We begin this month’s plagiarism stories with an interesting and rather high profile case from Germany. Annette Schavan, the German education minister, is accused of plagiarizing on her doctoral dissertation which was published back in 1980 under the (ironic title) “Character and Conscience”. While the investigation is still pending, all the signs suggest that the German minister did commit intentional plagiarism, according the chairman of the investigating committee. Until the University of Düsseldorf announces the final verdict, this case will certainly be a favorite topic of discussion and speculation in the German media. In 2011, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned from his post as Germany’s Defense Minister after it emerged that he had blatantly plagiarized in his doctoral dissertation.
In other news, The American Copy Editors Society (ACES) has announced the creation of a new task force whose goal is to investigate the issue of plagiarism in journalism. The group of journalists and academicians appointed to conduct this research will present their findings and make recommendations at the ACES summit, scheduled to take place in St. Louis this year. For more on this, visit [ilink url=”http://www.copydesk.org/3451/plagiarism-and-fabrication-group-hard-at-work/” style=”note”]The American Copy Editors Society ‘s website.[/ilink]
According to a report from [ilink url=”http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Deans-under-lens-for-plagiarism/articleshow/18280802.cms”]The Times of India[/ilink] , Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University is looking into allegations of plagiarism against two of its deans. The deans of school of law and the school of education, Prof. Suman Gupta and Prof. Saroj Sharma are said to have plagiarized entire articles from other others. According to the same report, Gupta and Sharma immediately denied these allegations and attributed them to a personal vendetta from other professors who resented the deans’ crack down on punctuality.
The Washington Post made headlines again after its Mexico bureau chief William Booth allegedly “borrowed” text from another author without properly citing the original source. That author is University of Southern California professor Adrea Hricko, who had recognized her published lines improperly used by Mr. Booth in an article published on the Post’s website. The Washington Post reacted quickly by appending the original article and adding a note stating that the author of the article had “borrowed and duplicated, without attribution, from Environmental Health Perspectives, a monthly scientific journal.” As a result of this incident, Mr. Booth has been suspended without pay.