Saturday, September 22, 2012

Plagiarism in Turkey

Some Turkish academics have been very busy the past few months, it seems. Perhaps inspired by the VroniPlag Wiki documentation in Germany, the authors have put together a massive documentation of plagiarism in Turkish theses that A. Murat Eren, a computer science Ph.D. and post-doc researcher in the United States, has published on his blog. The cases are documented with a short description of each and the committee that accepted the thesis, and some pictures with original and plagiarism.

I've translated the results section with Google translate and tried to fix the sentences to make sense - if someone can provide a proper translation I'll be glad to replace it. :
With such ethically problematic theses and publications by the thesis advisers themselves who are now permitted to mentor students who themselves are submitting plagiarisms, there is a new generation of academics being produced that completes a cycle. 

One of the largest problems is being able to access the theses themselves.  University libraries arbitrarily restrict access to theses. In order to solve this problem the Council of Higher Education needs to set up a Thesis Archive.

On the other hand, even in thesis cases where a high level of plagiarism is found, the legislative is found to be a bottleneck as no deterrent penalties are being proposed.  Instead, there are severe reactions [against the whistleblowers] when scientists point out the theft, so the perpetrators continue to quietly steal.
I would hope that the authors work out a bit more hypertextual representation and that English translations would soon be forthcoming. There are a number of smaller blogs and articles that have popped up over the years: Plagiarism in Turkey - Plagiarism (in Turkish) - Plagiarism by Turkish Students - Retracted (a selection of retracted papers by Turkish authors) - a description of a mass plagiarism scandal in physics in 2007 in Turkey.

It will be interesting to see if there will be any sort of reaction on the part of Turkish officials to the new documentation of wide-spread plagiarism.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Here is a translation for the results part:
    "Bad academy in Turkey finances itself.

    Students, who are allowed to be mentored by academicians with ethically problematic theses and publications and thus graduated with ethically problematic theses, are filling the academic literature with empty/repeating works and some of them become the next line of academicians who complete the circle.

    This vicious loop is mainly maintained by blocking the access to theses. University libraries block access with arbitrary reasons and some attemps to provide access by YÖK Thesis Archive is far from providing a fulfilling solution.

    On the other hand, even if an access is established to the thesis and a case for plagiarism is reported, stagnations in laws and executions puts the punishments far from deterring. While developed societies react to such cases with serious actions, in Turkey, people involed in plagiarisms can silently carry on their academic duties."