IUB academic 'plagiarises' research paper

Lahore, July 02, 2008: A professor of physics of the Islamia University Bahawalpur has been accused of plagiarising a research paper which was published in the Journal of Natural Sciences and Mathematics of the Government College University (then a college) way back in April 1994.

Information gleaned revealed that a research paper c2Stress Relaxation in 7075 Aluminium Alloyc2 by MZ Butt and AM Khan, published in the Government College journal, has almost been plagiarised by IUBc2s physics teacher Prof Dr M Arshad Chaudhry and PCSIR Laboratories' Muhammad Ashraf. The c2plagiarised' paper was published in ELSEVIER's Journal of Alloys and Compounds last year.

As soon as plagiarism was detected, one of the original writers submitted a written complaint to the Islamia University's vice-chancellor as well as the Higher Education Commission chairman. IUB Vice-Chancellor Dr Belal A Khan constituted a two-member committee, comprising varsity's faculty of science dean Prof Dr Muhammad Moazzam and chemistry department's Dr Muhammad Latif Mirza, which submitted a probe finding to the university administration.

When contacted, Dr Moazzam said: c2The preliminary inquiry committee has conducted a probe and sent the case back to the HEC with a finding that plagiarism has been committedc2.

IUB Registrar Muhammad Ishtiaq said that the plagiarism inquiry report, along with all proofs, had been sent to the HEC.

Answering a question, Mr Ishtiaq said the university would follow the HEC instructions if it would ask the university to probe the case through a formal inquiry committee and take decision. In that case, he said, the university would constitute a full-fledged inquiry committee whose recommendations would be placed before the university syndicate for a decision.

Sources said that the comparison of the two papers revealed that the paper published in ELSEVIER's Journal of Alloys and Compounds last year was a plagiarised version of the paper published in 1994. They said the c2plagiarisedc2 paper's abstract, figures, results and discussion, and conclusions etc., were the same as available in the original paper.The alleged plagiarist, Prof Chaudhry has informed one of the original writers that his co-author M Ashraf, a PhD scholar, had sent him the manuscript of the paper through an email in July 2005 and he had just edited the paper.

Sources told this reporter that the paper, which was sent to Prof Chaudhry by his co-author, carried four names as authors. However, Mr Arshad struck off three names and gave credit to only one author, besides himself.

M Ashraf had died in January 2006 and Prof Chaudhry had submitted the paper to the ELSVIER's journal later in 2006, sources said.

It is learnt that one of the writers, whose paper has been plagiarised, has also sent a written complaint to the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alloys and Compounds. The complaint reads: c2The comparison of the two papers reveals that the paper published in ELSEVIER's Journal of Alloys and Compounds last year is a plagiarised version of the paper published in 1994. The paper's abstract, figures, results and discussion, and conclusions etc., are the same. c2The only change which Chaudhry and Ashraf (2007) have cleverly (or foolishly!) made in their paper is in the cylindrical tensile specimen diameter, i.e., from 4mm (paper 1) to 0.4mm (paper 2), which is technically wrong. Moreover, there are a number of mistakes while quoting references, e.g. [11], [17] etc. For example, it should have been MZ Butt instead of MA Butt in both [11] and [17], and J Mater. Sci. instead of J. Mater. Sci. Lett. London in [11]c2.

The complainant has urged the journal's editor-in-chief to notify the act of plagiarism committed by M Arshad Chaudhry and Muhammad Ashraf (2007) in the journal.

HEC Quality Assurance Adviser Dr Riaz Hussain Qureshi said the commission had prepared and provided a plagiarism policy to all universities in the country and had asked them to process and take decisions accordingly.

Dr Qureshi, who is also the head of the commission's plagiarism committee, said the HEC had constituted the committee to deal with only those cases which would not be decided by the universities concerned within three months from the date the cases were reported. Dawn

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