Internal probe finds UW prof guilty of plagiarism
A University of Waterloo professor has been found guilty of plagiarism.
A recently completed investigation into Dongqing Li, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, found Li “guilty of misconduct in research owing to negligence in professorial duties.”
Li and a PhD student were first accused of plagiarizing research from Martin Bazant, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in September.
Bazant noticed that part of a piece Li and the student co-wrote in the journal ‘Microfluidics and Nanofluidics’ matched something he had written without crediting him.
In a statement released by the university, Li says he accepts the findings of the investigation and apologizes for his actions.
“I am very sorry for the plagiarism contained in the review paper,” he said.
“I take responsibility for this mistake, and for my delayed action in withdrawing the paper when I learned of the plagiarism.”
As a result of the investigation, Li will be suspended from the university without pay for four months beginning April 1.
During that time, he will be unable to use university resources and relieved of all duties and privileges relating to his job, but will be able to visit the campus.
"He will be without his lab, he'll be without his office, and he’ll have to relinquish supervision of his graduate students for four months," Waterloo university relations manager Tim Jackson told CTV.
"That's a significant punishment and I think the investigator felt that was reasonable in these circumstances."
Jackson says the summer timeframe of the suspension was done to minimize impact on students. Li works at the university year-round, and will return to teaching and researching in September.
University president Feridun Hamdullahpur says the school remains committed to academic integrity.
“I am deeply trouble by any allegation of academic misconduct involving our students, faculty, or staff,” he said in the statement.
“Academic integrity is expected from all members of our campus community. It is a core value encouraged through education and by example.”