Archive for the ‘UAEU’ 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.



Read Full Post »

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  Furthermore, the retracted article continued to appear on Dr ElHoweris’s CV.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  First of all, Elhoweris defends her continued inclusion of the retracted article on her CV by saying that “[she] had not been asked by the publishers to retract it” (Swan, 19 Apr 2011).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

Read Full Post »

Spreading the word

For a few months, it seemed Expat Academic was the only voice of dissent in the ether regarding the state of educational affairs here in Abu Dhabi.  Not so, not so.  I am happy to report that in addition to the folks behind the two HCT-related blogs already mentioned, another bold group of individuals has come forth to air the issues over at United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).  Read all about it here:

UAE University Watch

Good on ya, brave souls.  And don’t forget to use a VPN.

Read Full Post »

Sorry I’ve been out of commission for the past couple of weeks.  I’m back.

As if the recently publicised withdrawal of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award weren’t damning enough:

It has come to Shiekh Zayed Book Award’s attention that some entities have raised serious concerns with respect the scientific research methodologies and ethics employed by the author, Dr. Hafnaoui Baali, in the book entitled “Comparative Cultural Criticism- an Introduction” the winning book of the Literature Category Award, in the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s fourth session. (www.Zayedaward.com, n.d.)


The judges of the annual Sheikh Zayed Book Award have withdrawn the prize from this year’s winning author because of plagiarism. […] The committee in charge withdrew the award yesterday, saying the book contained “wrongful appropriation of other authors’ thoughts, ideas, and expressions, and the representation of them as one’s own original work”.  (Seaman, 27 Oct 2010)

But wait, there’s MORE.

Thanks to those excellent people over at the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Academics in the Middle East forum, I’ve come across the following retraction statement on InformaWorld (emphasis mine):

In Volume 34, Number 5 of Educational Studies, 2008 we published the following article, which is now retracted:

The effect of the child’s disability on United Arab Emirates in-service teachers’ educational decisions regarding gifted and talented children, pp 557 – 564 by Hala Elhoweris DOI: 10.1080/03055690802288536

Shortly following publication, it was brought to the attention of the Editors and the publishers that some sections of the text in this article substantially reproduced, without proper attribution, the following work:

The effects of disability labels on special education and general education teachers’ referrals for gifted programs, by Margarita Bianco, Learning Disability Quarterly, Volume 28, 2005, pp 285-293

The Editors of Educational Studies, and the publishers, Taylor & Francis Group (a division of Informa Plc) hereby apologise to Margarita Bianco and to the copyright holders of the publication in which the copied work was originally published – the Council for Learning Disabilities, of 11184 Antioch Road, Box 405, Overland Park, KS66210, USA- for this case of unattributed copying.

Educational Studies and Taylor & Francis Group published the article in good faith and we welcome this opportunity to acknowledge and reinstate the rights of Margarita Bianco as the original author and the copyright of Council for Learning Disabilities.

For those of you who don’t know, Dr Halla Elhoweris is a member of the faculty in the College of Education at United Arab Emirates University.  Here’s a handy link to her curriculum vitae:

Dr Halla Elhoweris’s CV

Just in case the link suddenly disappears, here’s a pdf of it for posterity.  My gift to you.

Elhoweris CV (pdf)

Note that Dr Elhoweris is also on editorial board of the Journal of Faculty of Education at UAEU.  And further note that the 2008 retracted article continues to appear on her list of publications.  And while I’m at it, let me also mention that nowhere have I seen an apology from either Dr Elhoweris or UAEU.

Interesting, eh?  (I won’t even go into the stories I’ve heard about emirati Ph.D. candidates ordering their underlings non-emirati colleagues to collect their data for them.)

But the Zayed Book Award and Educational Studies retractions are even more interesting given today’s story in The National about UAE researchers wanting more international recognition (Conroy, 6 Nov 2010) where things like culture, language, and competition are offered as problems standing in the way of getting published.

I put it to you there just might be another problem.


Conroy, E. (6 Nov 2010). UAE researchers want more recognition. The National. Retrieved (6 Nov 2010) from http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/education/uae-researchers-want-more-recognition

Elhoweris, H. (n.d.). UAEU Faculty Page. Retrieved (6 Nov 2010) from http://www.fedu.uaeu.ac.ae/doctors/Halla-Elhoweris.html

Seaman, A. (27 Oct 2010). Judges take back Dh750,000 Zayed literary prize. The National. Retrieved (6 Nov 2010) from http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/education/judges-take-back-dh750-000-zayed-literary-prize

Sheikh Zayed Book Award. (n.d.) Zayed Book Award withdraws literary award. Retrieved (6 Nov 2010) from http://www.zayedaward.com/en/News2D_en.aspx?NID=373

Read Full Post »

This week, The Chronicle of Higher Education published a lengthy piece on UAEU and its provost Wyatt Hume:

Money proves elusive and progress difficult at United Arab Emirates U.

This seems to be one of the first articles in The Chronicle that is entirely devoted to the goings-on at a local university (as opposed to a branch campus of a US institution), so I encourage you to read it.

Then have a look at the comments (all 35 of them, as of today).  In a land where secrecy agreements prevail, academic freedom is somewhat less than free, and faculty are fearful of speaking out, it’s refreshing to see such candor.


Mills, A. 23 May 2010. Money proves elusive and progress difficult at United Arab Emirates U.  The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Retrieved (26 May 2010) from: http://chronicle.com/article/Money-Proves-Elusiveand/65658/key=SGt1cFRsNSFNZXA3cndBKHdVPiF9Jkp8PnNFNi4aZV5d

Read Full Post »