We previously reported on eight pulled papers authored by Memon, based at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. There was some confusion over whether his count then increased to nine — but, following a retracted retraction, his total was back to eight.
Now, it seems like the retracted retraction has been re-retracted, and six other of Memon’s publications have been pulled. Memon has also been found guilty of plagiarising his PhD thesis, and more of his work is being questioned online.
The retraction notices for the newly pulled material — all published by Springer — include the following statement:
This chapter contains a large amount of reused and uncited material that was not published within quotation marks.
In December 2014, an investigation into Memon’s PhD thesis by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty found him to have been “scientifically dishonest” and guilty of plagiarism.
Memon’s thesis contained four types of plagiarism, according to the report:
- Almost direct copying of other texts without source references
- Paraphrasing of other texts without source references
- Paraphrasing of other texts with source references
- Wikipedia is given as a source
The report summarized the case as:
…a serious breach of good scientific practice and that the researcher had acted intentionally.
Here’s the book chapter that has been re-retracted after the previous retraction was modified into an erratum: “How Investigative Data Mining Can Help Intelligence Agencies to Discover Dependence of Nodes in Terrorist Networks,” from the book Advanced Data Mining and Applications. The chapter has been cited five times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science.
The publisher of the book, Springer, told us in 2014:
I am afraid that the team who were instructed to upload an erratum, performed a retraction as well. To my knowledge, this is the first time that this has happened!
It appears as if the publisher has changed its mind once again, and has now turned that erratum back into a retraction. We’ve reached out to Springer asking why the erratum has been changed back to a retraction, and will update the post with anything else we learn.
Here’s the list of Memon’s other newly retracted book chapters:
- “Structural Analysis and Mathematical Methods for Destabilizing Terrorist Networks Using Investigative Data Mining” — also published in Advanced Data Mining and Applications in 2006, and cited six times till date. Here’s its retraction notice.
- “Detecting Hidden Hierarchy in Terrorist Networks: Some Case Studies” — published in Intelligence and Security Systems in 2008, and cited 11 times. Here’s its retraction notice.
- “Small World Terrorist Networks: A Preliminary Investigation” — published in Applications and Innovations in Intelligent Systems XV in 2008, and cited once. Here’s its retraction notice.
- “Exploring the Evolution of Terrorist Network” — published in Counterterrorism and Open Source Intelligence in 2011, and is not yet cited. Here’s its (paywalled) retraction notice.
- “A Novel Method to Analyze the Importance of Links in Terrorist Networks” — published in Counterterrorism and Open Source Intelligence in 2011, and is not yet cited. Here’s its (paywalled) retraction notice.
- “Extracting Information from Semi-structured Web Documents: A Framework” — published in Advanced Web and Network Technologies, and Applications in 2008, and cited three times. Here’s its retraction notice.
Update 17/5/16 11:00am eastern: Following the ruling of the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty on Memon’s thesis, Aalborg University in Denmark, where Memon earned his PhD in 2009, has confirmed that they are conducting an internal investigation considering whether to revoke Memon’s PhD degree. A spokesperson from the University told us that a final decision is expected by the end of June 2016.
Hat tip: Gerhard Hindemith
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