A commentary on scientific integrity

Jade, S (2005) A commentary on scientific integrity. Current Science, 89 (6). pp. 921-922.

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I am compelled to write this commentary after reading the paper by Jade et al.13; 1. Although the authors have been gracious enough to acknowledge us, I consider this13; paper a violation of scientific ethics. Let me briefly sketch the background. The data and the survey points used in their paper form part of a project that I conceived and commenced independently in 2001. Since we did not have any GPS receivers, we used to get them on loan from various organizations, and in 2003, we took them from CMMACS,13; Bangalore. Sreedevi Jade (scientist at C-MMACS and the senior author of the paper in question) suggested that Souvik Banerjee who was working in CMMACS as project assistant would accompany us to help handle their receivers and also to occupy two points at Port Blair (CARI campus) and Havelock (HAVE), previously established by 13; C-MMACS. Banerjee, however, made it clear to me that his interest was mainly in locating and occupying the two points established previously by scientists from 13; C-MMACS, other than being a field help to us. However, these survey points (known as13; CARI and HAVE) could not be located, as they were probably destroyed by construction13; activities. Nonetheless, we invited Banerjee to join us with our work and he joined us in setting up two stations, those at DGLP (Diglipur) and Chatham (CHAT). In addition, we had also shown him our station at Havelok, set up by us in 2002 (note that this is different from HAVE, the C-MMACS point, which was not traceable). During the same season, we set up additional stations at Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay, but Banerjee chose not to13; accompany us to these sites. After completing the work in that season, we returned the receivers and the data were downloaded to the computer at C-MMACS. Subsequently, Banerjee left C-MMACS, and Jade did not show any interest in this work (although I suggested a collaborative study, initially), nor did she evince any interest in future work in these sites. In fact, when I requested to loan the equipment in September 2004, Jade discouraged me from conducting the survey at that time and did not lend us the units. Since I thought it was important to continue the work, I borrowed them from elsewhere and continued our work. The 2004 earthquake suddenly kindled their interest and computing the coseismic displacement became an important issue. At this time, the CMMACS group went ahead and reoccupied our control points, clandestinely.13; They never communicated with us nor cared to request our permission, either about using the data collected in 2003 or about reoccupying the bases established and maintained by us. The basis of the paper in question are the data from 2003 and that collected after the earthquake, by reoccupying some of the stations, set up independently by my student and me. None from C-MMACS (including Banerjee) ever visited Car Nicobar before the earthquake to set up any GPS control points that have now provided the crucial data; it was set up by my student and myself, spending a lot of time and money, in tough field conditions. However, since the coordinates and data were available in C-MMACS, their personnel could trace all our stations and reoccupy them.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: Scientific integrity;C-MMACS;Andaman and Nicobar Islands; Sumatra earthquake;CSIR Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation
Subjects: MATHEMATICAL AND COMPUTER SCIENCES > Mathematical and Computer Scienes(General)
Depositing User: Users 11 not found.
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2005
Last Modified: 24 May 2010 04:09
URI: http://nal-ir.nal.res.in/id/eprint/877

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