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Kansas University has censured a former senior scientist in the Kansas Geological Survey over allegations of scholarly misconduct.
Marios Sophocleous, a hydrology scientist with the survey for more than 30 years, was found by a committee to have engaged in plagiarism and self-plagiarism in seven journal articles dealing with hydrology and groundwater. Sophocleous denies that he plagiarized anybody’s work.
The articles spanned 12 years, from 2000 to 2012, and were published in the journals Ground Water, Hydrology Journal, Natural Resources Research and Journal of Hydrology. Three of those journals — Hydrology Journal, Journal of Hydrology and Natural Resources Research — Sophocleous worked for as an editor at different times.
Jill Jess, a KU spokeswoman, declined to elaborate on details of the censure, which the university announced today in KU News. Rex Buchanan, interim director of the KGS, also declined to comment.
In an interview with the Journal-World, Sophocleous said he never copied the work of others or his own. “They accused me of scholarly misconduct because they said I plagiarized myself and others in my writings, despite the fact that, if you look at my writings, everywhere I put the reference from which I took the materials,” he said.
“If you look at my papers, I always acknowledge the different authors in every other sentence… and also the bibliography. There is no attempt on my part in my writings to present the work of others as my own,” he said.
Sophocleous also said that some of the authors he is accused of having plagiarized had actually seen the papers before publication, when Sophocleous asked them to read a draft, and they had complimented his work.
With the work Sophocleous was said to have self-plagiarized — a term for reusing one’s previous material without proper reference — Sophocleous said he had referred to his own previous research for a different audience than the original, but did nothing improper and cited information where necessary.
Sophocleous first joined the Kansas Geological survey in 1978 as an assistant scientist and served as senior scientist from 1987 to 2013, when he retired. He received his master’s degree from KU in 1973 and his doctorate in hydrology from the University of Alberta. The author of dozens of scholarly articles, Sophocleous’ work has been cited nearly 3,500 times, according to Google Scholar.
The list of articles listed in the censure notice can be found on KU News.