Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Russian Plagiarism

A reader sent in two interesting links on plagiarism in Russia:
  • The Washington Post (18 March 2014):
    Russia's plagiarism problem: Even Putin has done it!
    Russia has a really big plagiarism problem. So many businessmen, academics and high-ranking government officials — President Vladimir Putin included — have been found to have plagiarized their college and doctoral theses that Russia’s education minister just denounced the revelations, saying they were hurting Russia’s reputation.
    “People not versed in this topic will get the idea that all academics are cheats and liars,” Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov just told the Kommersant newspaper, according to a Russian news agency. ”It’s a severe reputational problem for Russian science.”

    [...] Olga Khvostunova of the Institute of Modern Russia, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, wrote about the plagiarism scandal in Russia in this piece, detailing some of the history of the uncovering of the plagiarism scandals in Russia. She wrote about Putin's plagiarism: "The scandal over Putin's dissertation led nowhere. But because the head of state's deed had no repercussions whatsoever, a new trend emerged in the country: plagiarism in the writing and defense of dissertation works began on an unprecedented scale."
    I would say that the "reputational problem" is not in the reporting about the academic misconduct, but in the misconduct itself.

  • University World News (24 February 2014):
    Government to combat plagiarism and illegal degrees
    The biggest scandal over fake dissertations occurred in the summer of 2013 at Moscow State Pedagogical University, one of the country’s top institutions. Due to serious violations in the preparation of dissertations, several people lost their degrees, the local dissertation council was closed and the head of the university was fired.
    It seems that the Russian software company Anti-Plagiat,  looked at 14, 500 history theses and found plagiarism in every 10th one, according to the Moscow News.
  • Update: Just found this in Ria Novosti (from 10 February 2014):
    Russia’s Education and Science Minister has denounced a grassroots campaign to expose alleged academic plagiarism among high-ranking state officials.

    Whistleblowers are harming the public image of Russian academics, Dmitry Livanov said in an interview with Kommersant daily published Monday.
    Strange, I thought it was the plagiarists who were harming the public image of Russian academics.
Previous articles on Copy-Shake-Paste about Russia can be found here.

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