Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wissenschaftsbetrug - Scientific Misconduct

I was at the German National Library the other day picking up some material on a plagiarism case and I casually riffled through the catalogs as I am wont to do. I found a very interesting dissertation from the University of Zürich in Switzerland:

Völger, Marion: Wissenschaftsbetrug - Strafrechtliche Aspekte - unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Missbrauchs staatlicher Forschungsförderung. Schulthess, 2004. ISBN: 3725548129

The dissertation is quite interesting, even for non-lawyers. The author first gives a good overview of definitions for scientific misconduct and an analysis of how scientific enquiry works in the first place. She uses a number of cases that have come to light in recent years to illustrate her points.

Then she goes into the legal aspects: University law, criminal law, all sorts of other legal bits and pieces. She focuses, of course, on Swiss law and explains the complicated system of research financing in Switzerland.

She basically comes to the conclusion that there is not much that one can do, although certain aspects of scientific misconduct could be covered by certain laws. There is a nice summary (in German) at http://archiv.ethlife.ethz.ch/articles/campuslife/betrugundrecht.html.

1 comment:

  1. There is quite a similar thesis from 2006 by Heike Ottemann:

    Wissenschaftsbetrug und Strafrecht: Zu Möglichkeiten der Sanktionierung von Fehlverhalten in der Wissenschaft

    This is, however, a dissertation from the University of Jena. I've just ordered it from the National Library to see if it has special references for Germany.

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