Reviews Review 10Olesia Mihai – PhD thesis copy/paste plagiarism


Yellow means copy/pasted. Virtually all pages look the same.

Experts confirm that Dr Olesia Mihai (formerly Lupu) from “Al. I Cuza” University, Iasi, Romania, plagiarized extensively within her PhD thesis (April 2005, then a PhD student) the PhD thesis from 1981 of Prof Jay W. Ruud, at the time at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.

As confirmed by the experts below, including Professor Ruud himself, hundreds of pages have been lifted by copy/pasting. Out of 180 pages of actual content, close to 100% of them were identified as Prof Ruud’s original work, as one can tell from the highlighted thesis compared against Prof Ruud’s thesis (also highlighted).

It is worth mentioning that the original PhD thesis of Prof Ruud is not available online. It is stored as a microfilm and can be only ordered and purchased from ProQuest . . .

Reviews Review 9Liana Mos et al – journal article copy/paste plagiarism


Plagiarism of over 95% of the content.

Prof Liana Mos from the Faculty of Medicine Pharmacy and Dentistry from “Vasile Goldis” Western University, Arad, Romania, together with 6 other authors, were identified to have plagiarized extensively within their article entitled “Cytokine and atherogenesis“, published by the “Arad Medical Journal” in 2009, as confirmed by international experts below.

Among the 7 authors are:

The full list of authors is found in the Report section further below.

Among other sanctions to be applied to the journal and to the authors, the international experts below recommend that the authors should be cut off from funding sources and blocked from obtaining promotions. From the list above we can see that a Professor became Rector of the University the moment that this article was published. We can only speculate about the fate should this case had been surfaced earlier . . .

Reviews Review 8 A. Ioachim, Ecaterina Andronescu (research minister) et al – series of 4 articles, plagiarism, self-plagiarism and suspected multiple copyright violations


2-IEEE-CAS-300

This case refers to 4 works published in the period 2006-2007, revealing serious breaches of ethical academic conduct, including multi-submission, plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and copyright violations, as confirmed by 4 international experts after careful and independent investigation.

The content of all 4 papers is virtually the same, although the title and the authorship changes from one paper to the next. Moreover, two new authors, Ecaterina Andronescu and Sorin Jinga, both from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, are added on the last 3 subsequent re-publications of the original article, with essentially no new contribution. As the experts mentioned, this is seen as plagiarism of the initial work.

The papers have been published in two Elsevier journals (Thin Solid Film and Journal of the European Ceramic Society), the IEEE International Semiconductor Conference, and a Romanian Academy journal (Romanian Journal of Information Science and Technology) . . .

Reviews Review 7 Universitatea Petrol-Gaze Ploiesti: (1) acordare abuziva de note fara examinare, (2) studenti simultan cadre didactice auto-predandu-si cursuri in vederea absolvirii


UPG-Ploiesti-Tuca-Zbarcea-crop-300

Acest caz se refera la doua situatii de incalcare a eticii si conduitei academice, avand si consecinte legale, la Facultatea de Stiinte Economice (FSE) din Universitatea Petrol-Gaze Ploiesti (UPG).

Prima vizeaza acordarea abuziva de note de catre decanul FSE, Prof Ion Iarca, la discipline unde nu este titular. A doua arata existenta unor studenti care sunt in acelasi timp si cadre didactice, predand si examinand grupele de studenti din care fac parte.

La 1 Mai 2012, Prof Florin Oprea demisioneaza din Senatul UPG, citand apararea infractiunii penale si secretizarea raportului comisiei de analiza de catre Senatul UPG. Ambele situatii sunt aduse la cunostinta Ministerului Educatiei prin sesizarea facuta in 12 Mai 2012 de Prof Oprea. Ministerul nu a oferit inca un raspuns, desi termenele legale au fost depasite . . .

Reviews Review 6 Aurelia Nechifor, Ecaterina Andronescu (research minister) – plagiarism and falsification of data


Head-to-Head-Comparison-3-300

The offending paper is a conference proceedings paper authored by Aurelia Cristina Nechifor and Ecaterina Andronescu, the current minister of research of Romania, published in 2003 at the 13th Romanian International Conference on Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

As can be seen below, 7 international experts in the field confirm that the work constitutes plagiarism and falsification of data.
[30 Nov 2012] Emeritus Professor Ian J. Bruce offered the 7th review.

The 2003 conference paper by Nechifor and Andronescu was found by experts to plagiarize 3 previous works: - a PhD thesis from 2001, pages 18-19,
- a journal paper from 2001, page 1 ,
- a Source-#3-1993-Page-3 from 1993, page 3.
The latter was published by members of the same Nechifor family . . .

Reviews Review 5 3 Universities & 1 Institute − Plagiarism in grant application for 465,000 Euros from Public Budget − INSCC, Politehnica Bucharest, Transilvania Brasov, Pitesti


Page from OWHAN grant application (s)

This is a grant application for a nationally funded project in Romania, signed off by 4 (four) Romanian institutions, as part of the Partnership Research Programme PCCA 2011. It was suspected of plagiarizing 5 international works. As usual, a number of international researchers are asked to review the conduct.

The proposal was asking for 465,000 Euro (2 MILLION RON) from the public budget, the maximum that could be claimed, as specified in the call for proposals. Of this sum, roughly 116,000 Euros/year were planned for salaries (excluding indirect costs) for 4.5 person-month over 2.5 years (see table 6). Each of the four institutions justify 2 persons. One institution was asking 4 times more the amount for salaries than the other three.

Also read the Nature article and the Adevarul article (English Translation), by Dr Alison Abbott and Liviu Avram respectively, the two correspondents we collaborated with for this case. Details below . . .

Reviews Review 4 Madalina Dutu, Prof Leonard Azamfirei (Rector), et al. – journal paper plagiarism


Page from  plagiarism report  (Click image to enlarge).

Editorial summary: This article was published by authors from the University of Pharmacy and Medicine in Targu-Mures, Romania, which include the current Rector of the University,  Prof Leonard Azamfirei, in the Romanian journal Acta Medica Marisiensis, vol 57, no 5, 2011, pp 460-462.

Large amounts of copy-paste plagiarism were identified by several reviewers. Strikingly, some statistical data and also numerical results are identical to the ones found in the original paper published 4 years earlier by the authors Stachon et al. Until this date, these numerical data have not been verified as true. Identical reproduction of numerical data falls under data fabrication and duplication.

Prof Leonard Azamfirei is now the Rector of the University of Pharmacy and Medicine in Targu-Mures, Romania. He was formerly the Vice-Dean for Scientific Research of the same university . . .

Reviews Review 3 Sorin Sorlea, Prof Klara Branzaniuc (Vice-Rector), Prof Constantin Copotoiu (Senate President) et al. – journal paper plagiarism


Page from plagiarism report (Click image to enlarge).

This article was published with the contribution the Vice-Rector (Prof Klara Branzaniuc) and the Senate President of the University (Prof Constantin Copotoiu) – the latter acting as the PhD Supervisor.

Plagiarism of the ‘copy-paste’ type is evident to a large extent, including sources that have been copied incorrectly. The very pronounced similarity between some numerical data is highly suspicious and an extremely serious matter (see data fabrication and duplication) and have cast doubts on the truthfulness of the reported results.

Prof Klara Branzaniuc was at the time of writing and continues to be the Vice-Rector and President of the Scientific Council at the University of Pharmacy and Medicine in Targu-Mures, Romania . . .

Reviews Review 2 Dr Rodica Anghel, media regulations counsellor at the National Audiovisual Council – journal article plagiarism


Page from Plagiarism report

This article was produced by Dr Anghel while still a PhD student and was published in the Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relation, vol. 11, no. 2 (16), 2009, pp. 109-116 (online, local copy retrieved 6/8/2012). Experts in Media and Education studies confirm that Dr Anghel extensively plagiarised sentences and paragraphs from different sources, without quoting or referencing the copied texts in an ethically accepted manner.

Besides Dr Anghel’s paper, the same journal issue also publishes a 19 pages paper on plagiarism by Octavian Rujoiu: “Academic Dishonesty: Copy – Paste method. Shame and Guilt among Romanian high school students”, p. 45.

Dr Anghel was awarded the PhD title and is, at the time of this writing, Media Policy Counsellor at the National Audiovisual Council of Romania . . .

Reviews Review 1 Dr Victor Ponta (prime minister), PhD thesis plagiarism


Page 47 from V.Ponta's PhD thesis side-by-side with source

This post presents the PhD thesis of the Romanian Prime Minister, Dr Victor Ponta, which includes over 100 pages of copy-pasted material from at least three sources.

A few months ago, this case sparked a debate about whether doctoral theses or journal articles in Law should be exempt from observing ethical norms common in other scientific fields. The case was analysed by 3 committees: the National Ethics Council, the University of Bucharest (which conferred the PhD title in 2003) and the National Council for the Certification of University Titles, Diplomas and Certificates. The first concluded that no plagiarism is noticeable, while the second and third denounced the work as a clear breach of academic standards in the form of plagiarism.

The academic community publicly condemned the misconduct, sought the Prime Minister’s demise and signed several petitions to this effect. The Prime Minister has not, as yet, stepped down, nor was his Dr title revoked . . .

Opinions The Culture of Plagiarized Dissertations in Romania: A Call for Inquiry in the Humanities—and Beyond?


Prof Andrew Galloway

The high-profile cases of plagiarized dissertations recently featured in Integru and elsewhere are typically those from fields—the sciences and economics, especially—where substantial social and professional power is at stake. But what about the humanities? These cases should not be ignored. The standards should be no different from those in the sciences or any other field. If we say that plagiarists in the humanities might be due a bit more compassion, on the grounds that such humanities PhDs are less likely to go on to jobs with major political or economic importance, then we are simply endorsing the marginal position that the humanities too often occupy in modern culture in general. Humanists deserve at least the same standards as anyone else. They can even be credited with inventing such standards. Such were the efforts, for example, by Renaissance philologists and writers who sought to define the actual canon of works by ancient authors as distinct from the numbers of works that medieval writers with greater or lesser disingenuousness foisted on those ancient writers . . .

News Integru.org launches Interact (beta): Now you can, and it’s easy!


Recognizing the need for increased transparency, reach and impact, today Integru.org launches Interact (beta), with a first wave of features designed around the idea of community: you can now participate directly and easily in resolving all cases of (alleged) misconduct on Integru.org!

The experts in the field who provide the reviews are still the cornerstone of the Integru platform, however most of the work for resolving a case is done elsewhere, by many independent people: searching for appropriate experts in the field and inviting them to participate are two of the most daunting tasks. Highlighting and annotating documents is another behemoth.

The idea is simple: Everyone — literally everybody — with an internet connection, from the general public to the most prestigious academic, can now easily participate and are highly encouraged to do so! . . .

News Review 8 authors, including research minister Ecaterina Andronescu, receive long-term international sanctions for academic misconduct


As unofficially and indirectly informed by the Chief Editor of the European Ceramic Society, the journal has implemented long-term sanctions for all authors – including minister Ecaterina Andronescu – from the Integru.org Review 8: A. Ioachim, Ecaterina Andronescu (research minister) et al – series of 4 articles, plagiarism, self-plagiarism and suspected multiple copyright violations. The specifics of the sanctions are not being revealed at the request of the journal’s Chief Editor . . .

Opinions Defending Decency in Science


Prof David Tomanek

Scientists generally enjoy a good reputation in our society. Even those, who do not quite understand what Science is about, suspect that it benefits everyone by promoting knowledge and understanding. Most would concede that devotion to Science is an idealistic attitude that, while not highly rewarded financially, brings along a deeper sense of fulfillment than selling used cars. Scientists are generally regarded as unbiased and trustworthy, which should make them better candidates to distinguish right from wrong  than, say, used car salesmen.

While most scientists justifiably benefit from a favorable reputation, some have misused it for their own benefit . . .

News Integru.org featured again in Nature: Suspend Disbelief!


In this week’s editorial, Nature suggests to suspend disbelief. That is also our message to the public.

A general summary of the past few months is made, reminding of the Prime Minister and three Ministers of Research involved in plagiarism. They speak about the importance of the exposed scientific misconduct and the possible effect on public perception.

http://www.nature.com/news/suspend-disbelief-1.11954 . . .

News Response to Ministry’s second press release


You should also read: Response from Experts and Integru.org on Ministry’s first press release

The Ministry of Education and Research issued another press release, this time regarding the misconduct Review 8 and the B1 TV show which discussed it at great length. We shall not comment on all the Ministry’s arguments related to the misconduct as most were already covered by 4 experts on Sunday.

As was the case with the previous press release, we underline that it was not the Ministry, a state institution, involved in these misconducts of plagiarism and suspected copyright violations, but the persons A.C. Nechifor, A. Ioachim, E. Andronescu et al. In total, 12 persons . . .

News Response from experts and Integru.org to Ministry’s press release from yesterday + Another expert answers in Review 6


You should also read: Response to Ministry’s second press release

Emeritus Professor Ian J. Bruce (University of Kent, UK) has just offered his review for yesterday’s plagiarism case of Nechifor and Andronescu. Inline with the previous 6 reviews, Prof Bruce also found that the paper constitutes “gross professional misconduct on the part of Nechifor and Andronescu”.

Yesterday, the Ministry issued a press release (local copy in English and Romanian) with regards to the plagiarism of Nechifor and Andronescu. Although it was not the Ministry as an institution involved in plagiarism, but the persons Nechifor and Andronescu as scientific authors, the letter is signed by the Ministry, not by Nechifor or Andronescu. The Ministry also issued this press release without undertaking any formal investigation into the matter . . .

News Integru.org now on Facebook … and a new case to be published tomorrow 8:00 am GMT, featured in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


Spread the word: www.facebook.com/Integru.org

As the title says, a new case will be published tomorrow morning, 10:00 am Romania Time, (8:00 am GMT), this case will be featured exclusively in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, yet the Romanian press should not be neglected.

UPDATE: The Frankfurter Allgemaine Zeitung article is here and the English translation here . . .

News More experts review Victor Ponta’s plagiarism


In addition to the existing reviews of the plagiarism case of Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s PhD thesis, we have received three reviews from Dr Grigore Pop-Eleches (Princeton), Dr Alin Fumurescu (Tulane) and Prof Maria Bucur (Indiana).

The reviews can be found on the dedicated case webpage and are also included below.

We welcome new reviews for this case, which could be sent via our contact page . . .

News Integru.org launch featured in Nature and the press


Owing primarily to the article in Nature, the Integru initiative has been featured in a long number of newspapers and blogs on the same or next day of our public launching last week on Aug 15. On the following day we received a great number of messages with congratulations (thank you!) and were informed about 6 more cases of suspected plagiarism.

Below is only a subset extracted from Google Analytics (and excluding personal blogs).

The Nature article: http://www.nature.com/news/romanian-scientists-fight-plagiarism-1.11170 . . .

Blog Plagiarism on the rise


Perhaps it is not the plagiarism itself that is increasing, as a phenomenon, but rather it is the concern of mixing genuine research with mediocre writing or fake results. Perhaps what’s changing is the perception. The tolerance of misconduct in research and publishing seems to be on the edge.

Below are only a few links that can give a broad image of the magnitude this subject has gained in the public perception . . .