We have just been informed that someone using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org is impersonating Integru.org, sending messages such as the following to some Universities:
For the attention of the institution leadership, Dean/Rector,
For the attention of the authors,
Our experts notified us of the following plagiarizing cases within your institution:
The case will also appear on our website, integru.org
A message we received from a Faculty Dean within Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania:
Given that lately the Dean has received several notifications of alleged plagiarism cases involving members of Faculty, I ask that you confirm that the sender’s email address belongs to Integru.org.
The notifications were sent from email@example.com while your website uses the contact address firstname.lastname@example.org which is a different address. It is possible you are using other addresses.
A confirmation from you that the notifications are made by integru.org would help in the analysis which we will carry out, especially to avoid the interpretation that it is the result of less collegial relationships within the Faculty.
I appreciate the role you assumed, not a simple or easy one, and thus I assure you that I shall take into account the opinion of the organization if the notifications were made by it (and not only).
From the original notification sent to us:For the attention of the institution president, Dean/Rector, For the attention of the authors, Our experts notified us of the following plagiarizing cases within your institution: [...] The case will also appear on our website, integru.org
Professor eng. Romeo IONESCU, Ph.D.
Stefan cel Mare University
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics and Management
720229 Suceava Romania
First, we note that the address email@example.com does not belong to Integru.org. Integru.org has not sent such emails and does not operate this way (i.e. does not send such notifications to institutions). Any such messages are bound to be an impersonation. It is, of course, disappointing, to say the least, to find out about such tactics.
That being said, however, the opinion of Integru.org regarding the impersonation, as well as the existence of possible non-collegial relationships among Faculty members are completely irrelevant aspects to the actual alleged plagiarizing content. Stefan cel Mare University must carry out an objective investigation into the notifications of plagiarism regardless, without taking into account any such irrelevant aspects.