[Coral-List] more plagiarism by some of the same people

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Wed Jul 18 17:12:04 EDT 2018

    It has come to my attention that an article was published that copied
large amounts of wording verbatum from a sea slug (opisthobranch) website,
without attribution of the source.  No quote marks, no citation at the end,
no indication of the source of the writing.  This is documented on the
following Facebook page (anyone can see this, you don't have to be a
Facebook member):


Click to enlarge the text from the website and paper.  The first author,
Ramakrishna, is the same as in the coral book I pointed out in a previous
post.  Also on the list of authors is Raghunathan, another author on most
of these publications.

I wish to point out a couple of things.  First, there are many good,
ethical scientists in India, doing the hard, slow work of real science,
without cheating, and so they have many fewer publications than those that
engage in these practices (I'm told one of the young authors of the coral
papers has over 100 publications, some or many might be in journals we
haven't heard of because the are predatory journals that don't have
effective peer review, as were a couple that I checked, but some may be
legit.).  Further, I want to point out that the Zoological Survey of India
(ZSI) is a large organization with many employees, most of whom are hard
working, ethical, real scientists who do the hard, slow work of real
science.  My understanding is the present director is trying to fix this
problem, and I applaud those efforts.

I also wish to point out that type specimens in the collections at ZSI are
open to study by outside researchers, however you must go to their facility
to study them.  Type specimens are very valuable to science (but usually
have no economic value), and there is some risk in shipping them, so it is
understandable if a museum or other organization does not ship type
specimens.  For corals, a good sharp photo or two are often very helpful,
and museum people can often send you a photo.

Two news organizations have now covered the coral story.  Although they
have interviewed me, the journalists write their own articles, they have
tight deadlines, and it is normal journalism practice that people who are
interviewed do not write the articles or have any control of what is
written or even know what the text is until after it is published.  It is a
free press, which is something that is critical for democracy, so there are
good reasons for this standard practice.  I was not misquoted, though I
worked with Veron in Australia, and my work in the Caribbean (long ago) was




Cheers,  Doug
Douglas Fenner
Contractor for NOAA NMFS Protected Species, and consultant
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

New online open-access field guide to 300 coral species in Chagos, Indian

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