Friday, September 21, 2012

Russia to check doctorates centrally?

One of my bots has turned up a press release from Russia stating that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wants Russia to have software for checking for plagiarism in graduate theses and PhD dissertations, as well as setting up an Open Access repository of these theses. I don't believe that it is any easier to find plagiarism in Russian than in English or German or French, as plagiarism is more than just word-for-word copies. But it is a step in the right direction, and a step more than many countries, for example Germany, are willing to take. Teaching people about plagiarism and how to write scientifically would be more helpful, in my opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Medvedev always talks about whatever is fashionable & "modern", but does not follow through on it. In this case - for a good reason. It is widely known that the current president's (Putin's) PhD thesis in economics was a hodgepodge of plagiarism from multiple sources.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/mar/24/20060324-104106-9971r/

    Similarly to Germany, having an advanced degree was considered prestigious at some point among the Russian political/business elite. Virtually all of them hired someone to write dissertations for them & those hired pens often selected the easiest aggregation route (i.e., massive copy-paste). So, whatever Medvedev proposes on this, it will never be done - too many powerful people would be embarrassed.

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