Former uRegina student alleges prof plagiarized his work

November 14, 2014

A professor at the University of Regina has been accused of plagiarizing the work of a former student. Arjun Paul alleges that an article published in the journal Environmental Geotechnics by professor Shahid Azam includes significant material from his master’s thesis. The journal has withdrawn the paper after finding that it “had not fully credited Arjun Paul’s thesis,” but said that “this case fell into a grey area of not being a breach of copyright or direct plagiarism but being one of poor judgment.” Azam admitted that he failed to properly cite an article that he and Paul wrote together, but refuted the charge of plagiarism. Azam said that his work looks similar because he wrote significant portions of Paul’s thesis. “None of the alleged material in the disputed paper reflected Paul’s original writing, ideas, or thoughts because he was heavily dependent on me” in key areas, Azam told the CBC. This claim has led some to question why Azam was willing to grant Paul his degree. In response, Azam said, “What is the other alternative? Fail him? And send him back? So now you lose a trainee.” He added that there wassufficient value in Paul's research to earn the degree, and emphasized that the thesis is just part of the evaluation process. CBC