Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Norwegian student forces instructor to include him as co-author

A master's student at the University in Oslo, according to a report (in Norwegian) on the university home page, discovered that his instructor had published one of his texts in the August 2011 issue of Edda.

The master's student had written a hjemmeeksamen (take-home test) about the novel by Thure Erik Lund called Inn in 2009. The instructor published the article on the same topic. The master's student registered a complaint with the university ombud for good scientific practice and requested that the next possible issue of Edda publish a correction naming him as co-author.

The university investigated the matter. The professor said that he had apparently used the take-home test for the next course and had believed the text was his own. The university has found that the instructor must ensure that a correction is published, and that this publication will not count for tenure or be listed as a university publication.

I find it good that the university has published this, including the names of the participants, on the university home page. Thanks to Gunnar for the link!

Defender of Polish academic ethics

A while back I was given a link to a blog in English about Dr. Marek Wronski, a Polish medical doctor and journalist.

"[Wronski has] become Poland’s top expert in hunting down, researching and exposing scientific fraudsters who lace their academic research with someone’s original work. [...]
Wronski explained that 'plagiarism is a phenomenon similar to corruption and only a small number of them comes to light.' But those who generate the formal, and public exposure serve as a warning to members of the academia and the students."

Only an honor code can help

Donald L. McCabe gave a talk in Berlin and three in Bielefeld at the beginning of February on his latest research into plagiarism attitudes and the number of people self-reporting plagiarism. The Berlin Tagesspiegel has published a good interview with him about the topic of honor codes.

But the tactic of making the students fear discovery is wrong anyway. Only a a code of honor can help. Such agreements were abolished during the student unrests of the 60s, but are slowly coming back into fashion.

Friday, February 17, 2012

VroniPlag case 19

Case 19 has made its way to the front page of VroniPlag. This is the first dissertation submitted to a private university for finance, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. Interestingly, the accreditation body for the school, the Wissenschaftsrat, had strongly recommended accrediting the school but not giving them the right to have doctoral students. The Hessian state disregarded this and gave the school dissertation rights.

The university president responded to the notice of the documentation promptly and will be starting an investigation.

This thesis includes an extremely large bibliography, around 2200 entries on 170 pages. There are so many errors in the bibliography that a separate documentation page has been opened for this. In addition to many typographical errors, errors that the source made are also copied. There are also many instances of translation plagiarism to be found here.