An academic paper about combating plagiarism has been retracted because large portions of it were plagiarized.
Published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, the paper, titled “Development of a guideline to approach plagiarism in Indian scenario,” hoped to define, detect and prevent plagiarism “at a grass root level.”
Unfortunately for Dr. Thorakkal Shamim, the paper’s author, the Indian Journal of Dermatology took his work very seriously and discovered that it was a copy of another doctor’s dissertation, which was titled “Developing a comprehensive guideline for overcoming and preventing plagiarism at the international level based on expert opinion with the Delphi method,” according to NPR.
As if the situation weren’t ironic enough, Shamim actually does know what he’s talking about when it comes to plagiarism, seeing as a group of Indian authors stole a paper he wrote and passed it off as their own, according to RetractionWatch.com.
“The authors copied the entire text (introduction, case report, discussion, conclusion, photomicrograph [Figure 4], and direct immunofluorescence photograph) from the original article,” Shamim said when the perpetrators were caught in 2012.
But that wasn’t all, because Shamim then prescribed a punishment for plagiarists:
The [plagiarized] article should be permanently retracted, and the author blacklisted and debarred for submitting an article to a particular journal for at least 5 years. The concerned head of the institution and head of the department of the author’s institute have to be notified. Even though there are setbacks from the higher authorities, it is the prime duty of the author and the editor to take strong decisions to tackle plagiarism at the earliest to avoid unethical publishing.