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Thursday, 08.10.2015

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Every 10th work is plagiarized in Kazakhstan: Downfall of Academia?

27 june 2014, 02:46
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Photo courtesy of

National Center of Science and Technical Information of Kazakhstan has drawn rather a dreary picture of the country’s academia: every 10th research work is plagiarized, Tengrinews reports.

Check of 7 thousand PhD and Masters dissertations, research papers and thesis works with Antiplagiat computer software since 2010 has revealed that 9.7% of the works "borrowed" priorly published materials without proper citation.

According to the president of the Center Abil Ibrayev, the number of publications of Kazakhstani works in foreign academic periodicals has increased in the past three years. 1114 research papers and articles were published by Kazakhstani authors in 2013.

However, most of these works were published in journals that cannot be considered reputable sources. Daniyar Sapargaliev, the Vice Director of the Reaserch and Development Center at Almaty Management University (ALMU) noted that out of the top 5 journals where Kazakhstani researchers publish their works, only 2 had high ratings. The remaining three journals were considered quasi-scientific.

Sapargaliev added that publishing research works in such journals was harmful for the image of the author and the country as a whole.

The publishing fever triggered by Kazakhstani lawmakers has already yielded quite negative consequences in the native academia. “The increasing number of published works did not increase the citation index. According to international system Scopus, Kazakhstan is in the 94th place out of 130 countries, lagging behind Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uzbekistan and Nepal,” Sapargaliev added.

Ibrayev noted that in 86 research works that were checked in the last three years, every 5th work contained information that had not been property cited. The lack of control allows plagiarizing someone else’s work starting in undergraduate years.

Today, the state has initiated Antiplagiat system that requires all the doctoral dissertations to be checked through the system for plagiary. Universities are responsible for handling the matter. However, Ibrayev said that in reality various institutions that sold the “plagiary free work” notes to students were feeding off the students.

Writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

Comments (2)
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Asim Esen Asim Esen
2014-06-29 03:15:58
There is no excuse for cheating (plagiarism) under any circumstances. In academia, the cheater cheats his/her own peers and himself/herself because cheating will be discovered by someone sooner or later. This problem is not unique to Kazakhstan, plagiarism and otter forms of scientific fraud (e.g., making up data without actually doing experiments) are not uncommon, for example, in Turkey and in... many other countries that I am familiar with. A common fraud is putting other people's names on a manuscript although they made no contribution to the work described in manuscript. The way it works: I put your name on my manuscripts and you put my name on your manuscripts so that we pad our publication lists. Add to this publishing the same manuscript after changing the title and the wording of the text. Invariably, these papers are published in in-country journals whose editorial and review processes are grossly flawed. Why do people plagiarize and commit scientific fraud? Their evaluators for tenure and promotion "count beans" (number of publications) without regard to quality and impact factor. Unfortunately, in Kazakhstan professors spend more than 90% of their time on teaching and teaching-related nonsensical bureaucracy. They literally have no time for research. On the other hand, administrators (The Ministry of Education and Science and University Rectors) put pressure on professors to publish, which is a mission impossible without adequate time and infrastructure to do research. Research is a creative activity that requires time to read and be up to speed in one's field, time to think and develop research projects, time to do research, world-class infrastructure (research space, equipment, library, etc.) and funding. Without these, one cannot do research and publish research findings in high impact factor journals. We should condemn and punish plagiarism and fraud in academia. We should also condemn those administrators and bureaucrats who expect research and research publications without providing the atmosphere and infrastructure required for research.
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PP Sharikov PP Sharikov
2014-06-30 08:48:49
"... cannot do research and publish research findings in high impact factor journals." The reliance on high Impact Factor (IF) should be reduced by judging the quality of the science of the paper rather than the journal in which it is published. This reliance on IF also spawns quite a lot of plagiarism (although not as nakedly obvious) because producing review papers (with concomitant quoting... of prior publications and little or no actual research) brings higher numbers of citations thus increasing the IF of the journal it is published in ... Having worked in a number of institutes where the obsession with publishing in PNAS or Nature and other high IF journals, it did nothing to improve the quality of our work, but merely focused us on looking for what the journal regarded as a paper that would receive citations (thus raising the IF) ... not as something that would advance our field of medicine or science.
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