Home > Overview > Particle pushing plagiarism

Plagiarism of my work on particle pushing and engulfment

On August 31, 2016, without my knowledge, Derby stripped my name from the author list of a paper to which I made major contributions and submitted it to Journal of Crystal Growth with a fraudulent author list that included gift authorships to five of his colleagues. (doc38) This paper was published online on October 21, 2016 under the title Particle engulfment dynamics under oscillating crystal growth conditions volume 468, pages 24-27, with Yutao Tao, Jeffrey J. Derby, and five of Derby's collaborators listed as authors. My role in this work is assigned to the acknowledgments section, where it is said that I "supported this work through code development." My code, Cats2D, is not mentioned in either the narrative or the citations.

One year earlier, on August 3, 2015, Yutao Tao gave an oral presentation on this work at a conference. (doc39) The title was Particle engulfment dynamics during the growth of multicrystalline silicon and the authors were Tao, Yeckel, and Derby. The results shown in this slide presentation account for half the results found in the figures of Tao, Derby, and five others (doc38). A few results not found in the talk are included in the paper, but these are purely modeling studies from Tao's dissertation work. None of the five other authors are listed on this presentation, and there is no reason for any of them to be listed as author on the paper, either. They all work in European labs and they had no direct involvement in this work. Their names on this paper constitute severe authorship dilution for Yutao Tao.

Two other articles were published on this same subject in 2016, both having Tao as the first author and me as the second author (doc40, doc41):

Y. Tao, A. Yeckel, and J.J. Derby (2016) Analysis of particle engulfment during the growth of crystalline silicon, Journal of Crystal Growth, volume 452, pages 1-5.

Y. Tao, A. Yeckel, and J.J. Derby (2016) Steady-state and dynamic models for particle engulfment during solidification, Journal of Computational Physics, volume 315, pages 238-263.

Both articles acknowledge my code Cats2D in both the narrative and the citations, as has been customary in all papers previously published based on results obtained by Cats2D.

All three papers are based on elaborate and difficult simulations found in Tao's dissertation, published in December, 2016. There is nothing to distinguish the results in this paper from those found in the other two papers. They are part and parcel of the same research conducted by this student under my mentorship. I trained Tao to perform these simulations and I provided extensive support to him throughout the execution of his research.

Before Tao ever worked on this problem I developed extensive mathematical notes on the model and its implementation, working entirely on my own. On August 8, 2012, I distributed notes on this work to Tao and Derby. (doc42, doc43) On October 2, 2012, I distributed additional notes to Tao, Derby, and others. (doc44, doc45). I implemented the model described in these notes in my Cats2D software working alone, and personally tested and verified it before Tao ever used it himself. Revisions and additions distributed on December 24, 2013 and October 24, 2014, are also noted (doc45).

I possess many emails demonstrating my intellectual contributions to this work. The sampling shown here demonstrates the elaborate support I gave to Tao on this project. (doc46) This support continued well beyond the end of my employment.

Here is what Tao wrote in his dissertation acknowledgements about my contributions to his work: (doc46A)

"I would also like to thank Andrew Yeckel, ex-senior Research Associate in Derby research group, without whose contributions none of this work would be possible. Although he left our group two years ago, I always think of his brilliant ideas and profound expertise in writing finite-element codes. After gaining some experience in programming and Linux operating system, I realized what stupid questions I had asked him at the beginning of my Ph.D. study. I greatly appreciate his patient mentoring and worldly advice, which has been invaluable and I will always treasure."

There can be no doubt that Tao views my contributions as both significant and intellectual in nature, and this characterization obviously applies to all his dissertation work, not just those parts of it found in the first two papers.