Monday, March 1, 2021

Cleaning up my browser tabs

The second Corona semester has now come to an end and I seem to have about 200 tabs open in various browsers. Some of the tabs concern interesting plagiarism and academic integrity questions, so here's just a brief list:

  • The Minister for Education and Science in the Ukraine was being investigated for plagiarism (German) in his doctoral disseration as of July 2020. He is apparently also the rector of the university of technology in Tschernihi.
  • The HEADT Centre at Humboldt University, Berlin has a series of recorded seminars on plagiarism, image manipulation, authorship, and content ownership, sponsored by Elsevier. 
  • An arXiv preprint "Forms of Plagiarism in Digital Mathematical Libraries" of a conference presentation at the Intelligent Computer Mathematics - 12th International Conference, CICM 2019, Prague, Czech Republic, July 8-12, 2019
  • Michael V. Dougherty published a book in 2020 on "Disguised Academic Plagiarism - A Typology and Case Studies for Researcher and Editors". (Conflict of interest: I reviewed this book for Springer)
  • There was quite a spat over the diploma thesis and dissertation of an Austrian minister who stepped down over the incident. This led to many publications around the topic, for example one about degree mills at Der Standard (in German).
  • Simone Belli (Spain), Cristian López Raventós (Mexico), and Teresa Guarda (Ecuador) published a paper "Plagiarism Detection in the Classroom: Honesty and Trust Through the Urkund and Turnitin Software" in the Proceedings of ICITS 2020. Of course, I find it very problematic to be using the numbers returned by Turnitin and Urkund as the basis of judging anything. The numbers are meaningless and do NOT give a percentage of plagiarism but an indication of text similarity. They are NOT the same thing. They write: "Thanks to these programs, teachers have a powerful tool to assess the level of honesty of students. [...] Thanks to this tool, the teacher can easily justify a bad grade that shows the percentage of plagiarism in the work presented by the student. At the same time, it saves time spent reviewing a text that is not evaluable due to its illegitimate origin." This is wrong on so many levels, I will be talking about this on March 24, 2020, at the conference sponsered by the Office of Research Integrity.
  • My university, HTW Berlin, now has ethical guidelines for research! (in German)
  • A court in Berlin has decided that a Berlin university was correct in exmatriculating a student for plagiarism. Berlin universities have a policy of "two strikes and you are out", if a student is found plagiarizing twice, they are exmatriculated. In this case, the student was found to be plagiarizing once in his Bachelor's program and once in his Master's program. He felt that he should be "allowed" on plagiarism in each program, the university insisted that the programs are consecutive, and thus he is out. Need I mention that the student was studying .... ethics and philosophy?

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