I met someone who graduated from Firat University in Turkey, and claimed to have published 60 journal articles in his 3 years of PhD studies (2015-2018).

Although I haven't studied in Turkey or Asia(Malaysia, China, etc) before, this throws me into confusion and doubt, as I know this is no way near possible, at least in places I have studied (Europe and the UK), particularly in his field of study (Applied Mathematics).

Checking through his scholar page, and follow up to the articles, I noticed first author is the professor that supervised his work in majority of his works. I also noticed about two other PhD candidates in his connection that made such an "outrageous" publications, thus a high Google scholar index score.

I didn't want to dig further with the guy to know how that was possible, as he might see it an attack on his personality.

Out there, I know people might have some idea how is the PhD process in Turkey.

  • 11
    You don't say anything about just where said articles were published. But 60 articles in 3 years has alarm bells ringing...
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 23, 2021 at 13:37
  • 2
    Was this in a "big science" field?
    – Buffy
    Jul 23, 2021 at 14:58
  • 1
    There is no way anyone can actually churn out a paper's worth of worthwhile new ideas every two weeks...
    – avid
    Jul 23, 2021 at 21:37
  • @JonCuster he claimed to have published in mostly Q1 and some Q2 journals. I added a link to his scholar page.
    – super_ask
    Jul 24, 2021 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


I don't know any specifics about Firat University, but I will mention a few points:

There are a lot universities in Turkey more reputable than Firat, both private unis and state unis (e.g. state: Bogazici, METU, ITU, Ege, Ankara; private: Koc, Sabanci, Bilkent, Ozyegin, etc.). So I would not put the university to a high standard.

State universities in Turkey, and especially the internationally less reputable ones, are not known for their high ethical standards. There has beeen countless reports of political appointments, nepotism, and favoritism. I would not be surprised if unrelated students' names were being added to papers at the request of professors, or similarly if professors were "asking" for themselves to be written as the first author.

That being said, I know that there are people at those schools who are trying to do their job in the best way possible, but these things happen and cannot be ignored.

Edit: There is a great book written (in Turkish) by two researches based on their interviews with faculty from private Turkish universities that highlights the corrupt practices in many places.

  • Would serial plagiarism be significantly more likely in this environment than elsewhere? Jul 23, 2021 at 17:46

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