There are two ways to react to this:
- University of Düsseldorf, Faculty of Arts and Letters:
This is the school that just recently had to deal with plagiarism in the dissertation of former German Education Minister. One can assume that they have understood the problem, as they published a report on 15 August 2013 on the current situation with two cases of a dissertation revoked. One has taken the university to court, one accepted the result. They don't expect the amount of cases to go down, mostly because of the media attention. But, as the author, Prof. Rohrbacher, states: Wissenschaft in der Verantwortung, it is the responsibility of science to deal with these cases. Objective, unemotional, to the point. As it should be.
- Technical University of Dresden
As reported in the blog plagiatsgutachten, an anonymous blog has documented problems in a dissertation from this university. There are many fragments documented, but as far as I can see, it mostly documents missing citations and problematic references. One or two might have been negligible, but with 120 documented fragments, one would expect the university to at least take a look when informed of the situation.
plagiatsgutachten quotes the answer that the blogger received from the Ombud for good scientific practice at the TU Dresden:
“Solange Sie Ihr Visier nicht heben und es vorziehen, als anonymer Heckenschütze zu fungieren, sind Sie niemand, der in der wissenschaftlichen Welt akzeptiert wird und der sich moralisch über die Beschuldigte stellen kann. Ich brauche Ihren Namen, Ihre Adresse, Ihren Beruf, Ihre Dienststelle und eine Erklärung der Beweggründe, die Sie dazu führten, die Dissertation von Frau D[...] zu untersuchen.
Vorher werde ich nichts unternehmen.
Prof. Dr. Achim Mehlhorn
Ombudsmann der TU Dresden”
Let's see if I can preserve the tone of this letter while translating it:
"As long as you keep your visor down and prefer to act as an anonymous sniper, you are no one who is acceptable in the world of science and who is morally able to stand above the person accused. I need your name, your address, your workplace and an explanation of the reasons that led you to investigate the dissertation of Ms. D[...]. Until I have that information, I will not undertake anything."
It does look like Prof. Mehlhorn got a bit carried away with all the data the NSA is collecting about us. I don't see that it makes a difference if a sanitation engineer documented the problems in a dissertation, or a retired professor of Latin. But one does get the impression that they are a bit touchy in Dresden. They have been working (one hopes) on the VroniPlag Wiki case of Rh, an example of plagiarism in mathematics known for over a year now. I do have the word from the rector of the university, however, that a decision is expected for September. Rh appears to be currently working as a professor in South America, that makes it all the more important that this case be resolved.
[thanks to plagiatsgutachten for alerting me to this]