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TODAY’S IRONY AWARD at SimanaitisSays honors actions described in the borrowed headline above. It sounds like something in a Tom Lehrer song. However, the headline appeared in the January 18, 2019, issue of Science magazine, published weekly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The 6th World Conference on Research Integrity is to be held June 2–5, 2019, in Hong Kong. Abstracts for papers to be presented at the conference had to reach organizers by October 15, 2018.
But imagine their surprise when organizers received an abstract that was full of apparent plagiarism. What’s more, “After combing through all 430 submissions,” Science reports, “they discovered 11 additional cases of suspected plagiarism.”
In fact, two of these papers were on the subject of plagiarism.
“When organizers reached out to the authors,” Science continues, “six didn’t respond, one withdrew their submission, one blamed staff, and two said they had permission to use each other’s works.”
In reporting to Reaction Watch, the organizers said only two researchers offered what were deemed “acceptable” explanations.
Scientists, after all, are human and thus subject to temptations affecting us all. Somehow, though, you’d like to think that specialists in research integrity might exercise with a higher bar. Or, at least, sound less like a Tom Lehrer satire. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2019