Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Book about Women Writers a Plagiarism

The Bavarian TV station Bayrischen Rundfunk reports (Skandal um "Verbrannte Dichterinnen") that the publisher Artemis & Winkler has withdrawn the book "Verbrannte Dichterinnen" (Women writers whose books were burned in the Third Reich) by Edda Ziegler after an accusation of plagiarism by the Munich scholar Hiltrud Häntzschel, who had published many books about these women.

Häntzschel found over 170 parts of the book that took her words, changing the syntax slightly or the verb tenses, but followed her publications very closely. The publisher agrees, and has withdrawn the unsold volumes. It has announced a reprint with footnotes.

Ziegler does not see what she did as plagiarism. She says she was just following the "rules of popular science writing". She used many quotes, but did not bother with footnotes, which are disdained by critics and the popular press.

"But does this give one a charter for copying?", BR asks. "How about doing one's own research, one's own concept, and one's own writing so as to avoid the footnotes?" Ziegler feels that she was just taking what she had read and putting it into a more readable form. BR does not consider this authorship.

BR has a 3:29 minute interview with both authors (in German) available online.

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