Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just Technical Weaknesses

VroniPlag Wiki case #16 has been decided by the BTU Cottbus (previously reported here) to only contain "technical weaknesses", although VroniPlag Wiki has found massive text parallels on 44% of the pages. The university issued a statement that the committee only found technical weaknesses, but that they will not publish their results because of "data privacy concerns". I suggest having a look at my favorite pages and forming your own opinion: 028 - 034 and 035 - 048 - 103. There are more pages. Many more.
In the wake of this, there is outrage at the University of Cottbus. Teachers are asking how they can fail their students for plagiarism if this amount of blatant plagiarism is acceptable in a dissertation. A teacher published an open letter and gave a lecture about the case in Cottbus this evening. The person who did the research for the thesis (and is not named) has also come forward. VroniPlag Wiki has posted these documents (including a link to the audio file for this evening's lecture) and a discussion about them in the forums area.

Perhaps it helps to understand the university's decision to know that the person granted the doctoral degree in 1999 is CEO of the Vattenfall Carbon Storage division. Vattenfall is one of the largest companies in the region and the company that gives the university about 1/3 of its research budget.

It will be interesting to see if the protest continues, or if it dies down because the semester break is rapidly approaching.

Update: 14.7.2012 - fixed the company division Dähnert works for


  1. Just a reminder: Already in September 2011, when first accusations about that thesis arose in the media, a journal reported about some rumors among the BTU academic staff: „To some BTU scientists, however, these accusations did not come as a surprise. [...] 'We all knew that he was designated being granted a doctoral degree, because he was destined for becoming (a special) someone in the brown coal', as a BTU researcher said to PNN.“ (translated) -

  2. Keep up the good work! Hopefully it'll spread to Poland where I work. There are many rumours in my department about my dean's PhD...


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