News Response from experts and 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 . . .

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


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 . . .

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

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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 . . .

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 . . .