Monday, March 30, 2020

Bored? How about documenting plagiarism?

So you are all stuck at home with the Corona virus and have already binge-watched 15 series. How about contributing to cleaning up the academic world? Not all of us have the biomedical chops to debunk a supposed cure, like Elisabeth Bik writing in her Science Integrity Digest: Thoughts on the Gautret et al. paper about Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin treatment of COVID-19 infections.

How about some plagiarism documentation? The German platform VroniPlag Wiki that I have been working with since 2011 has so many unfinished cases and I know, the platform tends to be in German. The most recent documentation is in English: A recent dissertation (2017) from the Humboldt University of Berlin, Ids. From the executive summary:
The investigation has documented extensive plagiarism in the thesis. Over 90% of the pages of the main text contain plagiarized passages. Over two-thirds of the main text is taken almost verbatim from other sources, generally without any or the proper reference. The passages are taken from around 100 mostly online sources. Among these sources are the Wikipedia, a doctoral dissertation available online, a master's thesis, some organizational home pages, many open access publications, and various online religious reference works. The published PDF of the dissertation contains many copy-and-paste artefacts such as numerous hidden (embedded) web links that are also found as visible links in the source material. In conclusion, the dissertation could be categorized as an outright collage of easily obtained and quite diverse sources.
Drop in to the weekly chat Mondays at 21:00 MESZ (UTC +2), we'll be glad to help you get started. No specialized knowledge necessary, we'll be glad to show you the ropes, and there are plenty of English-language cases still unfinished.