Saturday, September 24, 2011

VroniPlag - the next cases

Goodness, you get busy with something else, and the VroniPlag count has again been upped. The new kids on the block are:
  • Case 11: Arne Heller, a lawyer in Hamburg, submitted a dissertation on managing boards. He is currently applying for a habilitation, the second doctorate necessary for a university professorship in Germany. There was a nasty spat that ensued over an article in Die Zeit accusing VroniPlag of letting itself be instrumentalized by unknown persons from the University of Hamburg using VroniPlag to subvert the habilitation process. Heller has, however, already passed Chatzimarkakis with the amount of plagiarism (72% of the pages) and is not too far behind the gold standard, zu Guttenberg (94% of the pages). Many VroniPlag activists joined the fight on the comments page, which run to 39 pages at the time this blog post is being written.
  • Case 12: Martin Winkels submitted a dissertation on the Ostpolitik that has plagiarism on 24% of the pages. Since he is neither a politician or well known, there was a longish discussion about whether the name should be made public or not. The VroniPlag group voted that since a thesis is published, it is fair to discuss it and its author. The vote was not unanimous, however.
  • Case 13: Daniel Volk, Member of the German Parliament for the FDP. His thesis on international law is currently at just over 20% of the pages plagiarized. He insists to the press that nothing is wrong with his dissertation.
It is also encouraging to see the activity that is starting in the fall term:
  • The Charité is holdling a symposium in Berlin on October 7, 2011: "Responsible conduct of research in academic medicine: From neglect to action plan" 
  • The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung will be holding a conference on October 11, 2011 about quality assurance at university that is said to be streamed on "Plagiatsfälle in der Wissenschaft -Wie lässt sich Qualitätssicherung an Hochschulen verbessern?"
  • The DFG is said to be having a conference the end of November, I don't have a prospectus yet.
  • I have been invited to speak at many gatherings, and have been asked to attend a parliamentary committee meeting as an expert witness. Both the Green party and the SPD have prepared motions about academic misconduct that they are planning on presenting to parliament. 
I will try and report on as many of these as possible so that non-German speakers can see what is happening. 

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