Saturday, June 2, 2012

Serial Plagiarist

The Danish weekly newspaper Weekendavisen published an article entitled "The Serial Plagiarist" on June 1, 2012 about Nasrullah Memon, the VroniPlag dissertation case 23. Some of the VroniPlag people have been researching other publications of Memon, and documented the following list of 13 publications involling Memon that include plagiarism:
  • Memon, Hicks, Larsen (2007): How Investigative Data Mining Can Help Intelligence Agencies to Discover Dependence of Nodes in Terrorist Networks in: R. Alhajj et al. (Eds.): ADMA 2007, LNAI 4632, pp. 430–441, 2007. Springer Berlin Heidelberg: http://www.springerlink.com/content/p6w523g8481n2427/
    This paper is to a large degree a collage of many other publications, many of which are nowhere mentioned in the paper, as an example: p.432, 31-40; p.433, 1-2 in the paper is a literal copy of p.213, 41-44, p.214, 1-8 in a publication from 2003 that is nowhere mentioned in the paper:  http://www.utdallas.edu/~jxr061100/paper-for-website/%5B18%5DMining-Terrorism-NGDM04.pdf
  • Memon, Larsen (2006): Structural Analysis and Mathematical Methods for Destabilizing Terrorist Networks Using Investigative Data Mining in X. Li, O.R. Zaiane, and Z. Li (Eds.): ADMA 2006, LNAI 4093, pp. 1037 – 1048, 2006. Springer Berlin Heidelberg: http://www.springerlink.com/content/97qx65771p188845/ 
    This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without quotation. As an example: p.1040, 13-35 in the paper is an almost literal copy of p.48 (1st column), 47-52, (2nd column) 1-5, 14-26; p.49 (1st column), 14-18 in a publication from 2004 that is nowhere mentioned in the paper: http://www.cs.uiuc.edu/class/fa05/cs591han/kdd04/docs/linkkdd.pdf 
  • Memon, Wiil, Qureshi, Karampelas (2011): Exploring the Evolution of Terrorist Networks, U.K. Wiil (ed.), Counterterrorism and Open Source Intelligence, Lecture Notes in Social Networks 2, 413-427, DOI 10.1007/978-3-7091-0388-3 20, Springer-Verlag/Wien 2011:  http://www.springerlink.com/content/r970122m77980211/ 
    NOTE: the editor of the book in which the paper appeared is also co-author of the paper. This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without quotation. As an example: p.419, 3-20 in the paper is an only slightly adapted copy of p.308, 23-33; p.309, 1-11 in a publication from 2004 that is nowhere mentioned in the paper:  http://www.hks.harvard.edu/davidlazer/files/papers/Lazer_Katz_Small_Group.pdf 
    Note also, that the publication is to a very large degree identical to an earlier publication of the same authors:  http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/ASONAM.2010.73  In comparison to this 2010 publication, only the introduction has been extended, a short section at the end of chapter 4 has been added and the section 3.3. has been added. The rest of the publication is a copy of the previous paper with only minor adjustments.
  • Memon, Larsen, Hicks, Harkiolakis (2008). Detecting Hidden Hierarchy in Terrorist Networks: Some Case Studies, in C.C. Yang et al. (Eds.): ISI 2008 Workshops, LNCS 5075, pp. 477–489, 2008. Springer Berlin Heidelberg:  http://www.springerlink.com/content/f01u8867306236k1/ 
    This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without adequate reference. As an example: page 486, 1-12 in the paper is an almost literal copy of p.4, 32-43 in a publication from 2006. A reference to this source is given, but only half a page further up and without any indication that what will follow is taken verbatim from this source:  http://www.hsaj.org/?fullarticle=2.2.8 (PDF download)
  • Memon, Qureshi, Hicks, Harkiolakis (2008): Extracting Information from Semi-structured Web Documents: A Framework In: Y. Ishikawa et al. (Eds.): APWeb 2008 Workshops, LNCS 4977, pp. 54–64, 2008. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg:  http://www.springerlink.com/content/l0202r444m408g37/ 
    This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without adequate reference. As an example: page 59, 12-31 in the paper is a slightly adapted copy of p.2, (1st column) 40-49, (2nd column) 1-3, 13-30 in a publication from 2006 that is mentioned nowhere in the paper:  http://www.mindswap.org/papers/2006/RelClzPIT.pdf 
  • Memon, Hicks, Harkiolakis, Rajput (2008): Small World Terrorist Networks: A Preliminary Investigation in Ellis, Allen, Petridis eds: Applications and Innovations in Intelligent Systems XV, 339-344, Springer London (2008), 978-1-84800-086-5, 10.1007/978-1-84800-086-5_28: http://www.springerlink.com/content/m732505681263247/
    This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without adequate reference. As an example: page 339, 20-25 in the paper is a slightly adapted copy of p.18, 11-20 in a publication from 2006 that is mentioned nowhere in the paper:  http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/cs199r/readings/popp-sp2006.pdf    
  • Memon, Larsen (2006): Practical Approaches for Analysis, Visualization and Destabilizing Terrorist Networks Proceedings of the First International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES’06) 0-7695-2567-9/06 IEEE: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/ARES.2006.95
    This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without adequate reference. As an example: section 5.1 in the paper is an only slightly adapted copy of the beginning of section 5.2.3 in a publication from 2002 that is nowhere mentioned in the paper:  http://www.dcs.bbk.ac.uk/TriStarp/pubs/ECoDV2002.pdf 
  • Memon, Hicks, Larsen (2007): Harvesting Terrorists Information from Web 11th International Conference Information Visualization (IV'07), 0-7695-2900-3/07 2007 IEEE: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/IV.2007.60.  This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without adequate reference. As an example: the section "Weaknesses of Open Source Knowledge bases" in chapter 6 of the paper is an only slightly adapted copy of the beginning of section 4.2 (p.410, 411) in a publication from 2006 that is nowhere mentioned in the paper:  http://www.springerlink.com/content/g26p24152m696wx9/ 
  • Memon, Kristoffersen, Hicks, Larsen (2007): Detecting Critical Regions in Covert Networks: A Case Study of 9/11 Terrorists Network in Second International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security (ARES'07) 0-7695-2775-2/07, IEEE Computer Society: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=4159885 
    This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from mainly one other publication from 2006 that is not mentioned in the paper at all. As an example: the beginning of the introduction of the paper (p.1, 1st column: 19-28; 2nd column: 1-21) is an only slightly adapted copy of the beginning of the introduction (p.1: 17-27; p.2: 1-12) in: http://www.caam.rice.edu/~ivhicks/kplex.general.pdf It is also worth noting that part of the findings of this paper have been published before (figures 1, 2; tables 1, 2): http://www.springerlink.com/content/97qx65771p188845/ 
  • Memon, Hicks, Hussain, Larsen (2007): Practical Algorithms and Mathematical models for destabilizing terrorist networks in Military Communications Conference, 1-7. MILCOM 2007. IEEE: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=4455057 
    This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without adequate reference. As an example: p.2, 1st column: 3-17 is an almost literal copy of p.18, 2nd column: 18-32; p.19, 1st column: 1-6 in a publication from 2006 that is mentioned in the publication, but in the paragraph above the copied text without relation to it:  http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/cs199r/readings/popp-sp2006.pdf 
  • Memon, Harkiolakis, Hicks (2008): Detecting High-Value Individuals in Covert Networks: 7/7 London Bombing Case Study aiccsa, pp.206-215, 2008 IEEE/ACS International Conference on Computer Systems and Applications, 2008: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/AICCSA.2008.4493536 
    This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without adequate reference. As an example:the section "TERRORISM NETWORK ANALYSIS" (page 209, 210) of the paper is a literal copy of the beginning of section 4.2 (p.410, 411) in a publication from 2006 that is nowhere mentioned in the paper: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/testimony/50.pdf 
  • Memon, Hicks (2008): Detecting Key Players in 11-M Terrorist Network: A Case Study ares, pp.1254-1259, 2008 Third International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, 2008, 0-7695-3102-4/08 IEEE Computer Society DOI 10.1109/ARES.2008.173: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/ARES.2008.173 
    Note that this publication is very similar to the publication ( http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/AICCSA.2008.4493536 ) In comparison to this publication, some chapters are missing, the chapter "Case Study" is different, and the chapter "conclusions" is somewhat changed. The rest is a literal copy.
    This paper contains substantial amount of text copied from other publications without adequate reference. As an example:the section "TERRORISM NETWORK ANALYSIS" (page 1254, 1255) of the paper is a literal copy of the beginning of section 4.2 (p.410, 411) in a publication from 2006 that is nowhere mentioned in the paper: http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/testimony/50.pdf 
  • Wiil, Memon, Karampelas (2010): Detecting New Trends in Terrorist Networks in: 2010 International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, 435-440, 978-0-7695-4138-9/10 IEEE, DOI 10.1109/ASONAM.2010.73: http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/ASONAM.2010.73 
    This paper contains in the introduction text that has been copied from other publications without adequate reference. As an example: p.435, 2nd column, 3-10 of the paper is an only slightly adapted copy of p.3, 1-6 in a publication from 2006 that is mentioned nowhere in the paper: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.64.7470
Both Springer Verlag and IEEE have been informed, as well as the university at which Memon obtained his doctorate and his current school.

The article in Weekendavisen noted that there had been anonymous documentations sent to the school at which Memon did his dissertation (University of Aalborg) in 2010 and 2011. The documentations were rather well done, but the university dismissed them. The journalist was able to obtain the documents with a freedom of information request.

I find this serious in two ways: first, of course, it is not acceptable to plagiarize. But second is the problem of the reaction of the institution to (correct) allegations in the past. Why did the university turn a blind eye? Why was nothing undertaken? I hope the bright light of public scrutiny can shed some light on this.

4 comments:

  1. Excellent work. Thank you indeed! The fact that these thefts are occurring in high-impact journals should be yet more embarrassing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. One should add that in addition to the papers listed above, there is one paper that has been retracted by the IEEE already ( http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?reload=true&tp=&arnumber=5066528 ) as well as several other papers that are heavily affected by plagiarism, but that are published by less well established publishers and therefore have not been analysed in full detail yet (see http://de.vroniplag.wikia.com/wiki/Nm/Comparisons ).

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  3. Thanks for all the good work you have done. This is an interesting case because this professor has listed 54 papers at DBLP and according to the VroniPlag some of these papers have been plagiarized.

    http://www.informatik.uni-trier.de/~ley/db/indices/a-tree/m/Memon:Nasrullah.html

    The other interesting fact is that in this link:

    http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=4258726

    The paper listed there contains only the abstract and it is listed as it were a full paper in DBLP!! Publishers and editors should be more careful in what is published and considered a full paper.

    It is also interesting that some of the papers reported by DBLP have very similar names and I'm wondering how really different they might be as the titles are very similar? and how much plagiarism is contained in them?

    1- Practical Algorithms for Destabilizing Terrorist Networks. ISI 2006: 389-400

    2- Structural Analysis and Mathematical Methods for Destabilizing Terrorist Networks Using Investigative Data Mining. ADMA 2006: 1037-1048

    3 - Practical Approaches for Analysis, Visualization and Destabilizing Terrorist Networks. ARES 2006

    4 - Structural Analysis and Destabilizing Terrorist Networks. DMIN 2006: 296-302

    and

    1 - Novel Algorithms for Subgroup Detection in Terrorist Networks. ARES 2009: 572-577

    2 - Practical algorithms for subgroup detection in covert networks. IJBIDM 5(2): 134-155 (2010)

    and

    1 - Detecting Hidden Hierarchy in Terrorist Networks: Some Case Studies. ISI Workshops 2008: 477-489

    2 - A First Look on iMiner' s Knowledge Base and Detecting Hidden Hierarchy of Riyadh Bombing Terrorist Network. IMECS 2007: 707-715

    and

    1 - Detecting high-value individuals in covert networks: 7/7 London bombing case study. AICCSA 2008: 206-215

    2 - Detecting Key Players in 11-M Terrorist Network: A Case Study. ARES 2008: 1254-1259

    and

    1 - Harvesting covert networks: a case study of the iMiner database. IJNVO 8(1/2): 52-74 (2011)

    2 - Practical algorithms for subgroup detection in covert networks. IJBIDM 5(2): 134-155 (2010)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some papers are identical, many more share to a large degree similar building blocks (many of which are plagiarized). You might get an impression from this page: http://de.vroniplag.wikia.com/wiki/Nm/Fragment_list .

      Among these 54 papers there are also publications in very obscure journals, as well as book prefaces, etc. The real papers on the counter-terrorism topic, where Memon is the first author, all appear to contain plagiarized text to a varying degree.

      Delete