Sunday, May 8, 2011

zu Guttenberg plagiarized on purpose

My bot logged over 100 newspaper articles on Friday on the press release from the University of Bayreuth giving the results of their examination of zu Guttenberg's dissertation (here are links to Süddeutsche - Spiegel - Stern - Berliner Zeitung). The bot also logged many links to services offering to write a plagiarism-free dissertation for a price...

In a nutshell: The university committee has found that zu Guttenberg did not plagiarize accidentally (and really, with 94% of the pages containing some plagiarism and over 60 % of the lines being plagiarized, there is really no other decision to be taken). They also found that there were no real grounds given for awarding a top grade for the thesis, as there was no particularly new, ground-breaking point in the thesis.

Now what does this mean?
  • His title has been revoked. I've asked a journalist, hungry for a story, to see if he can find out if zu Guttenberg applied for a new ID card. He'll have to have the Dr. taken out there. I wonder anyway how all his names fit on the standard German ID card.
  • The advisors are retired, no punishment beyond the current shaming going on is possible.
  • Since the university has determined that the plagiarism was on purpose, there may now be a case for some of the over 100 charges registered with the local police about this case.
Our results from testing some plagiarism detection systems with the thesis will appear in the June issue of iX. You'll just have to be patient. We will report here in English when the German article has appeared.

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