Friday, June 29, 2012

Thai official loses doctorate

The Times Higer Education reports that a Thai official has had his doctorate rescinded on account of plagiarism.

A senior government official in Thailand has finally had his doctorate rescinded more than two years after a university investigation concluded that 80 per cent of his thesis on organic asparagus production had been plagiarised.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Strike Two - Serial Plagiarism?

Another case was made public on the home page of the VroniPlag Wiki this morning, case 26, from the University of Münster. This case is quite interesting, as it is the second strike, if you will, involving the same author in the same week.

Case 25 was not a dissertation, but a textbook on scientific methodology for law students. The publisher, a respected German publisher, withdrew the book from the market within hours of seeing the documentation on the VroniPlag Wiki. Since the publisher's association in Germany has been publicly fighting against "piracy" on the internet, it doesn't look too good to be having such a blatant plagiarism in one's program. No need to have long, drawn-out meetings to hem and haw about the situation. Anyone who can read can see the large amounts of plagiarism, including many fragments from the Wikipedia. Swift action was needed, and taken.

There has been a long and very fruitful discussion on the forums page of the VroniPlag Wiki. The main author first published a statement saying that he would investigate how the plagiarism happened. The editor responsible for the legal publications also joined in. They discussed whether it would have been useful to inform the publisher first, before going online with the documentation. Many people were upset with the main author's need to investigate at all, feeling that he should know what he wrote.

There was then a second statement in which the main author has taken responsibility for the debacle, giving the following reasons:
  1. Many of the texts had been used in their department for years, they never thought to check for plagiarism. 
  2. They had a number of "young students" in the department help them write. Because of an "error", the preface was not printed that would have thanked them for their work. These texts were also not checked.
  3. In order to make the text "readable" they had removed some footnotes.
The discussion of these reasons is ongoing, while case #26 quickly came to the top - the dissertation of one of the other authors of this textbook.

The dissertation is more of the same, a patchwork of texts -- including the Wikipedia -- taken with minor changes. This raises the question if this is perhaps a serial plagiarist at work? As soon as the plagiarism in the text book was made public, the home pages of the second and third author were quickly blanked out. Good thing the Internet Archive exists, it is hard to remove something quickly from the Internet. The University of Münster needs to answer some serious hard questions: Why was this thesis awarded the university prize (with 7500 € !) in 2009? Why are there two plagiarisms in the same department? Is there more? How can the university teach students not to plagiarize, when some teachers seem to find it okay?

It will be interesting to see how this continues.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hungarian president stepped down in plagiarism row

I seem to have forgotten to blog that the Hungarian president, Pàl Schmidt, stepped down in April after his doctorate in sports was rescinded by the University of Budapest.  Here are some links so that I can find them again myself: reuters, Guardian, New York Times

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Predatory Publishing

Moshe Y. Vardi, Editor-in-Chief of the Communications of the ACM, has a nice editorial called "Predatory Scholarly Publishing" in the July 2012 issue. He names a junk journal and a mock conference and then notes that we shouldn't single out Elsevier for predatory publishing -- so many of the publishers today are guilty of focusing more on making money than on science.

He also refers to the Scholarly Open Access blog, run by Jeffery Beall, who has written extensively about junk science. I just love the entry on the "Six new vanity presses", in which he discusses:
  • Intellectual Archive: "This site is an 'institutional repository' for people who ought to be institutionalized." 
  • Wudpecker Research Journals: From India, that name does stand out
  • Academy & Industry Research Collaboration Center:  A combined conference and journal from India. Just what the doctor ordered to meet your two publications a year.
  • MASAUM Network: Only £200 for accepted papers
  • Centre For Info Bio Technology (CIBTech): The spelling on their web page is apparently adventurous 
  • Pelagia Research Library: does not say where it is located, but since it accepts payment in Rupees, Beall assumes that it is located there.
Another entry in Beall's blog on a Ridiculous New Publisher sums it up nicely:
"The open-access movement started with good will and good intentions. Unfortunately, it has now been co-opted by a bunch of corrupt schemers who threaten to destroy the foundation of scholarly communication."
We need to spread the word -- and find some way of separating the wheat from the chaff.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Next politician accused of plagiarism: Romanian PM

Nature reports that there has been a substantial accusation of plagiarism in the dissertation of the Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Just recently, the Minister of Education had to resign about a month ago because his dissertation was a plagiarism. Do scroll down to the update — the press office of the Romanian government set a misspelled nastygram to Nature, that they have published in all it's glory, accusing Nature of playing politics.

According to Nature, the Ethics Council that is still working on preparing a report on the plagiarism in the dissertation of the Minister of Education was sacked a few days ago.

Here is a link to the plagiarism documentation: (in Romanian, but the copying is clear if these are indeed true copies of both thesis and sources).

Update 2012-07-03: Found an Austrian article on the topic "Von Guttenberg zu Ponta". Apparently Ponta had told El Pais that he would step down if his thesis was found to be plagiarized, and the committee did indeed determine that, but the committee was expanded from 21 to 45 people, so the legality of the determination is currently being disputed. Personally, I find all this legal maneuvering quite distasteful. This is a scientific problem - politics only needs to determine if it wants to keep a plagiarist on board, but the determination of plagiarism should be solidly in the hands of the university.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

VroniPlag Wiki - Two new cases

A double-header over at VroniPlag Wiki:
  • Another plagiarized dissertation from the University of Heidelberg, this time about the business of "E-Sports". The University of Heidelberg was just re-awarded the status of an excellent university in Germany. This is now the fourth dissertation found from this university. 
  • And for something really bizarre: there is a new book out on how to write scientifically - for law students. Even the chapter on plagiarism is plagiarized, and much is taken from the Wikipedia. If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would have thought it an elaborate hoax. This is a reputable German publisher — do they not have editors anymore? What were the authors thinking? Or did they have some students prepare the book for them? If you read German, do check out page 121. The source — zu Guttenberg's dissertation — is given. But it is copied wrong. The page of bloopers is long. 
And that marks the 25th plagiarism documented on the pages.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Turkish mock conferences

I've been sent an article from Hürriyet, a Turkish daily newspaper, apparently about mock conferences and Turkish scientists. Google translate didn't do such a hot job on translating - anyone out there read enough Turkish to translate?

Update 2012-06-18: Here's a translation, thank you to my anonymous translator! I've made some minor changes, if I have anything very wrong, please let me know!
2nd update: fixed two minor problems

He who plunks down money gets made professor (From Hürriyet Newspaper 12 December 2010)

WASET is a very stylish site, also it impresses with its content: links with international refereed journals, international conferences that organized almost in every subject... But if you delve into the issue a bit, you learn that this site only shows as if your paper was published in a journal which it is not, and it also shows like as if you attended the international conferences, which you didn't. He or she who plunks their money can add them to his/her CV and becomes a associate professor or a professor.

Actually what is done is simple: lets assume that it is time for your associate professorship or professorship. There is no way that it will occur automatically, you have to attend conferences or publish papers in refereed journals, so you can add these to your CV. Although there are 25.000 refereed journal in the world, you are not the type who bothers him/herself, you benefit enough from the culture of “is not there an easy way to do this, bro'?”

The “World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology” which can be found at is such a site. When you get into it, you come across a stylish, serious page. Information given, offered programs are kind of that can't be disregarded. This site, allows you to add “articles published in international refereed journals and international conferences” to your CV for a fee.


The site is backed by former science teacher Cemal Ardıl, his daugter Ebru Ardıl, and his son Bora Ardıl is also helping him. These names are very interesting. Science teacher for twenty years Cemal Ardıl introduced himself as Dr/PhD, and because of this TÜBİTAK [The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey] chair Prof. Nüket Yetiş opened a investigation about him in ethical committee. After that because of using the name TÜBİTAK without permission, she gave them a notarized protest certificate. Also TÜBİTAK withdrew support from Çanakkale 18 Mart University until bogus conference, bogus journal problem could be solved. But they continued with their activity. Guess who is the one with most articles in WASET? Cemal Ardıl with 46 articles is the one with most articles. But we couldn't reach the Ardıl family. Probably because they know that we are investigating, they closed the “contact us” section of the site. All other methods we used for reaching them also failed.

First who pointed out this issue is A. Murat Eren from NTV Science Magazine. Eren, who is also a academic,  gives interesting information about site's scope: “It is a widely known fact that there is a disproportion between publication and citation counts in Turkey, also how academics gets on staff by which kind of publications in provincial universities (small, country universities). This site allows people to publish by money, in fact who couldn't publish their works in another way (channel, course). Academics, who collects a few hundred euros, easily publish in WASET, without bothering himself/herself with complicated scientific process. Who pludges the money, climbs the stairs of academic life two by two. If published thousands articles, organized tens of conferences are thought, it can be seen that it is a really profitable business. When everybody wins, unfortunately science is losing.”

Again from the Eren's article, we learn that many of those who applied to the WASET originate from countries such as Bulgaria, India, Pakistan, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, or Indonesia. Some of the academics who are working on Turkey's universities are also regulars on the WASET. Common characteristics of these countries are that their hardship (poverty, etc.) in contribution to science, scientific thought and science world! “For instance” says A. Murat Eren, “a academic who published 14 article in WASET's so-called journals in Mathematics still serves in Uludag University”. We found the academic Prof. Ahmet Tekcan, who Eren mentions. He said to us, as soon as he learned that WASET was doing such things, he disengaged (dropped all relations) from it: “I have 14 articles since 2007 in WASET group journals and most of them are joint studies which are done with associates from my department. After hearing the news about WASET, I stopped sending articles to it. In the end nobody wants to be tainted (stained) by his scientific works. As I see most of the people who has papers with this group are not aware of the news about it.”

When we ask about the difficulty of publishing 14 articles in the field such as Mathematics in one year, he said that it is possible with well-founded basis (foundation). However, we couldn't find anyone within the most reputed mathematicians who can publish 14 articles in one year.


WASET actually is a new site. Before it, there was a site with Enformatika name. But, academic member of İTÜ Prof. Tayfun Akgül, who writes under the nickname “Conik Author: Piref H. Ökkeş” in Matematik Dünyası (Mathematical World Magazine), wrote an article in the magazine titled “I've sent a paper to bogus conference”. Piref Ökkeş, heard about an international conference in his major is going to be organized in Istanbul, also leading scientists from the world are going to attend to this conference. After sending an email to the one of the renowned scientists in list, he learned that this person don't have any information about the conference. Thus, it is emerged that this conference is totally fake.

But Piref Ökkeş, didn't settle with this. After a while, he sent an article with totally a fabricated title and content to the site. After an article was accepted and declared to be a fake article, the site was deciphered and it was hurriedly closed. Actually it only changed its logo. The new logo, which can easily be guessed, is WASET. “After this news” says A. Murat Eren, “probably WASET logo will change too”. 

When we were researching about this issue, we repeatedly called YÖK (The Council of Higher Education in Turkey) president Prof. Yusuf Ziya Özcan and sent our questions to his answering machine, but we couldn't get any answer from him.

TÜBA can't keep track of everything
I didn't know anything about WASET internet site. After your notice I researched. But I have to confess tha, I don't intend on keeping track of that thing. Also it is out of the question for TÜBA (Turkey Sciences Academy). People who takes this kind of actions, shouldn't have any claims about science. Society is also not criticizing (blame, condemn, denounce) this kind of people. I am sorry I don't have time to look into the question 'Is there any relation to publication explosion?'”.

Cemal Ardıl (46)
Ahmet Tekcan (14)
Melih Turgut (14)
Atilla Akpınar (12)
Basri Çelik (12)
Osman Bizim (10)
Serkan Narlı (8)
Betül Gezer (8)
Ali Eryılmaz (7)
Emin Özyılmaz (6)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Die Wissenschaft" and plagiarism

There's a bit of an absurd discussion running in Germany at the moment. The Süddeutsche Zeitung published a guest editorial by eight formerly important men in the German universities and scientific bodies. They make this clear by stating at the beginning of the editorial how important they were. They represent "Die Wissenschaft", science and scholarship.  Except for one, I believe they are all now retired.

As Anatol Stefanowitch makes clear, he was expecting them to state some clear demands, such as that plagiarists should not hold public office, or perhaps even a word of thanks for the GuttenPlag Wiki and VroniPlag Wiki collaborative plagiarism documentations. Or maybe even a brief reflection on the sins of the system "university" in Germany.

But no, none of the above. They waffle around, trying to redefine what plagiarism is. They beat around the bush. Are they really writing about the *Plag Wikis, or is this about the demands that a politician accused of plagiarism step down? The press has so readily printed these demands from someone thrown out of one of the groups over 7 months ago for, among other things, unscientific behavior. Or are they writing about flying teapots? They don't even make it clear who exactly they are writing about. They prefer to not go into detail, to clearly state their business, but they hide behind statements that are open to interpretation.

Then the editorial writers make it clear that they do not understand at all what the discussion is about. The Internet has not set down some "new" methods for documenting sources in scientific discourse. It has always been clear (or it should have always been clear) that one must delineate the beginning and the end of what one uses from others, and give a clear and useful reference to the source. That's all. The Internet does, however, make it much easier to find and document the sins of the past.

The *Plag Wikis have not been discussing the content of the dissertations, no matter how often they have been sorely tempted to lose some words about the sordid state of many of them. They have just been documenting plagiarism, for everyone to see. The University of Heidelberg, again an "excellent" university in Germany, states that 70 % plagiarism is fine and dandy in medicine. That's the way they do science in medicine. The BTU Cottbus thinks that 40 % is okay, as long as the doctoral student donates lots of money by way of his company to the university. Or so one must assume, as the expertises investigating the cases have not and presumably will not be published. Everything is highly secret, you see.

Science must be open, for all to see and discuss. Science, as Robert K. Merton stated (and I know that I am starting to sound like a broken record on this), is universal, communal, personally disinterested, and exercises organized skepticism in order to produce new knowledge. Hiding the reasoned discussion of why these blatant plagiarisms that even a primary school child can see are considered perfectly okay, is spineless.

The problem of plagiarism and scientific misconduct is endemic. It can be found in all levels at the university. And it won't go away by pretending that it does not exist or that the people pointing their fingers are somehow not qualified. And it won't go away because of pointless editorials. The universities must wake up and take charge of the situation. Plagiarism must not be tolerated on any level. And the universities would be well advised to move to transparent communication and a timely resolution of accusations.

Mock Conferences

After being forced to remove pages from my blog dealing with what I called a "fake conference" and naming a name, the lawyer who tried (unsuccessfully) to discredit me at my university wrote a "thank you" note to the university stating what a fine person I am and then tried to get me to give her some specific information. I said "No", and remembered that I wanted to revisit the topic of fake conferences. But since the name "fake" seems to be hotly contested because the conferences do tend to take place, I am now using the term "mock conference", in addition to "junk journals" and "pretend publishers" for things I want to be writing about in the near future.

What is a mock conference? Here's the discussion from one of the pages I had to remove, minus the reference to a particular conference and enhanced by points from the discussion that ensued.

I feel that a mock conference is one that has some (or all) of the following properties:

  1. Has an extremely wide call for papers.  
  2. Is co-located with many other conferences that are all in the same manner, but with another field, or is located in the same place a similar conference happened a few days before (see my table about the suspicious Chinese conferences from 2009). 
  3. Is located in a place people would want to visit as a tourist (Las Vegas, Orlando, Hong Kong, etc.) or even at a tourist hotel. 
  4. The same person organizes multiple international conferences in one year (one national conference is enough to tire anyone). 
  5. The sponsors are dodgy - for example, IEEE seems to sponsor anything that pays for the use of the logo. IEEE has, however, begun to crack down on mock conferences and has decided not to publish the proceedings from quite a number of conferences in 2010 and 2011.
  6. Or the "sponsors" are just the department that specific professors are associated with, but the advertising is done with the university logo. Sometimes logos are just used without the institution involved knowing about its so-called sponsorship.
  7. Even though they may brag about the number of citations they have (and in my book, if you have to announce that people have cited papers from the conference, then it is not an important conference), one needs to factor out the self-citations. These are when the author of a paper at the conference is citing own work submitted to a previous version of the conference.
  8. Makes sure you pay your fee before the paper is published. Although it seems that there have been to many authors not showing up at conferences after getting a paper accepted, which rather defeats the purpose of a conference. Having paid the conference fee is supposed to increase the chance of actually presenting the paper.  
  9. Offers a special deal if you "take" two papers.  
  10. Accepts papers just days before the conference as long as you pay the fee.
  11. Accepts papers only on the basis of an abstract. 
  12. Often chooses a publisher that sounds very similar to a renowned publisher, or publishes at a print-on-demand house. Some even just publish online (but with ISBN number) to save trees.
  13. Accepts papers without sending out reviews. Many of these conferences insist that they "do" peer review, but there are often no substantial comments made about the individual papers. Or the reviews only come back when explicitly requested.
  14. Has many, many parallel sessions that are only sparsely attended, usually because they are on such vastly different topics.
  15. The program committee of the conference is unreasonably large, e.g., more than 100 members.
  16. The number of accepted papers is in the 100s.
  17. Criticism is answered by lawyers instead of replying to honest criticism with openness, transparancy and actual arguments.
  18. Anything else?
Panos Ipeirotis had also noted: "The way that you separate the legitimate from the fraudulent event is through the community. Unfortunately, if there are academics that form a mutual admiration clique and decide to meet once a year, exchanging citations, it is very difficult to separate an event like that from other legitimate fields that are rather insular and do not communicate much with other fields."

I hope we can continue discussing the properties of mock conferences, without resorting to names. 

Updates: Split 1. into 1. and 2. Maybe I need to start sorting the properties into categories?
Added 17. from a comment.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cottbus refuses to rescind doctorate

The German technical university BTU Cottbus has decided not to rescind the doctorate of Prof. Dr. Detlev Dähnert, the general manager of the energy company Vattenfall located in this part of Germany.
Dähnert's dissertation, submitted in 1999 (Bewältigung technischer und sozialer Probleme bei der Konzeption von Umsiedlungen) is about moving entire villages in order to mine coal using an opencut method. The village Horno was one of the most well-know of the villages that were moved and then demolished in German.

Dähnert was then named honorary professor at the local engineering college HS Lausitz in 2005.

In the summer of 2011 someone set up a web site, Vattenplag, that accused the dissertation of containing plagiarism. They posted a link on the VroniPlag Wiki site with the name and a link to the page. Journalists reported that VroniPlag Wiki was investigating the case, which was pointed out as not true. Just because the name was on the page didn't mean anything. The entry was deleted from VroniPlag Wiki's public pages, the page Vattenplag disappeared, and everything was quiet.

In September a page appeared on the Internet pages of an environmental group detailing the plagiarism. VroniPlag Wiki began investigating and discovered that there were indeed large amounts of plagiarism. The case was made public in November 2011.
Dähnert's dissertation on VroniPlag Wiki

44 % of the pages have been found to be plagiarsms. The red ones above are more than 50 % of a page. There is a German-language list of interesting pages, and here are some of my favorite pages: 28 (some text changed in the middle of the page) - 35 (reference to Horno removed) - 48 (commas inserted) - 103 (wrote out a number).

The BTU Cottbus has now declared that the thesis just has technical weaknesses. The committee and an external member from the German research council DFG looked for conscious manipulation of data,  unacceptable co-authorship without personal contribution, or other deceptive practices. They found no evidence of the above, so there is no case, they found.

The local paper has gone all ballistic about this. They quoted me from last year, when I had stated that the case was not a VroniPlag Wiki case. Sure: it wasn't then, it is now. And now they have an editorial that blows your shoes off: improper German; the university says everything okay, so it must be so; these anonymous people with their denunciations; the poor man, hung out on the stalks. They even pick up on my current demand for publication of the reasoning behind the committee's decision and deride it. VroniPlag Wiki is anonymous, how can they be demanding that the secret report be published? Easy: the committee members may remain anonymous. But I need to be able to explain to my students why this kind of simple plagiarism is okay in a dissertation in Cottbus, but will get them a failing mark in any of my classes. The current joke is that zu Guttenberg should have gone to Cottbus to get his degree, seems they have different standards there.

I hope that a lot of protest is raised about this case —anyone who can read can see the plagiarisms. But the comments in the paper are full of hateful comments directed at VroniPlag Wiki and not at the author of this document accepted as a doctoral thesis.

One should perhaps note that Vattenfall gives lots of research money to the BTU Cottbus and to the HS Lausitz, and they put a lot of ads in the local paper.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reflections on a Swarm

The initiator of the GuttenPlag Wiki and a German journalist have written a report about the experiences at GuttenPlag Wiki and have thrown out some ideas for discussion. I've translated this into English for an international audience: Reflections on a Swarm.
"An attempt to describe the lessons learned from "GuttenPlag". 
Food for thought for future net-based investigation platforms. 
A contribution to the discussions about 'investigative Crowdsourcing'."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Plagiarism allegations against new Russian minister of culture

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reports on the history dissertation of the new Russian minister of culture, Vladimir Medinsky. The article begins with some gems from the academic writing of Medinsky:

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact "deserves a monument."
The U.S.S.R. never occupied the Baltic states, it just "incorporated" them. 
An infamous picture of a Nazi-Soviet military parade in Poland in 1939 was "photoshopped."
Anti-Semitism in Tsarist Russia has been "greatly exaggerated." 
Sure. Why, I remember that ancient version of Photoshop, must have been version -31, like it was yesterday.

But a group of Russian historians, perhaps inspired by VroniPlag Wiki, have documented plagiarism in 16 places in Medinsky's dissertation.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty quotes historian Lev Usyskin as passing judgement on the non-plagiarized portions of the dissertation:
"The bits that weren't plagiarized did not conform to the slightest academic rigor. This is actually a fraudulent scientific degree. The doctor himself knows this perfectly well -- this is a person who is not embarrassed to stand before the world as a fraudster," he adds. "His morals are clear."
It will be interesting to see how this develops.  Just a few weeks ago, the Romanian minister of education had to step down on charges of plagiarism, and at the end of March Hungary's president had his doctorate rescinded.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Massive Data Fraud in Chemistry

I have been sent a link on the Bengü Sezen case at Columbia University. Sezen is a chemist who was accused of massive data fraud, her case was under investigation by the Office of Research Integrity, a national organization dealing with scientific misconduct in the USA. At least 6 papers in which she was involved have had to be retracted, and Columbia University is moving to revoke her Ph.D. Interestingly, Chemical & Engineering News reports:
After leaving Columbia, Sezen went on to receive another Ph.D. in molecular biology at Germany’s Heidelberg University.
I have, however, been unable to locate any reference in the German National Library of a dissertation accepted at Heidelberg by someone of this name, and all doctorates granted in Germany must be listed here. The blog linked to above has collected many interesting links on the topic.

Update: A correspondent writes:
According to this list
Sezen graduated on 18 August 2009, which also corresponds to this calendar
entry for her doctoral exam.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


There has been quite a discussion on self-plagiarism in Germany the past few weeks, based mostly on a discussion about a paper that the current Minister of Education published 32 years ago parallel with her thesis that contains much identical material and neither refers to the other. I've been on the radio on the topic and there have been quite a number of articles published on the question.

There is an interesting legal article written by an Austrian law professor about the question of self-plagiarism: Gamper, Anna: Das so genannte „Selbstplagiat“ im Lichte des § 103 UG 2002 sowie der „guten wissenschaftlichen Praxis“. In: zfhr 8 (2009) 1, S. 2-10. DOI: 10.1007/s00741-008-0204-5

Conclusion (my translation)
A self-plagiarism is apparently only frowned upon in those cases, in which it is in essence identical to an original work, without referring to that work. [...] In such a case of sameness it cannot be the case that these are "new scientific findings [...]". 
(Wenn ein „Selbstplagiat“ verpönt ist, dann offenbar nur in Fällen, in denen eine damit im Wesentlichen idente Originalarbeit bereits veröffentlicht wurde, ohne dass auf diese gleichzeitig hingewiesen wird. [...] In einem solchen Fall der Identität liegen jedenfalls keine „neuen wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisse“ iSd § 103 Abs 3 Z 2 UG 2002 vor.)

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:
    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:
  • 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: 
    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: 
  • 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: 
    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: 
    Note also, that the publication is to a very large degree identical to an earlier publication of the same authors:  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: 
    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: (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: 
    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: 
  • 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:
    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:    
  • 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:
    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: 
  • Memon, Hicks, Larsen (2007): Harvesting Terrorists Information from Web 11th International Conference Information Visualization (IV'07), 0-7695-2900-3/07 2007 IEEE:  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: 
  • 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: 
    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: It is also worth noting that part of the findings of this paper have been published before (figures 1, 2; tables 1, 2): 
  • Memon, Hicks, Hussain, Larsen (2007): Practical Algorithms and Mathematical models for destabilizing terrorist networks in Military Communications Conference, 1-7. MILCOM 2007. IEEE: 
    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: 
  • 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: 
    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: 
  • 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: 
    Note that this publication is very similar to the publication ( ) 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: 
  • 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: 
    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:
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.