I am a professor in a public university and have been accused of plagiarism by an anonymous letter to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan.
The anonymous letter framed two charges:
It accused four scientists of submitting a plagiarized manuscript in Laser Surgery and Medicine, a prestigious US journal. As a proof the accuser attached an email of rejection on the basis of high similarity index from the editor of the journal addressed to the corresponding author. I have been listed as a co-author, whereas the email of rejection is addressed to seven email addresses.
In second allegation a reference of 2005 of the editor of a Pakistani journal is mentioned. The editor accused the corresponding author of submitting an article which was already published in a journal, i.e. attempted self-plagiarism. The manuscript was not published but the editor declared that the corresponding author and his co-authors were blacklisted from the journal without mentioning the names of co-authors. Unfortunately the corresponding author in both cases is the same person and the co-authors in both cases are unclear.
My name is listed as a co-author by the anonymous letter and I was completely unaware of both the incidents. But HEC has black-listed all four people accused, including me, for two-years.
What can I do?