Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hungary's president has doctorate rescinded

The Austrian newspaper Der Standard reports that the Hungarian president, Pál Schmitt, has had his doctorate, which was awarded in 1992, rescinded. The Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest voted 16:2 for rescinding the doctorate that was granted on the basis of a thesis about the history of the Olympic momement. Schmitt was himself an Olympic fenceman and a member of the Olympic committee of Hungary.

The thesis plagiarizes the thesis of a Bulgarian sports researcher and member of the IOC as well as texts from a German sociologist. The original texts were in French and German, Schmitt only translated them without referring to them. A journalist from the weekly magazine HVG found the plagiarism.

Update: 2012-04-02 The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that Schmitt has bowed to pressure and stepped down as president of Hungary.

One year of VroniPlag

Here is a wonderful attempt to visualize the work of one year of VroniPlag - makes it awfully clear that the universities need to sort out how to deal with these problems quickly. The map is also interesting.
A graphical representation of the work of one year of VroniPlag plagiarism documentation

Monday, March 26, 2012

VroniPlag Case 21

And another case hits the home page of VroniPlag. Case 21 is another dissertation from the TU Berlin with the same doctoral advisor as Jürgen Goldschmidt. There are copies of the Wikipedia from around 2004, copies of texts about earthquakes in Switzerland that have Iraq switched in, and copies from textbooks. And there seems to be more rolling in by the minute.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

University said to rescind doctorate

The Leipziger Volkszeitung reports that the University of Halle doctoral thesis committee is unanimously recommending to the faculty board that the doctorate of Siegfried Haller be rescinded. VroniPlag documented  significant plagiarism on over 20% of the pages. Three quarters of these pages were more than three quarters plagiarized. The thesis on the restoration of living quarters in a town plagiarized heavily from documents published by the city authority responsible for the restoration. Haller worked for the city authority and is said to have been co-author of much of the documentation. However, no authorship is listed for the documents, and the thesis does not mention using them.

The faculty board meets on April 18 to decide.

There has been some criticism about a local newspaper reporting on the state of internal affairs of the university before the university reaches its final decision.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

VroniPlag: Case 20

Tonight the twentieth case of plagiarism was documented on the VroniPlag site. It's another doctorate in law, this time from the University of Hanover. And it's another summa cum laude dissertation that even starts off (page 1) with a plagiarism from a book by the person who published the dissertation. Maybe this one will finally get more of a discussion going in Germany.

I've added the case to the open plagiarism table.

And I apologize to all readers with comments - when I turned on the moderation I forgot to put in my email, so they have just been collecting up. I've sorted out the random spam and published the rest. And now have a proper email entered.

Monday, March 5, 2012

University of Cologne rescinds doctorate

This evening it was announced that the University of Cologne has rescinded the doctorate of a member of the Bundestag, Bijan Djir-Sarai, nine months after the documentation was published on VroniPlag. Dijr-Sarai has stated that he will not be pursuing the matter legally, as some of the other people with rescinded doctorates are doing.