roughly Inside Story: How a postgrad plagiarised no less than 60 papers in big publishing rip-off will cowl the most recent and most present suggestion in relation to the world. get into slowly consequently you comprehend capably and accurately. will enlargement your information properly and reliably

Falling down a rabbit gap, in present utilization, implies that whereas it’s performed voluntarily, the implications are nightmarish, with all types of risks and unintended penalties. Whereas this differs from Lewis Carroll’s unique which means Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandlike this New Yorker Because the article explains, there are corollaries which have solely been found in right this moment’s Web-dependent world.

So when Ripeta co-founder and CEO Leslie McIntosh described starting her investigation into suspicious posting exercise in March 2022 as “keen on wanting into this rabbit gap,” she knew that whereas it could fulfill her curiosity as somebody who had constructed an organization on attempting to enhance science, it may additionally result in some painful discoveries about how analysis and publishing can go flawed.


The rabbit gap first appeared, because it normally does, in the form of a tweet the place an creator had complained about the truth that a journal was ignoring pleas to behave on an article that had evidently plagiarized his personal work. Greater than a yr later, nothing had been performed, so the creator took to social media to precise his considerations. After investigating the alleged plagiarism, Dr. McIntosh found that the creator in query, Mohammed Sabah Uddin, had revealed greater than 100 articles whereas at Bangladesh South-East College earlier than most lately shifting to Hong Kong College. Dr. McIntosh’s suspicions have been additional heightened by an acknowledgment within the suspect ‘Pharmakon Neuroscience’ paper, which couldn’t be verified within the GRID database maintained by mother or father firm Digital Science.

After finishing a sequence of integrity checks utilizing Ripeta’s expertise, together with cross-referencing of co-authors and funding businesses, Dr. McIntosh discovered plenty of different comparable Pharmakon acknowledgments utilizing the Dimensions database, which comprises full textual content searches appropriate to assist such a forensic work.

Dr. McIntosh explains: “The work that my colleagues and I do is one solution to defend the scholarly report, and in doing so helps the rising variety of establishments, publishers, sponsors, and researchers who place the integrity of analysis in danger. the middle of his strategy to analysis.”

“As a part of Ripeta’s work in offering instruments to spotlight potential challenges to ideas of analysis and publication integrity, we’ll create a case examine in order that key stakeholders can be taught from this instance. The work has additionally contributed to Ripeta’s improvement of latest options for analysis integrity.”

Evaluation revealed different anomalies in Uddin’s posting log, akin to:

  • Numerous revealed articles (greater than 130) in a short while (from 2016 to 2021; supply: Dimensions)
  • A excessive variety of citations of these articles (greater than 2000)
  • Numerous verified evaluations on Publons (over 300).

Extra particulars on Uddin’s put up log may be seen within the Appendix beneath.

These and different ‘belief markers’ led Dr. McIntosh to seek the advice of his Digital Science colleague, Simon Linacre, who along with having 20 years of educational publishing expertise, can also be a COPE member with expertise in misleading publishing practices. Confirming the findings of the investigation, it was time to strategy the creator himself.

“The work that my colleagues and I perform is a solution to defend the scholarly report and, in doing so, helps the rising variety of establishments, publishers, sponsors, and researchers who place the integrity of analysis on the core of their analysis strategy. the investigation”.

Dr. Leslie McIntosh, Founder and CEO, Ripeta

No response

In Could 2022, Linacre used a number of verified e mail addresses to contact Uddin with a sequence of questions in regards to the excessive quantity of his articles and their similarities to different paperwork. Uddin was contacted thrice to no avail, which is widespread when coping with suspicious actors within the publishing surroundings. It was then determined to contact his present employer, prompting not solely a right away response from HKU but in addition from Uddin himself, all on the identical day. Apologizing for not responding as earlier emails had gone to his spam folder, little element was offered to preliminary queries that had been raised. Extra queries have been despatched to Uddin, this time copied to HKU, earlier than the college introduced a proper investigation.

The college acted shortly. Simply over a month into its investigation, HKU discovered proof of wrongdoing on Uddin’s behalf. He stated that he had admitted to copying 60 revealed articles out of a complete of 180 revealed lately: plagiarism on an industrial scale was made potential by means of paraphrasing software program to flee detection by anti-plagiarism instruments. At this stage, it’s nonetheless unclear how the opposite articles have been written and revealed so shortly and which precise articles he legitimately wrote. Total, 90% of all articles revealed by Uddin are listed in PubMed in over 100 completely different journals and 10 completely different publishers.

Shortly after considerations with HKU have been raised, Uddin’s posting historical past on his ORCiD profile modified considerably from full to empty. All citations and references have been eliminated. In late June, HKU stated its investigations have been full. HKU knowledgeable Digital Science that Uddin would withdraw from his Ph.D. program on the college efficient August 1.

Talking on behalf of HKU, Professor Danny Chan, Director (Analysis Integrity Training and Growth) stated: “Sustaining analysis integrity has all the time been and can proceed to be our prime precedence. Any breach of belief isn’t solely detrimental to our profession, but in addition to funders and academia. We attempt to make sure that our college students and colleagues put this dedication into each day apply.“

Seeking to the long run

Because the story was revealed in retraction clock on August 25, a number of inquiries have been made into different points of the case. Who was the creator in query? Why have been so many articles plagiarized? May extra have been performed to determine what was occurring earlier?

As Dr. McIntosh commented on the retraction clock article when somebody inquired about Uddin’s acceptance right into a Ph.D. program at HKU: “Which means that the college should have entry to each a database of all publications and a way of disambiguating the creator’s title. If something, it exhibits the cracks in our present ecosystem and that HKU is keen to enhance.”

Reflecting an excessive amount of on the motivations of a person creator can threat overlooking the systemic points at play that may lead researchers to go to nice lengths to develop a stacked CV. The proverbial ‘publish or perish’ tradition nonetheless persists in lots of analysis settings, and Uddin is unlikely to be the primary to make use of new instruments, akin to paraphrase software program, to finish his publication report. The excellent news is that along with Ripeta’s current options, it’s creating new instruments and integrations which have been helped by Uddin’s analysis that ought to assist establishments and publishers keep away from these sorts of issues sooner or later. The dangerous information, nonetheless, is that as a part of the Uddin investigations, they wanted a number of different “rabbit holes” within the type of co-authors and different articles acknowledging Pharmakon’s assist. There’s nonetheless an extended solution to go earlier than Alice hits the underside of this specific rabbit gap, and it is unlikely she’ll find yourself in a spot like Wonderland.


Publications of Md. Sahab Uddin by dimensions (by citations)

Publications of Md. Sahab Uddin Citations by dimensions*

12 months of publication









Distinctive DOIs






3. 4



Sum of occasions cited









* That is the variety of publications that Ripeta recognized solely with the creator’s title and the variety of article citations throughout that yr.

Simon Linacre

Concerning the Writer

Simon Linacre, Head of Content material, Model and Press | digital sciences

Simon has labored in scholarly publishing for almost 20 years. His background is in journalism and he has revealed in educational journals on bibliometrics, publication ethics and analysis affect.

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