Iranian Science Minister fakes article

Posted by Nigel Constantine

After his sterling success in producing a fair and accurate election result, Iran's science minister Kamran Daneshjou has been cutting and pasting science articles under his own name.


According to Nature magazine Daneshjou's article in Engineering with Computers was nearly identical to one written in 2002 by South Korean researchers.


Anthony Doyle, publishing editor for the Springer journal Engineering with Computers said the article had been "retracted" online.


The news has created a storm in Iran where scientists have banded together to demand his resignation. An Iranian neuroscientist based at the University of Münster in Germany said the news was a bitter blow to Iranian academic society, saying it gives the impression that Iranian scientists are dishonest and unethical.


Iran has not yet responded to the allegations. The country is under pressure to show that it really is interested in science and technology. 


The 2009 paper by Daneshjou and Majid Shahravi, from the department of mechanical engineering at the Iran University of Science and Technology in Tehran, in many places duplicates verbatim the text of the 2002 paper published by South Korean scientists in Applied Physics. A smaller number of sentences are identical to those in a paper given at a 2003 conference by other researchers.


Daneshjou's nomination as science minister was controversial. He was selected by the government and was not supported by Iranian scientists. This might have something to do with the fact that he was head of the interior ministry's office that oversaw the presidential elections last June.


Most people think these elections were stolen from someone else too.