A professor of mine has been asking students to write research papers for conferences. I wrote a paper and submitted it to him, and he uploaded it in a conference through EasyChair.

While going through the uploaded paper on the conference portal, I found out he had changed the references and replaced them with his own personal work. I immediately withdrew the paper.

Now, while going through his Google Scholar entries, I found out he has been doing this continuously to increase the citation count.

What should I do?

  • 9
    Is there a disciplinary committee in your university? Jan 25 at 5:21
  • 4
    Is the prof a co-author of the paper? Jan 25 at 7:32
  • 1
    @MassimoOrtolano, yes there is. Jan 25 at 13:05
  • 1
    @FedericoPoloni, yes he is co-author. Jan 25 at 13:05
  • 3
    I’m curious, was the submission blind (authors hidden from reviewers)? A lot of citations to one person’s work can be a red flag to reviewers, and if that person is an author, a huge red flag. Jan 25 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


If the professor is an IEEE member (I assume that the conference was an IEEE conference), then they signed an ethics statement and is subject to IEEE censure. IEEE has a way to denounce someone that protects the whistle-blower. If this was indeed an IEEE conference, but your professor is not a member, then IEEE might still get involved. People have been "black-listed" by IEEE and were not allowed to submit to any IEEE conference for a certain number of years. Since this action is public, it is quite embarrassing for the institution. At the same time, I trust that IEEE procedures are good, protecting both you and your professor.

Ideally, your institution has an ombudsman or similar person that you can go to to share your suspicions with. Unfortunately, often this ideal is not achieved and I will not assume that you (and your professor) would be protected by clear rules of proceeding and confidentiality.

Now, before you go to IEEE, you should do your homework. Write up your case, provide documentation (the conference should have access to your original submission, etc.) and why you are so certain that this is not an isolated incidence. You might also explain why the inserted citations are not appropriate. An obvious defense is that a professor is supposed to help students with publications, and this includes adding pertinent references. Once you submitted your request, you need to leave it to them. That can be very hard.

  • 8
    Given the OP withdrew their paper and the professor is certainly aware of this, keeping anonymity/confidentiality will be hard anyway.
    – Bergi
    Jan 25 at 21:07
  • 2
    The OP has confirmed that the Professor is a co-author of the paper. Does this affect your answer?
    – user167210
    Jan 26 at 0:08
  • 5
    "IEEE has a way to denounce someone that protects the whistle-blower." I hope that your intent was to convey almost the opposite of what you wrote there, unless you intended to paint the IEEE as quite evil.
    – Glen_b
    Jan 26 at 1:50
  • 8
    @Glen_b "IEEE has (a way to denounce someone) that protects the whistleblower."
    – Angelica
    Jan 26 at 3:29
  • 1
    denounce - "... 2. (transitive) To criticize or speak out against (someone or something); to point out as deserving of reprehension, etc.; to openly accuse or condemn in a threatening manner; to invoke censure upon; to stigmatize; to blame. 3. (transitive) To make a formal or public accusation against; to inform against; to accuse. ..." . Why would the IEEE do that? Jan 26 at 15:37

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