Sunday, December 11, 2011

Open cases of plagiarism in Germany

Note: this list has moved to the page Scorecard, and is linked from the homepage. It will no longer be updated here.

The VroniPlag platform has currently documented 22 23 cases of plagiarism in dissertations or habilitations since the zu Guttenberg case was documented on the GuttenPlagWiki. The first few cases - especially ones involving politicians in the wake of the zu Guttenberg case - were dealt with promptly:

Documentation publicCurrent
KTzG 2009
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
(University of Bayreuth)
2011-02-16 After 2 weeks: doctorate rescinded
VS 2009
Veronika Saß
(University of Constance)
2011-03-28 After 6 weeks: doctorate rescinded
MCP 2007
Matthias Pröfrock
(University of Tübingen)
2011-04-04 After 12 weeks: doctorate rescinded
SKM 2001
Silvana Koch-Mehrin
(University of Heidelberg)
2011-04-10 After 10 weeks: doctorate rescinded
GC 2000
Georgios Chatzimarkakis
(University of Bonn)
2011-05-15 After 10 weeks: doctorate rescinded
BDS 2008
Bijan Djir-Sarai
(University of Cologne)
2011-06-01 After 40 weeks doctorate rescinded
UB 2011
Uwe Brinkmann
(University of Hamburg)
2011-06-08 After 6 weeks: doctorate rescinded
MM 1987
Margarita Mathiopoulos
(University of Bonn)
2011-06-14 23 years after the first investigation on accused plagiarism  and 10 months after the publication on VroniPlag: doctorate rescinded 
SH 2003
Siegfried Haller
(University of Halle-Wittenberg)
2011-07-24 After 9 months: doctorate rescinded
JG 2009
Dr. Jürgen Goldschmidt
(Technical University of Berlin)
2011-07-30 Still open
CS 2008
Prof. Dr. Cornelia Eva Scott
(University of Krakau, Poland)
2011-08-08 University of Cracow annonces plagiarism found on Jan 12, 2012, refers case to a central authority
AH 1998
Dr. Arne Heller
(University of Hamburg)
2011-08-28 Still open
MW 2009
Dr. Martin Winkels
(University of Bonn)
2011-09-05 Still open
DV 2005
Dr. Daniel Volk
(University of Würzburg)
2011-09-19 Still open
UT 2003
PD Dr. Ulf Teichgräber
(Charité Berlin)
2011-10-12 Still open
PES 2004
Prof. Dr. Patrick Ernst Sensburg
(Fernuniversität Hagen)
2011-10-18 After 8 weeks the university determines this to be "no case".
DD 1999
Prof. Dr. Detlev Dähnert
(BTU Cottbus)
2011-11-01 Still open
NK 2006
Dr. Nalan Kayhan
(University of Heidelberg)
2011-11-17 Still open
AWB 1997
Prof. Dr. Andreas Wolfgang Bonz
(University of Heidelberg)
2011-12-21 Still open
MH 2007
Dr. Michael Heun
(Frankfurt School of Finance and Management)
2012-02-16 Still open
LM 1999
Prof. Dr. Loukas A. Mistelis
(University of Hanover)
2012-03-12 Still open
AOS 2008
Dr. Asso Omer Saiwani
(TU Berlin)
2012-03-26 Still open
AHG 2006
Dr. Arne Herting
(University of Bochum)
2012-04-10 Still open
NM 2007
Prof. Dr. Nasrullah Memon
(University of Aalborg, Denmark)
2012-04-18 Still open

But since June, the universities have fallen asleep, it seems. I have written letters asking about the status of the investigations. In general, they are not expecting results before Christmas.

Gerhard Fröhlich from the University of Linz put it so nicely:
Self control mechanisms are a myth in science to avoid any serious external control. I have studied all fraud affairs precisely and in almost every case anonymous allegations coupled with mass media outrage – in most recent years with an interim period of outrage on the internet – were necessary before the institutions themselves agreed to take action.
It seems that the moment the outrage dies down, the speed of investigation slows to a crawl.

  • 2011-12-21: Another case from the medical faculty of the University Heidelberg added; the University of Bonn is said to be prepared to rescind the doctorate of Margarita Mathiopoulos 
  • 2011-12-22: The Fernuniversität Hagen determines the case of Patrick Sensburg to be too weak to do anything about. The dean of the faculty announces on radio that the documentation is "malicious". The reader is encouraged to read the documentation linked above for themselves. The expert opinions on which this decision was based remain under cover. 
  • 2012-01-27: The University of Cracow had determined that there is plagiarism in the Scott dissertation and has referred the case to a central authority.  The decision by the University of Bonn on Mathiopolous, expected for February 12, is delayed to April 18 by an extension appeal filed by her lawyers. 
  • 2012-02-16:  Case 19, from the private Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, is added to the home page.
  • 2012-03-05: University of Cologne rescinded the doctorate of German member of Parliament Bijan Dijr-Sarai
  • 2012-03-12: Case 20, a dissertation in law from the University of Hanover, is added to the home page. 
  • 2012-03-21: A decision is expected by the University of Halle on April 18. 
  • 2012-03-26: Case 21, a dissertation from the same doctoral advisor at the TU Berlin as Jürgen Goldschmidt, is posted on the home page. Many texts appear to have been copied and the names of the country under investigation, Iraq, exchanged for the country name in the original work. 
  • 2012-04-10: Case 22, a medical dissertation from the University of Bochum, is posted on the home page. 
  • 2012-04-18: The University of Bonn rescinded the doctorate of Margarita Mathiopoulos and the University of Halle-Wittenberg rescinded the doctorate of Siegfried Haller. Case 23, submitted in English to the University of Alborg, Denmark, by Nasrullah Memon, is added to the list.  


  1. You say "still open". Will you update it later on?

  2. Yes, as soon as I hear something I will update this table. I kind of like the overview it gives. After showing it to some of my fellow VroniPlaggers one remarked that we are celebrating 6 months of silence on the case of MM. I do find that quite a long time, considering that most of the work has already been done. They just need to check out that we worked correctly and then decide what to do.

  3. If I am not mistaken "Dr. Bijan Djir-Sarai" no longer holds his degree. So, just to make me feel good, could you please remove the 'two letter' in front of his first name?
    Thanks a lot!


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