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Government party loses another PhD

The Local · 6 Mar 2012, 09:30

Published: 06 Mar 2012 09:30 GMT+01:00

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The Economics and Social Sciences department of Cologne University announced Monday that Bijan Djir-Sarai has been stripped of his doctor title because several passages of his dissertation on the “ecological modernisation of the PVC industry” were found to have been taken from other sources without proper referencing.

The university said that Djir-Sarai had ignored academic referencing and quotation guidelines to a significant extent.

Djir-Sarai said he was disappointed by the decision, and added that he had always supported the university’s re-appraisal of his work. His dissertation came to the attention of the plagiarism-hunter online platform Vroniplag in May last year.

“At the start of the process I took the firm decision not to challenge the result in court, regardless of which way it went,” he said.

The 35-year-old has been a member of the German parliament since the last general election in September 2009, and is a member of its foreign affairs committee. The Tehran-born politician is also chairman of the inter-party German-Iranian parliamentary group.

Story continues below…

Djir-Sarai is the third FDP politician to be stripped of his PhD after plagiarism allegations, following Silvana Koch-Mehrin and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis. Former Christian Social Union Defence Minister Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg lost his cabinet post in a similar scandal.

DPA/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:29 March 6, 2012 by McM
Another case in an ongoing trend to investigate Doctoral titles, especially high profile politicians. Fair enough, let's be sure they are worthy of the title. However this raises another issue in my mind. Standard international practice set up to protect the legitimacy of credential awards for Doctoral titles are well established.

The Doctoral candidate ,once their proposal is accepted by the host University is issued with a supervisor or supervisors by the faculty that manages the discipline . They represent the Univesritiy and are charged with supervising the development of the work and ensuring it is within the legitimate guidelines for presentation to the academic rewiewing board or and or proffessional pe panel that will eventually award the Doctorate if it is worthy of it. The supervisor/s job is to ensure that there is correct referencing and that no plagiarism is present. That is their job and that is also the host Universities job to ensure that this happens.

My point is that maybe it is about time that the spotlight was turned on the host Universities that issued the credentials in the first place. They have not done their job in the first place and have a duty of care to protect the development of the candidate, who in most cases are only learning what is or is not appropriate in a Doctoral submissission. How did these credentials get through in the first place and why are the host Universities involved not being investigated for malpractice and shoddy educational guidance. Most Universities will not award a Doctorate until all evidence of bad referencing has been removed from a submission and this may take several pre submissions before the work will be but to peer review and an award given. 99% of Doctoral awards probably follow correct procedures but isn't it about time the spotlight fell on the cause not the clients.

panel that will eventually award the said Doctorate.
12:22 March 6, 2012 by yourkeau
Fully agree with McM: what about the responsibility of the supervisor and reviewers who were supposed to read the thesis?

Also, I don't know about humanities, but in Natural Sciences the PhD student is supposed to have several publications in peer-reviewed, internationally recognized journals. And a PhD thesis is nothing more than an extended version of those publications. If there are no publications, no title can be granted. So, how this could have happened? The University should also be punished for giving titles to those who were not entitled for it.
14:09 March 6, 2012 by derExDeutsche
Because we need an honest-t0-goodness Herr Doktor to lie to us to our face. At least in the United States we don't make such a fuss about the liars title. In fact we aren't really allowed to see any transcripts or documents before we are lied to by our politicians. So maybe he isn't who he says he is, so maybe Bin Laden wasn't buried at sea. Who cares? As long as the check is in the mail, and nobody asks for ID at the voting stations, it is all the honesty anyone seems to require.
14:21 March 6, 2012 by maxbrando
Why doesn't the state rmove the PHD candidate-overseers from their jobs for gross incompetence. They must be DiMiDo professors.

Seems to me that those who allegedly cheated be allowed to defend themselves and go after those who approved their work in the 1st place - if that has not yet appened.
20:40 March 6, 2012 by Englishted
If they want to stop it .

Then start to prosecute because where I came from fraud is a criminal offence,

but as always one law for us and ............
06:11 March 7, 2012 by melbournite
Maybe there is only one fake dissertation. Politicians pass it among themselves in order to claim false privileges. Bit like politicial and economic favours. Reminds me of the Bishoprics that were for sale in the middle ages
08:45 March 7, 2012 by hereward
Well phony credentials to go with phony politics,thank God that they were found out before there was a statue erected to them ,or a national days holiday like in America.
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