Tuesday, December 7, 2021

BIUST Professor in plagiarism scandal

Failure by the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) to put in place strict recruitment policies in validating the credentials of incoming personnel is proving to be problematic for the world-class university, after it emerged that a lecturer at BIUST’s Department of Engineering and Technology has been accused of plagiarism.

Sunday Standard investigations have turned up information that Professor Ibikunle, a Nigerian working at BIUST, violated the IEEE journal publication principles by submitting for publication an academic paper that contained significant portions of original text from a paper written by other academics. A statement of analysis from IEEE indicates that Ibikunle’s paper was in violation of IEEE’s Publication Principles.

“After careful and considered review of the content and authorship of this paper by a duly constituted expert committee, this paper has been found to be in violation of IEEE’s Publication Principles,” reads the statement.

In its notice of violation, the IEEE accused Professor Ibikunle of copying the original text from a paper titled “Security Vulnerabilities and Solutions in Mobile WiMAX” which was authored by Andreas Deininger, Shinsaku Kiyomoto, Jun Kurihara and Toshiaki Tanaka and published in the International Journal of Computer Science and Network Security, Vol 7, No 11, November 2007.

“The original text was copied with insufficient attribution, including appropriate references to the original authors and/or paper title and without permission,” read the IEEE statement. Professor Ibikunle’s offending paper was titled “Security Issues in Mobile WiMAX”.  While questioning the authorship of a scientific paper may seem paradoxical, Sunday Standard studied both Professor Ibikunle and the original authors’ papers and picked striking similarities from the word go.

French authors Cyril Labbe and Domique Labbe used Professor Ibikunle as a case study on professionals who have been caught plagiarizing in their paper, titled ‘HAL Archives: who wrote this scientific text?’ They wrote in their abstract: “The IEEE bibliographic database contains a number of proven duplications with indication of the original paper(s) copied. This corpus is used to test a method for the detection of hidden intertextuality (commonly named “plagiarism”)”.

Sunday Standard also took a closer look at Professor Ibinkule’s eight-page curriculum vitae and made some rather interesting observations. While the Professor had listed several papers as peer reviewed journals, most of them were just conference papers and did not exist in the IET and IEEE journals where they were purportedly published. Professor Ibikunle is a decorated Engineer Scientist who boasts of 26 years industry working experience in ICTS/Telecommunications Engineering Industry. According to his CV, he attained his B.Tech (Electrical Engineering) at the University of Science and Technology in Port-harcourt, Nigeria. He later got his PhD in Telecommunications Engineering at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in China. He is currently Chairman of BIUST ICT Committee, member of BIUST Governing Council, member of BIUST Senate and member of BIUST Faculty Appointments and Promotions Guidelines Committee. He has also supervised several Masters and PhD candidates. He is also a reviewer of engineering programmes at Botho University. After asking to be given time to consult, BIUST Public Relations Manager Keoagile Rafifing later said the University was aware of the plagiarism case against Professor Ibikunle. 

“The management did set-up a committee to investigate the issue and the matter was resolved. The University has since instituted strict recruitment policies in validating the credentials of incoming personnel,” he said.

Reached for comment through email, Professor Ibikunle promised to come to our offices but had not done so more than seven days later.

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