Archive for the ‘Academic Dishonesty’ Category

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.



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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  Furthermore, the retracted article continued to appear on Dr ElHoweris’s CV.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  First of all, Elhoweris defends her continued inclusion of the retracted article on her CV by saying that “[she] had not been asked by the publishers to retract it” (Swan, 19 Apr 2011).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.


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

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This week, both The National and Gulf News published a story on Abu Dhabi University’s recent expulsion of 34 students caught cheating:

University expels 34 students for cheating

University cracks whip on cheating

All I have to say is “Hurrah!”

…and that this seems a much more felicitous outcome than firing the faculty who caught them.


Khalaf, H. (27 Dec 2010). University expels 34 students for cheating. The National. Retrieved (29 Dec 2010) from http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/education/university-expels-34-students-for-cheating

Moussly, R. (27 Dec 2010). University cracks whip on cheating. Gulf News. Retrieved (29 Dec 2010) from http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/education/university-cracks-whip-on-cheating-1.736433

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