Universelle Coalgebra von H. P. Gumm, Heldermann Verlag. If you are not a mathematician, this is not easy reading.
It seems that K. Denecke and S. Wismath: Universal Algebra and Coalgebra, World Scientific, 2009 is pretty much a word-for-word plagiarism, but translated into English. World Scientific is a write-only publication in my eyes: Searching the ACM digital library for
"World Scientific" -"real world" -"real-world scientific"I get only 47 hits. At least one is indeed a review, others still include the term "real-world scientific" in them. The publisher, located in Singapore, prints a wide range of books that do not seem to be widely quoted, although they do, indeed, publish the Nobel Lectures in English. But that is not the major focus of this blog entry.
Gumm has put together a documentation that is easy to follow, with some good comments pointing out errors that point to plagiarism. For example, a simple programming error from Gumm can be found identically in Denecke/Wismath. There is also a translation of the German word "Konto" to "Bank Account" (with a blank, which is illegal in programming for an identifier). And at points where own work was included, Gumm demonstrates that a proposition is not a theorem, but false. Strangely, Gumm's own translation of "bounded functor" into "beschränkter Funktor" has become, upon re-translation, "restricted functor". Amazing, this is exactly what Google Translator spits out.
He has contacted the publishers of 2 reviews of the book, requesting that they be withdrawn. One will be investigating the matter, but Math Reviews refuses to do anything more than inform the publisher.
A letter to Denecke requesting an explanation was quickly answered with a letter stating that this is just the most natural way of explaining the subject matter as simply as possible. He does not see that this can in any way be called a plagiarism.
So I ask my readers - what do you think? Is this plagiarism or "naturally given"? And how should an author who finds himself plagiarized react to this? How is the "self-cleansing propensity of the scientific community" supposed to work, if anyone can publish anything they choose, no one looks closely at what it is, and no one is willing to retract anything?
Update: The German weekly paper Die Zeit hat jetzt über den Fall berichtet.