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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2013

    1) While doing some literature searching, I recently came across an instance of plagiarism. I contacted the journal and was told that they had been informed last year. However the plagiaristic version was not removed properly from the web, so it showed up via Google search. Even after they take this down, it will still show up in places like MathSciNet and Zentralblatt.

    For interest, the original and plagiarized papers are:

    MR1090182 (91k:68183) Nackman, Lee R.(1-IBM); Srinivasan, Vijay(1-IBM) Bisectors of linearly separable sets. Discrete Comput. Geom. 6 (1991), no. 3, 263–275.

    MR1789627 (2001h:68146) Abdelmoez Mohamed, Hesham(ET-HELE-CE); Aly Abas Abdelhafez, Yosef(ET-ASIE-CE) On the bisectors of weakly separable sets. J. Geom. Graph. 4 (2000), no. 1, 19–30.

    Neither paper was really reviewed by Math Reviews - they just used the abstract.

    Another paper by Nackman was also plagiarized and published in the same journal in 2004, by one of the same authors! This time the plagiaristic version was reviewed in Math Reviews, but not spotted as a bogus paper.

    Abdelmoez Mohamed, Hesham(ET-HELE-PEM) On curvature properties of medial axes in E3. J. Geom. Graph. 8 (2004), no. 2, 129–142.

    2) I recently was sent a paper to referee by ISRN Discrete Mathematics. There seems to be a fair amount of suspicion of Hindawi as a publisher, but in this case they acted well. After being sent the paper, I almost immediately received an email from the journal saying that they had concerns about the originality of the paper and sending me a copy of the “victim” paper. I confirmed it as a very likely case of plagiarism. I believe they will blacklist the author and they have rejected the submission. It seems they have software to detect plagiarism, but I have no more details.

    3) I know that the journal I am involved with (OJAC) has no plagiarism detection system, but it seems like a good idea.

    Questions:

    Is there a standard procedure for removing plagiarized papers from review sites? If not, should there be, and how do we go about instituting it? How can plagiarism be detected by reviewers more easily? What standards should journals adopt for dealing with plagiarism? Do they exist already?

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorHenry Cohn
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2013

    Is there a standard procedure for removing plagiarized papers from review sites?

    What do you mean by removing? I think they should stay there, but be marked in some way as plagiarized (or suspected of plagiarism).

    By the way, does anyone know how often people plagiarize without verbatim copying, by rewording someone else’s paper without adding any new ideas? Verbatim copying seems to be far more common, and I don’t know whether that’s because plagiarists are lazy or because clever plagiarists are much harder to catch.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2013

    Yes, marking rather than removing is what I meant (at least, I agree with it!)

  1. I think that MR and Zentrallblatt can be contacted directly. They can then ask a revision of the review, which do happen sometimes. For the journal, not withdrawing clearly the papers is a serious misconduct ; the EMS has recently installed a ethic committee and this could be something they are meant to tackle. Of course, they can do little more that threaten the journal of issuing a statement on their behavior, but it may be sufficient to force them to act.