December 30, 2007

Scientific Plagiarism, is Also Present in the Morphological Sciences

Mariano del Sol

* Editor of the International Journal of Morphology, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile. ijmorpho@ufro.cl - mdelsol@ufro.cl


Each time there are more ethical violations in scientific publications that even reach basic disciplines such as morphological publications some of which have affected our journal.

Initially my intent was to try only one sensitive issue, protagonized by investigators of the university of the Middle East (Egypt and Saudi Arabia) that involved work published in the Egyptian Journal of Histology and the InternationalJournal of Morpkology. However, I will also address other issues related with scientific plagiarism, two of which directly affected the Revista Chilena de Anatomía (Chilean Anatomical Journal), Revista Médica de Chile, Odontólogo Moderno and the International Journal of Morphology.

Some scientific journals deal with scientific plagiarism as a mere ethical violations that affects a part of the publication process, including these ethical violations, not only of fictitious and unjustified papers, but also including those duplicate and fragmented publications, and including those where there is invention, falsification and/or malicious manipulations of the information. However I believe, as do others that scientific plagiarism is not an ethical violation, rather it constitutes scientific fraud. The Dictionary of the Spanish Language (RAE, 2007) defines it as the "copy of the substantial portion of foreign work, publishing it as ones own".

There is no agreement among scientists as far as the outreach and number of scientific plagiarism or if these have increased in the past years, however suffice to say that by reviewing Internet it is clearly effective that this type of fraud is present in all areas of knowledge and information, from literature to theoretical physics. In regard to the latter and as an example, the impressive case of a group of students of the University of Ankara (Turkey), who were able to publish over 40 articles in journals, in only 22 months without being detected by the editorial bodies of the journal, despite all of the articles being extracted from others published by specialists. This scientific theft was discovered by professors of the Masters Program that these students were involved in by the Rector of the University of Ankara who requested that said articles be withdrawn from the Journal of High Energy Physics. >>>


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