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A Case Study in Plagiarism: The chronology of what happened II.

Response to me from the Dean on March 5, 2003.

Dear Mark,

I apologize for what has happened.  I will check this out.
In the meantime, I'd like to see the papers.
Allow me some days, I'll keep you informed.

Best regards
Dr. Dean

Letter from the Dean to Dr. Cheater on March 5, 2003.

Dear Dr. Cheater,

Can you please give me a copy of a paper that appeared in
Applied Physics Letters "(Kuzyk M.G.; Dirk C.W. Appl. Phys. Lett. 54, 1628 (1989)".
I await the paper on my desk as soon as possible. Thank you,

Best Regards,
Dr. Dean

Dr. Cheater responds to Dr. Dean on March 6, 2003.

Dear Sir,

With reference to this paper, some work was done by my colleague in LalaLand.  It seems that some overlap confusion occurred. In this regard, I have contacted my colleague in LalaLand and as soon as I realised the mistake, I immediately emailed the editor to withdraw the paper and apologized for the error.  I also have apologized to the author concerned by email. I am sorry again for the error and I will meet you in your office with the paper soon.

Thanks with best regards,
Dr. Cheater

Dr. Dean forwarded the response of Dr. Cheater to me.  I responded to Dr. Dean,

Dear Dr. Dean,

Thank you for your response.  Note that I am not so concerned about an apology; rather, I have a more global concern about ethics in the sciences.  When Dr. Editor first contacted me, my initial reaction was to not pursue the issue.  Upon further reflection, I felt that I had a moral obligation to contact you to inform you that one of your faculty members might be “recycling” papers; which apparently is becoming a more common practice.  I intended also to contact the other institution of the paper’s co-author, but I could not find any information on the internet.

With regards to the “error,” to me it seems more deliberate; though I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Please let me know if I can supply you with further information or if I can be of assistance.

Thanks for your vigilance in this matter.



Email from Dr. Cheater to me on March 5, 2003.

Dear Prof.,
I am very sorry. Actually, this was my colleague’s mistake to use part of your related work without your permission.  I have withdrawn this paper.  I hope you excuse me.

Thanks with best regards
Dr. Cheater

My Response to Dr. Cheater on March 6, 2003.

Dear Dr. Cheater,

Thank you for your email.  I would like to point out that in my opinion; your "Colleague’s" behavior seems to me to be more than a "mistake."  For example, the main figure was a photocopy from my original paper, and that to me, is evidence of deliberate plagiarism.  There are many other examples which I will not detail here, but you can see for yourself that a substantive portion of your paper was a copy of previous work.  Since you were both the first author and the corresponding author on this paper, to clear your name, I would think that you would want to contact your colleague's institution and ask that his behavior be investigated, and, that if he is found to have acted inappropriately, that he be disciplined appropriately.

Good luck in sorting all of this out.


Mark G. Kuzyk
Professor and Associate Chair of Physics

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