University lecturers fired for plagiarism and fake papers

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Two university lecturers have been booted from their positions amidst a sprawling scandal involving 109 academics from 33 universities regarding stolen research papers and plagiarism. The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI) made the revelation yesterday, January 24.

Supachai Pathumnakul, the MHESI Deputy Permanent Secretary, revealed that a comprehensive investigation into the academic wrongdoings had been undertaken. Out of the 74 scholars scrutinised, 60 were absolved of any misconduct. However, a damning verdict was passed on 14 academics from eight universities, with two facing severe repercussions.

The fired lecturers, one from Chiang Mai University (CMU) and another from Chulabhorn Royal Academy, were found guilty of egregious offences related to their research practices. The malpractices came to light as an abnormal surge in the publication of research papers by individual scholars was detected over the past two to three years.

The lecturers were accused of venturing into areas outside their expertise, co-authoring papers without genuine research involvement, and resorting to purchasing or plagiarising others’ work and presenting it as their own in internationally accredited journals.

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The CMU lecturer’s transgressions included buying an academic paper and then splurging an additional 30,000 baht on publishing costs. Furthermore, this academic authored multiple works in fields completely unrelated to their actual expertise. Supachai underscored the severity of the misconduct.

“The irregularities were noticed after excessive numbers of research papers were published by individual researchers over the past two to three years.”

The MHESI, upon receiving alerts about the problem, closely scrutinized 109 academics from 33 institutes. They actively collaborated with the affected universities during the investigation, which was based on four crucial criteria: the volume of recent research studies, the alignment of research with the researchers’ specialities, the academic background of the researchers, and any anomalies in their previously published works, reported Bangkok Post.

However, the investigation faced delays due to the complexity of addressing issues in specialised academic areas, as highlighted by Supachai.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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