Lecturer plagiarised student's work

September 17, 2004

A senior lecturer at Cardiff University has been suspended after an investigation panel found that he had plagiarised a former student's PhD thesis for articles published in two international journals.

Cardiff confirmed this week that an allegation of "misconduct in academic research" had been substantiated against Kamal Naser, a senior lecturer in accounting at the university's business school.

A university spokesman said that the panel found that Dr Naser had committed plagiarism and he had been suspended.

It is understood that Dr Naser plagiarised material from a 2000 PhD thesis by Abdulraham Al-razeen, now a professor of accounting at Al-Imam University in Saudi Arabia, who studied alongside Dr Naser at Cardiff Business School.

Professor Al-razeen told The Times Higher that Dr Naser had used material without attribution for two articles.

One article appeared in the International Journal of Accounting - "Quality of financial reporting: evidence from the listed Saudi non-financial companies" - and the other in the British Accounting Review - "Users' perception of corporate reporting: evidence from Saudi Arabia".

He said: "I am very saddened that someone from a reputable business school can undertake such a misconduct... I trust that publicising such a case will deter others from such misconduct and show how serious Cardiff University is in protecting the high reputation of higher education in the UK."

The editor of the International Journal of Accounting , Rashad Abdel-Khalik, said that he had not yet heard the results of the university's investigation from Cardiff itself and was waiting until then before considering any action.

But he said that Dr Naser's manuscript had been refereed in the normal way and that there had been no reason to suspect unethical behaviour.

The editor of the British Accounting Review , Terry Cooke, was unavailable for comment.

In a statement, Cardiff University said: "Such allegations are always treated extremely seriously and the university has in place established procedures for the investigation of such cases.

"The allegations against the member of staff in the Cardiff Business School were considered in accordance with the procedures, and the investigation panel, which was chaired by a judge, concluded that the allegations with regard to two published articles were substantiated."

Dr Naser emailed The Times Higher saying that he did not accept the conclusion of the investigation.

He said that he had been working in the field long before Professor Al-razeen and that there were important differences between Professor Al-razeen's paper and his own work.

He said that any similarities between his and Professor Al-razeen's results were due to the financial rules and practices and financial reporting in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

Dr Naser said: "I cannot see any grounds whatsoever for the report to conclude that the two papers were taken from Dr Al-razeen's work and the data were fabricated.

"I would like to see clear guidelines that regulate the relationship between research supervisors and their supervisees to prevent similar incidents in the future."

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