Recently, I realized someone, who was my friend in the past, published my research results related to an old project without mentioning my name. I'm wondering how he accessed to my results and why he published those results in a fake journal! By fake journal, I mean it's like someone buys a website and upload some pdfs and says I'm a publisher! Fortunately, it seems this guys recently got a faculty position in the US and I wanted to know how can I sue him? It's a clear example of research misconduct to publish the results of other people without mentioning even their name. I could prove my claim by giving the original raw data, which I'm pretty sure that he cannot provide them because I just stored them in a protected storage device. Could I directly contact the office of research compliance of the university that he works for?


I realized it is more than one paper! He published two papers! in the same fake journal with my results...


He admitted his fault and apologized... Also, he offered me three projects to work on and even a Postdoc position!!! (I'm still PhD student and even not defended my PhD proposal). I gave this matter up because he made the situation really emotional. I'm not sure that it is a correct thing to do or not but this question is kinda closed...

  • Is this actually a fake journal, or is it just his personal website. There is a significant difference. – Vladhagen Sep 20 '18 at 21:51
  • It is ACTUALLY a fake journal and is not a personal website...! – Alone Programmer Sep 20 '18 at 21:52
  • This is the website of this fake journal: jbsjournal.org – Alone Programmer Sep 20 '18 at 21:53
  • Sounds like you wouldn't want your name associated with any of it at all. It will not pass muster with your 'friend's university either, so I would just not bother with it at all... – Jon Custer Sep 20 '18 at 21:54
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    Perhaps. You should be clear with yourself what your issue is, and what you want to accomplish. Nobody else of any value will be fooled by a fake publication. What is it to you if the person makes a fool of themselves? – Jon Custer Sep 20 '18 at 21:58

I would first contact the individual who published your work. Perhaps he can provide insight into his actions.

If he has a faculty position in the US, you could next contact his department to open a case with them. University administration may also be able to step in and arbitrate on the matter.

If the journal is reputable, they too would be a point of contact. Since I have no way of knowing what journal/"journal" this work was published in, it is difficult for me to gauge what contacting the journal would lead to.

Much of this will depend on providing evidence that you performed the work you say you did. This also greatly hinges on what exactly this person published that you think is yours. Did he publish written work verbatim from your own writings? Did he just publish a paper using an idea you had but never formalized? Did he publish data that you collected? Do you have any lab notebooks showing that you collected the data? Were you paid to do research for this person? Is he publishing a paper using data that you collected, but that he cleaned and analysed?

One note on pursuing civil litigation on this matter: Unless you can show loss of money, opportunity, or standing due to this person's actions, you are extremely unlikely to get a definitive decision awarding you some sort of remuneration for your work. This is not how civil suits work. This is an academic matter and the courts are likely not going to hear the case. (Unless you go to some sort of TV 'Judge Judy' court). If you have an actual published piece of work that is copyrighted, civil action could be a move of last resort. Otherwise, civil action is very unlikely to result in anything.

  • The journal is completely fake and just invented by him and his brother! By sue, my purpose is to remove this fake article from web and all of its records. Also he used the data that I collected without mentioning my name as author. I have all the raw data which I'm pretty sure that he cannot provide them because I just stored them in a protected storage device. – Alone Programmer Sep 20 '18 at 21:22
  • By using my data, my purpose is that he used some pictures which I created for visualization from raw data to show him sometimes ago directly in this accused paper without doing anything new. He could not do anything new because he didn't have the raw data. – Alone Programmer Sep 20 '18 at 21:32
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    @AloneProgrammer So he used some images you created? Was the focus of the paper visualization? For all we know, you created those images for him, he forgot who created the images (several years having passed), and then he used them in a pre-print he put on his personal website. Were these images you created done on your own time? Did he pay you to do this research? – Vladhagen Sep 20 '18 at 21:36
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    @AloneProgrammer Plagiarism is plagiarism, regardless of what country the research was originally performed in. First contact him, then his department. – Vladhagen Sep 20 '18 at 21:49
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    Rowan University is a real university in the United States (New Jersey). – Vladhagen Sep 20 '18 at 21:58

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