Sunday, October 9, 2011

Professor barred from advising for 2 years

The University of Münster in Germany has barred a professor from accepting doctoral students for two years, the Westfälische Nachrichten reports.

In July 2011 the university rescinded a doctorate that was found to have replicated one submitted to the same advisor a few years earlier. The duplicate disseration was found by a Wikipedia editor researching a topic.

The university continued the investigation into the role of the advisor. It was decided that he had been "inattentive", not remembering that he had seen the same thesis a few years earlier. The faculty voted to give him two years time to work on focusing his attention - he is not allowed to advise doctoral students during that time, but can continue to teach and keeps his job as a professor.

He has been quite a popular advisor, and was given a prize for teaching just prior to the story of the duplicate dissertation breaking.

The university hopes that everything is now okay, as they make all doctorates and advisors sign a contract with each other and run all the theses through a software system.

On the basis of my tests of plagiarism detection systems I would not be so sure.

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