Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Valleytronics? More 'Borrowed' Phrasing...

Update: 8/9/13: Editors respond...

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Tonight must be "Twitter tipster" and "authors behaving badly" night!

From the 'News & Views' pages of two vaunted Nature publishing journals come the latest chunks of potentially plagiarized text. Please open your browsers to this 2012 Nature Nanotech article, and then this 2013 Nature Materials piece. Now, I'm not going to pretend I'm a p-chem or 'valleytronics' expert, but I can certainly spot duped text on command:

NN paragraph 2:
"Electrons travel through a crystal as waves, which are described by a momentum (which is a continuous variable) and a spin (which is a discrete index). It is possible for a crystal to have two or more crystal axes that differ in their orientation, but are otherwise identical: such axes can support electron waves that are also identical apart from their direction (or, more precisely, their momentum)."
NM paragraph 2:
"Electrons travel through a crystal as waves, which are described by a momentum (which is a continuous variable) and a spin (which is a discrete index). It is possible for a crystal to have two or more crystal axes that differ in their orientation, but are otherwise identical: such axes can support electron waves that are also identical apart from their direction (or, more precisely, their momentum)."
Missed the changes? There are none; this is lifted word-for-word.

Another, perhaps?

NN graf 3:
"As in spintronics, there are two main challenges facing researchers trying to make valleytronic devices. The first is restricting electrons to one quantum number, which for valleytronics means localizing them to one momentum valley. This is also referred to as achieving valley polarization. The second challenge is to detect the valley-polarized current."
NM graf 3:
"As in spintronics, there are two main challenges facing researchers trying to make valleytronic devices. The first is restricting electrons to one quantum number, which for valleytronics means localizing them to one momentum valley. This is also referred to as achieving valley polarization. The second challenge is to detect the valley-polarized current."
Hope you didn't blink much, 'cause that one's identical, too.

Although I don't excuse it, I can understand the pressure to grab text under a research deadline, or to emulate a master author. But for news write-ups?!? Looks like someone's got some 'splaining to do...

6 comments:

  1. Really surprised that journals don't pick up this sort of thing using plagiarism detection software. Surely it is better if the journals spot these things before publication... I put the 2013 article through turnitin and it easily picks out the passages from the 2012 paper. Interestingly it also shows that much of the Nature Materials abstract reappeared two weeks later on http://nanowerk.com (NM Jul 23 - NW Aug 5):

    NM: In addition to manipulating the charge or spin of electrons, another way to control electric current is by using the ‘valley’ degree-of-freedom of electrons. The first demonstration of the generation, transport and detection of valley-polarized electrons in bulk diamond now opens up new opportunities for quantum control in electronic devices.

    NW: In addition to manipulating the charge or spin of electrons, another way to control electric current is by using the 'valley' degree of freedom of electrons. This novel concept is based on utilizing the wave quantum number of an electron in a crystalline material. Researchers now report the first demonstration of the generation, transport and detection of valley-polarized electrons in bulk diamond - a result which opens up...

    I guess what goes around comes around...

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  2. Do you want a couple more examples of sentence plagiarism for your blog? I have a small file of when my sentences get copied by other papers....

    ReplyDelete