Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Plagiarism Wednesday

Wednesdays are the traditional days at German universities for meetings. Today there are two meetings scheduled at two universities that each have to decide on rescinding doctorates that VroniPlag has documented.
  • Margarita Mathiopoulos: The University of Bonn rescinded the doctorate on April 18, 2012. She is said to be taking the university to court, but with over 45% of the pages containing plagiarism, and plagiarism of all kinds, there does not seem to be much of a question. Mathiopoulos' dissertation was already accused of plagiarism over 20 years ago, the university determined then that there was enough "original material" left over. VroniPlag has documented that much of this was also plagiarized. There is an exceptional collection of material about Mathiopoulous and other writings of hers that recycle text at MMDoku (in German). The Universities of Braunschweig and Potsdam, where she holds honorary professorships, have announced that they will be reevaluating their decisions in light of the rescinded doctorate. Mathiopoulos has announced that she will sue the university and the members of the faculty board personally, a rather unscientific manner of discourse. 
  • Siegfried Haller: The University of Halle-Wittenberg rescinded the doctorate also on April 18, 2012. In a recent interview he denied doing anything wrong. Since he is responsible for education in Leipzig, it remains to be seen if he will stay on in his position. 
  • Case 23 was also put on the home page. This is Prof. Dr. Nasrullah Memon with the dissertation "Investigative Data Mining: Mathematical Models for Analyzing, Visualizing and Destabilizing Terrorist Networks" submitted and accepted by the University of Aalborg, Denmark. This thesis is remarkable in the sweeping amount of word-for-word plagiarism that can be found. Of 39 currently identified plagiarism pages (16% of the thesis), 26 cover more than 75% of the page, often 100%. There are still almost 40 pages that need verification, and new sources, most of them on the Internet, are constantly surfacing. Memon is now a professor at the University of Southern Denmark. 
(Updated 18.4.2012 23:26, second update 20.4.2012 10:50)

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