A Ryerson University professor wants harsher punishment for two Iran-based academics who plagiarized his work.
Xavier Fernando said he was shocked to see a “carbon copy” of a research paper he wrote for the Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2004 republished four years later in the Journal of Electromagnetic Waves and Applications.
“It’s a complete copy,” said the electrical and computer engineering professor. “Except for the title and the authors’ names, the paper is identical.”
Two of Fernando’s students stumbled across the article while doing research last fall. The stated authors are Mehdi Dehghan and Pouya Derakhshan-Barjoei, both professors at Islamic Azad University, in Iran. Fernando said he found the article upsetting, “because you don’t expect this kind of behaviour.”
Dehghan and Derakhshan-Barjoei did not respond to requests for comment.
Fernando reported the plagiarized work to the Journal of Electromagnetic Waves and Applications. Its editorial board told the Iranian professors they were banned from submitting work for three years, and that their paper had been “withdrawn.”
The punishment doesn’t fit the crime, said Russell Viirre, a Ryerson chemistry professor who found out about the matter from an email Fernando sent faculty. “In my field, this would be an international scandal.”
After a quick Google search, Viirre said he discovered that Dehghan and Derakhshan-Barjoei had plagiarized other articles in the past.
Unlike the professors, students would expect much more severe consequences for copying work without attribution, said Sajjadul Latif, one of Fernando’s masters students who uncovered the plagiarism. “Frankly speaking, I don’t think the punishment is enough.”
Latif, originally from Bangladesh, said guilty students in his home country would be kicked out of university and banned from enrolling in other universities across the country.
At minimum, Ryerson University students will get a mark of zero on the plagiarized assignment. Their academic records and official transcripts may also be stamped with a “disciplinary notice,” which stays until they graduate. Other penalties include failing the course and even expulsion from university