Quality of journal under question

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Pns:Two teachers of Dhaka University have been accused of plagiarising from the works of the French philosopher Michel Foucault and Prof. Edward Said. The accused teachers are Samia Rahman, associate professor of mass communication and journalism, and Syed Mahfujul Haque Marjan, a lecturer in the criminology department. Similar allegations have also been brought against tourism and hospitality management department assistant professor Md Bodruzzaman Bhuiyan and Nusrat Jahan and Ruhul Amin.

A DU teacher, on the condition of anonymity, told The Independent yesterday: “Actually, the entire process is defective. The quality of the journal has declined over the years. Many teachers have written plagiarised articles in the journal only to get promotion.”

Two separate committees were formed at the syndicate meeting of the university on Wednesday to look into allegations of plagiarism against five teachers including Samia and Marjan. The meeting was chaired by the newly appointed vice-chancellor (VC), Prof. Md Akhtaruzzaman. Samia and Marjan’s article—‘A new dimension of colonialism and pop culture: A case study of the cultural imperialism’—was published last December in ‘Social Science Review’, the journal of the DU social science faculty that is published twice a year (June and December) by the DU registrar. Prof. Farid Uddin Ahmed, former dean of the social science faculty and the new vice-chancellor of the Shahajalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), was the publication’s last editor.

A five-memer team to look into the plagiarism allegations levelled against Samia and Marjan is headed by DUan pro-VC (education) Prof. Nasreen Ahmed.

When asked, Samia said: “I was abroad when the article was published. Marjan told me that he wanted to teach at DU and wanted to write an article with me. I suggested he look up Michel Foucault’s and Edward Said's articles and then work on them with the perspective of Bangladesh. But he submitted the article to the authorities without my knowledge.” “On February 5, I filed a complaint to Farid Uddin Ahmed after seeing the article,” she added.

Samia raised the question as to why the reviewers, including the editor and 14 editorial members, had not raised any objection before publishing the article. “I have contributed different articles to national and international journals. Sometimes, the reviewers reject my articles and give me guidelines. But how did the reviewer accept this article? I'll take legal action, if needed, as I am being targeted mostly because of my gender.”

However, Marjan refused to comment on the issue: “I'll not say anything now as this issue is being investigated.” Meanwhile, the five-member team led by Prof. Nasreen will prove similar allegations brought against tourism and hospitality management department assistant professor Md Bodruzzaman Bhuiyan, Nusrat Jahan and Ruhul Amin of the same department.

DU VC Prof. Md Akhtaruzzaman said: “There is no scope for plagiarism in DU. This particular issue in under investigation and I shouldn’t talk about it. No one should be blamed for plagiarism before the report comes.”

PNS/Tamanna Khan



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