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Education minister faces plagiarism accusations

Education minister faces plagiarism accusations
Photo: DPA

An anonymous blogger claims he has found 92 examples of plagiarism in the PhD thesis German Education Minister Annette Schavan wrote 32 years ago.

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On a blog called schavanplag.wordpress.com, a blogger who calls himself 'Robert Smith' details the 92 alleged incidents of plagiarism in Schavan's dissertation at the University of Düsseldorf.

"I consider this number of violations inexcusable," Smith told Die Welt, adding that he had now completed his investigation.

"I think it's a case of deception," said the blogger, who has been collecting evidence since the spring.

The University of Düsseldorf said it was conducting an internal investigation into the matter.

For Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, the accusations are an unwelcome reminder of the 2011 plagiarism scandal that brought down the party's popular defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who was forced to resign when plagiarism in parts of his doctoral dissertation was uncovered.

But the accusations against Schavan are fundamentally different, according to Die Welt, and far less severe. In Schavan's case, most of the alleged plagiarism consists of instances where she pretended to have read the relevant primary literature, but instead cited extensive secondary literature.

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