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Many thanks to one of my followers for bringing today’s article on the recent arrests of Dr bin Ghaith and four others to my attention:

Five Emiratis arrested for threatening UAE security

Needless to say, I won’t be commenting on this from a political standpoint, but I will point out that I’m somewhat relieved to have seen it in the newspapers.  It took a little time to get there, but at least it happened.

References:

National Staff. (26 April 2011). Five Emiratis arrested for threatening UAE security. The National. Retrieved (26 April 2011) from http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/five-emiratis-arrested-for-threatening-uae-security

Sorry, folks, I just couldn’t resist.  Among some of the other drivel I’ve read in the comment section of Charlie Eisenhood’s recent blog piece on the Al Ghaith detainment, this bit (by Observor  [sic] #2) stood out:

Researching and writing an article about political reform, or about the disadvantages of autocratic regimes etc is totally fine (depending on how you go about your research).
Getting it peer-reviewed by NYUAD faculty and students happens without a problem.
Discussing it and debating it with [sic] amongst ourselves is 100% acceptable.

(Read more: UAE Detains Prominent Professor, Raising Questions About Academic Freedom At NYUAD · NYU Local http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2011/04/12/uae-detains-prominent-professor-raising-questions-about-academic-freedom-at-nyuad/#ixzz1KL4BwMTT
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution)

Are the freshman students at NYUAD really researching, writing, and peer-reviewing articles?  Already?

I guess they’re even cleverer than we thought…

References:

Eisenhood, Charlie. (12 April 2011). NYUlocal.com. UAE detains prominent professor, raising questions about academic freedom at NYUAD. Retrieved (22 April 2011) from http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2011/04/12/uae-detains-prominent-professor-raising-questions-about-academic-freedom-at-nyuad/

I now have in hand the three relevant journal articles (Elhoweris 2005, Bianco 2005, and Elhoweris 2009).

At first glance, things are smelling a bit fishy with respect to Elhoweris’s defense, recently reported in The National, that her 2009 article used similar wording as in her 2005 article (which predated Bianco, 2005).  Implicit in Elhoweris’s statement to The National is the claim that Elhoweris 2009 was more similar to Elhoweris 2005 than to Bianco 2005.  A machine-comparison of the documents indicates this may not actually be the case, but a human-comparison will be necessary before any conclusions can be drawn.

I’ll post more once I have a chance to do a more thorough reading of the three articles.  Due to the journals’ copyrights on these papers, I cannot publicise them on this blog.

Stay tuned.

EA

According to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Sorbonne University economics lecturer Dr Nasser bin Ghaith has been detained by authorities (read: arrested) (Wheeler, 17 Apr 2011).

NOWHERE in the three major English language newspapers here in the United Arab Emirates (The National, Gulf News, and Khaleej Times) have I found any reference to Dr bin Ghaith’s detainment.

NOWHERE on the Sorbonne-Abu Dhabi site have I found any reference to Dr bin Ghaith’s detainment.

NOWHERE on the NYU-Abu Dhabi site have I found any reference to Dr bin Ghaith’s detainment (despite the fact that both Human Rights Watch and the New York chapter of the American Association of University Professors have asked NYU to step up to the plate and call for bin Ghaith’s release [Wheeler, 17 April 2011]).

Fortunately, there are places to find information and thoughts concerning Dr bin Ghaith’s detainment/arrest/disappearance/whathaveyou (the status appears unclear):

Charlie Eisenhood (12 April 2011) has published a thoughtful piece on the NYULocal blog:
UAE Detains Prominent Professor, Raising Questions About Academic Freedom at NYUAD

Habiba Hamid, a journalist at The National, has posted a number of comments regarding the recent detainments of bin Ghaith and other activists on her Twitter site (12 April 2011):
Context on arrest of Dr Nasser bin Ghaith in the UAE

Amnesty International (13 April 2011) has published an Urgent Action request:
Advocates of political reform detained in UAE

Read it and weep.

References:

Amnesty International. (13 April 2011). Advocates of political reform detained in UAE. Retrieved (20 April 2011) from http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE25/001/2011/en/0c9cfcb7-97c4-49d4-81dd-35e51657d716/mde250012011en.html

Eisenhood, Charlie. (12 April 2011). NYUlocal.com. UAE detains prominent professor, raising questions about academic freedom at NYUAD. Retrieved (20 April 2011) from http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2011/04/12/uae-detains-prominent-professor-raising-questions-about-academic-freedom-at-nyuad/

Hamid, Habiba. (12 April 2011). Context on arrest of Dr Nasser bin Ghaith in the UAE (Tweet). Retrieved (20 April 2011) from http://www.twitter.com/habibahamid

Wheeler, David L. (17 April 2011). The Chronicle of Higher Education. Lecturer’s arrest in the Emirates stirs debate over academic freedom in the Middle East. Retrieved (20 April 2011) from http://chronicle.com/article/Lecturers-Arrest-in-the/127190/

The power of the pen

Back in November of 2010, I posted a piece on the retraction of a journal article authored by a UAEU faculty member. The post elicited a response from the author (Margarita Bianco) whose work was allegedly used without proper attribution, confirming that there had been no apology from either the UAEU faculty member, Dr Hala ElHoweris or from the UAEU administration.  Furthermore, the retracted article continued to appear on Dr ElHoweris’s CV.

Just yesterday, Dr Bianco called to my attention an article published in The National:  “Academic cleared of plagiarism allegation” (Swan, 19 Apr 2011).  According to this piece, senior academics at UAE University have cleared Dr ElHoweris of plagiarism after an investigation that seemed to have been prompted by my original blog post on the subject.  Ah, the power of the pen to stimulate action.

But I have two concerns.  First of all, Elhoweris defends her continued inclusion of the retracted article on her CV by saying that “[she] had not been asked by the publishers to retract it” (Swan, 19 Apr 2011).  Well, it seems to this blogger that the act of retracting a publication from an academic journal means that the article has not been published in that journal, and therefore has no business remaining on the author’s list of publications.  I would expect an academic to realise this and refrain from justifying her continued inclusion of the article because she wasn’t specifically asked to delete it.

My second concern, however, has to do with Swan’s reporting that ElHoweris has been “cleared of plagiarism allegation” because senior academics at UAEU have investigated the issue.  It may very well be the case that ElHoweris’s defense is sound, but one has to question whether the university has the competence or authority to clear her of the plagiarism allegation when the editors of the journal Educational Studies and the publisher Taylor Francis Group have apparently not seen fit to absolve the author.

I can offer no judgement regarding who is in the right in this situation, as I have not seen the three articles in question. Should either Dr ElHoweris or Dr Bianco desire to send along copies of such, I will be happy to review them and post some side-by-side comparisons so that my readers can judge for themselves.

References:

Swan, M. (19 April 2011). The National. Academic cleared of plagiarism allegation.  Retrieved (19 Apr 2011) from http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/education/academic-cleared-of-plagiarism-allegation

ExpatAcademic has been away…

Apologies to my readers and subscribers for the long hiatus.  I will be discussing the recent detention of a Sorbonne University academic as well as an update on the UAEU plagiarism issue in the near future.

Stay tuned,

EA

If so, according to the Chronicle’s job list, Zayed University is looking for YOU!!

Sean, College of Education

Yeah, I know it’s nitpicky, but I couldn’t resist.  I mean, I can overlook a typo in the text, but in the main job heading?  C’mon.