we also find our text embedded in this paper, due to Zoraida, Arock, Ronald and Ponalagusamy, from the National Institute of Technology in India.

At this point, I've decided to give up chasing the matter, if only for the sake of my sanity. There are only so many rabbit-holes one can jump down in fruitless pursuit of plagiarists.

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