Teachers seek inquiry into VC's academic papers
President asked to order probe into list on website
†The Democratic Teachers’ Front has written to President Pranab Mukherjee, asking him to order a probe into a list of academic publications wrongly attributed to Delhi University vice chancellor on a reputed research website.
At least five out of 22 articles written by another professor have been listed under the VC’s name on the site, said DTF.
Vice chancellor Dinesh Singh recently said he was not aware of his publications being listed on the website www.researcherid.com maintained by Thomson Reuters. The website is a platform for academicians to put up their publications and is maintained by the researchers themselves.
“Five elected members of the executive council and academic council have written to the President in this regard, requesting him in his capacity as Visitor to intervene and order an independent inquiry by an external agency into the alleged case of academic dishonesty and misappropriation,” the DTF said.
On May 12, the VC under the unique ResearchID number D-8260-2012 appears to have listed 22 papers in the ‘papers that I have authored’ category.
But the VC has said that the e-mail ID used for the website is his old ID when he was a professor of Mathematics. He said his account was hacked as he has not used that ID since long.
“If the account was hacked or it was a mistake, either way an inquiry should take place. It is a serious matter and it comes under cyber crime,”said DTF member Abha Dev Habib. In the past, scholars have lost their jobs for claiming somebody else’s work as their own, Habib added. DTF members said that tracing the hacker's IP address should not be difficult.
They said an inquiry is a must as an official Delhi University ID, maintained by the varsity's computer centre, had been used.
“The e-mail used to create the ResearcherID account is firstname.lastname@example.org,” said a DTF statement. The account holder has to confirm creation of the account through email, it said.
DTF members demanded Singh’s removal from office during the inquiry. “That will be in accordance with the accepted protocol since he could influence the recording of evidence and deter a fair investigation,” it added.
The list has not been removed from the website yet. The VC has said he would file an FIR in this connection. Jennifer Breen, public relations officer for the sciences division of Thomson Reuters, said the site provided a platform for the scholarly community. “Our role is not to police the community,” she said.
“But we will of course take action to remove the titles from the member’s list if it comes to our attention that members have fraudulently claimed authorship of papers they have no rights to in the first place,” she added.