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Education minister faces plagiarism accusations

The Local · 10 Oct 2012, 09:10

Published: 10 Oct 2012 09:10 GMT+02:00

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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.

Story continues below…

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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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:06 October 10, 2012 by pepsionice
This will unleash the grammar queens upon SPD players as we approach next year's election. All of the parties will have to sit there and worry about their heavy hitters who have a masters degree or above....having screwed up when they wrote their thesis. The other side of this story is that it'll destroy certain individuals to the extent that they can never work again anywhere. Who hires a 52-year old guy with a fraudulent PhD? I can see a cast of characters from the four significant parties being worried now.
11:34 October 10, 2012 by zeddriver
Germans crack me up. With all the problems facing the world these days. The best they can come up with is the diploma Gestapo. From now on. When you are stopped on the street. You will be asked to produce your papers. Not your identification mind you. No! They will need to see your fully investigated and authenticated diploma. Or you will be shot.
11:39 October 10, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
LOL Zeddriver. What is the saying? 'In every German there is a policeman trying to get out'. Easy see how the Gestapo and Stasi were so easy set up in Germany. It is scary to think there are people out there who will read a thesis written 42 years ago and cross reference the bibliography in such dept to find possible plagarism. Someone needs to get a life.
12:31 October 10, 2012 by zeddriver
The sad truth is that it's all politically motivated. When you can't convince the people how good your side is. The next alternative is to discredit the other side so that your side looks to be the lesser of two evils.

It's easy to see this tactic when you look at the presidential race in America. After Mr. Romney made the "big bird" comment during the debate. Mr. Obama's guys have put out many adds using Sesame street. Not one word in any add relating to his (Obama's) ideas on the economy, jobs, taxes, the Middle East. So if one can't impress with their own intelligence. Just point out the opponents short comings. Thereby distracting from your own inadequacies.
18:34 October 10, 2012 by Frenchone
Some people have way too much time on their hands.
08:28 October 11, 2012 by LilacsInSpring
This has nothing to do with a political agenda - check out the VroniPlag WIki page at http://de.vroniplag.wikia.com/wiki/Home and you will find 30 plagiarisms documented beyond Mr. zu Guttenberg's "thesis". Germans have an annoying tendency to deeply respect anyone running around with a doctorate, so many people do all they can to obtain a doctorate - except actually doing the work.

It's part of science to criticize published work. The dissertations are published, and the criticism is online Have a look for yourself!

@Frenchone, you mean, they should be out drinking themselves blind on beer and Schnapps or spending time rooting for some soccer team instead? It's a free world, one can have any hobby one wants. The point is that the university system in Germany is rotten to the core. And is it a wonder, when the minister of education has problems like this?
03:09 October 12, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Its not hard to comprehend that most of these political higher ups bought their PhDs, after all who has time to actually write their own thesis when there is so much politicking to do? Is it any wonder that the university system in Germany is second rate?
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