PGI paediatrician, shortlisted for director’s post, in plagiarism row - Hindustan Times
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PGI paediatrician, shortlisted for director’s post, in plagiarism row

Hindustan Times | By, Chandigarh
Dec 04, 2016 07:12 PM IST

A paediatrician, Dr Meenu Singh, at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), among one of the three doctors shortlisted for the post of the director at the institute, had a review in an international global review withdrawn in September this year.

A paediatrician, Dr Meenu Singh, at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), among one of the three doctors shortlisted for the post of the director at the institute, had a review in an international global review withdrawn in September this year.

Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.(HT File Photo)
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.(HT File Photo)

The Cochrane Library, a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health, has withdrawn a review “Zinc for the common cold” written by Dr Meenu Singh, department of Pediatrics, PGIMER and Dr Rashmi R Das, department of pediatrics, AIIMS, Bhubaneshwar.

The review published in 2013 was temporarily withdrawn in April 2015, after Harri Hemila, a public health researcher at the University of Helsinki complained, “The 2013 update has copied parts of my 2011 paper as ideas, as data and as sentence without attributing these to my 2011 paper.”

Reasons for withdrawal

“The review was withdrawn as a result of comment submitted by Harri Hemila in February 2015. Hemila identified multiple errors in the Cochrane review and made allegations of plagiarism of text and data from a previously published systematic review,” states the Cochrane Library. The Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group, which maintains the review, withdrew the review in April 2015, pending an assessment of the errors reported, and the group referred the allegations of plagiarism to the editor-in-chief.

Doctor denies charges

“The allegations made were are of serious nature, but Cochrane Editorial Unit carried out a systematic and just investigation. They have taken the decision that it will stay withdrawn. I am also one of the editors of Cochrane and I agree with them. We are updating the review and it is not permanently withdrawn,” said Dr Meenu.

“This is a review, which means that a literature has been published and we have to compile it. Whenever we have to compile the literature, there would be minor replications, this is not a major one. So, minor replication up to 5% or 10% can be there. There was some concern regarding data calculation through feedback mechanism, which the editor has asked us to update. So this 2013 version was withdrawn from the library and the editor advised us to update the same with addition of new available data,” said Dr Das of AIIMS, Bhubaneshwar..

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