Serial plagiarizer notches three retractions


The chips are starting to fall from investigations into the works of Mustapha Marrouchi, a former English professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) — he’s lost three papers from the journal College Literature.

Things began publicly unraveling for Marrouchi last year when an investigation by the Chronicle of Higher Education found lifted material in his books, essays, and peer-reviewed papers. (It’s worth scanning the comparisons to text from Salman Rushdie, John Updike, and other authors.)

Meanwhile, an investigation by the UNLV found that 23 out of 26 of his papers published between 2008 and 2013 contained instances of plagiarism. He was later fired.

Now, the fallout continues, with the retraction of three works published in 2010 and 2011 in College Literature. All papers were for plagiarism uncovered as the result of a UNLV investigation (presumably, the same one).

The retracted papers are:

Introduction: Embargoed Literature: Arabic

A Passion for Excess or Just Another Way of Telling

Cry No More For Me, Palestine—Mahmoud Darwish

Here’s more from the retraction note, for all three:

The three articles listed above have been retracted by the Editor. This retraction follows an investigation into research misconduct undertaken by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which determined that plagiarism was conducted in each of these articles. A subsequent review by the journal confirmed that these three articles do not meet the editorial policies and ethical standards of College Literature, which require that authors submit original work and provide full citation to indicate their indebtedness to other sources.

The editor of College Literature, Graham MacPheetold us he had nothing to add:

We have no further comment to add to the retraction notice.

We were unable to find contact info for Marrouchi.

To find out more about the UNLV investigation, we contacted the assistant to the English department chair, as well as Lori Olafson, the Executive Director of UNLV’s Office of Research Integrity.  Olafson directed us to fill out the university’s public records request form, which we did.

We will update this post if we learn anything else.

Update 8/10/15 9:27 a.m. eastern: We’ve updated the post to reflect that the UNLV investigation had begun before the Chronicle’s report appeared.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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