Correspondence

Nature 462, 847 (17 December 2009) | doi:10.1038/462847a; Published online 16 December 2009

Iran's scientists condemn instances of plagiarism

Farhad Ardalan1, Hessamaddin Arfaei1, Reza Mansouri1, Mahdi Balalimood2, Dariush Farhud3, Reza Malekzadeh3, Habib Firouzabadi4, Keramatollah Izadpanah-Jahromi4, Afsaneh Safavi4, Ali Kaveh5, Farrokh Saidi6, Abbas Shafiee6 & Yousef Sobouti7

  1. Sharif University of Technology and the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), Tehran, Iran
  2. Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
  3. Medical University of Tehran, Iran
  4. Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
  5. Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
  6. Shahid Beheshti Medical University, Tehran, Iran
  7. Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

The Iran chapter of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, speaking for the country's academic community, deplores the recent cases of alleged plagiarism by Iranian scientists (see Nature 462, 704–705; 2009).

Iran's scientific community is largely free of such unethical behaviour. The calibre of its scientific output is reflected by the substantial growth in recent years in its share of research articles published in high-quality, peer-reviewed international journals.

Several factors account for this improvement in Iran's research output, including sustained and generous government support for science, a swelling of the ranks of young researchers and increasing international collaboration.

The Internet has facilitated communication with our colleagues elsewhere — but the availability of journals on the Internet has also made plagiarism easier. This widely acknowledged problem affects the scientific community worldwide. Iran, sadly, is no exception, and the country's science community is overhauling its practices to counter this scourge.

But circumstances more specific to Iran are also conducive to the spread of plagiarism. Iranian culture places an excessive emphasis on the value of academic credentials, both for advancement in official professions and in social standing. In particular, Iran's political class has an unusual affinity for possessing academic distinctions, as exemplified by the fact that a university degree is a prerequisite for election to parliament. A higher degree is also considered an important qualification for holding other government offices. As a result, the Iranian political class, across the political and ideological spectrum, accounts for a disproportionate share of academic fraud.

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  1. #64655
    Date:
    2015-01-02 02:47 PM
    Mohammad Mehdi Zohrevandi said:

    Dear Author/friends/cadets

    As I learned according to statistical information for plagiarism which made worldwide on the issues and papers and books,... , in Japan in last year was about 5% and in Bulgaria was about 20%. in Iran about 15% and it shows that these societies are infected to a sickness of " scientific ambition " to swelling of the virtual scientific / academic ranks locally/globally , covering of the percentage of their mustiness by this illegal / illegitimate process.

    In fact the base of Governmental fabrics of the country or very tight competion for job finding based on better grade and ranks , cause and open the gate of " dishonesty" to earn something ( virtual or real , by a person or a Political state) , not by eligibility but dishonesty based on the bogus characters.

    Unfortunately due to worldwide net ( internet ) , the availability and majority of the treatises are eased be available and then be misused , however fortunately , by same internet , that could be figure out too. unfortunately what remains finally is a horrible scandal particularly in the academic courses / "human sciences and studies" which has very wide and vast interpretation /definitions .

    In maths or physics , is more hard to plagiarize a scientific paper due to more specific and stunning of the case ( however mostly is done) and if there be some discrepancies in the rendered paper , compare with the results of the existing theories , so it falls down easily due to incompatibility . but in " human sciences " as instance , Philosophy , even by changing some words or definitions and put his name as " author" or " Translator" , the plagiarizer could insist his definitions as a new " concept" even it shows completely not comply with the routine thoughts. may he says " all the prevailing thoughts were being "weird" when they born."

    however for making the " plagiarism" very rare or hard to be made , I recommend some points as my views :

    1- smooth transition of all State Academies from the " Government possessions" to " private sector". In private system they are looking for bright results and beneficial to the system. Uni Ranks are important but not so as the Governmental system (turtle moves) , as finally the chart must be shown the " interests" are gone up for instance in some economic centers. Real competitions based on the " deserving" will be formed.

    2- In Academic Organizations, a team of "talented" and " updated" and " literate" lecturers must make a " committee " to be authorized from the Academy Authority to check and confirm all papers before giving to some credible/ reliable institutes or journals to avoid any of scandals after on. even to check all of the issues which made and approved yearly to see may some " null and void" probably be made during the last verification.

    3- making an undertaking letter and be signed by every one whom to issue the book or paper or,... like " Terms and conditions" accepting of all legal responsibilities against the plagiarism if be made. Fear of Legal prosecutions will give them a real warning to avoid themselves from this unlucky phenomena .

    and at last not least , internationally make a draft of resolution for classify/Categorize the articles of " plagiarism" . fortunately , here , some years ago , it is done by Professor Dr. Seyed Hassan Eslami Ardakani which some part of it shown in persian in following link

    http://fahimco.com/ShowArticle.aspx?ID=3505

    but there is an independent paper /treatise by him which could be translated to English( what I read so far in english from him is a part of paper for "Religions and Their Ethical Duties " prepared for Katholische Akademie in Berlin and the other one as Expedient Lie in Islam but in Persian ) as he classified the articles of plagiarism very precisely and item by item and has an extreme obsession on this issue. I recommend to use from his deep issues in this case and finally in some of " international Academic institutes " as the "reference" for plagiarism be known and be generalized in other academic institutes/universities too.

    It is duties of each of us not to be silent against this unlucky phenomena because this is a " Thought robbery " and not accepted even in any religion/ or human believes . if we left this case as a negligence issue , in future , no one will peace in mind and will forgive us . this is real meaning of " copy Right" and we have to be as " Guardians". ????? ????????

    Mohammad mahdi Zohrevandi. / Jan 1st 2015

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