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Guttenberg plagiarism scandal refers to the German political scandal that led to the resignation of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg as Minister of Defence of Germany over the plagiarism of his doctoral dissertation. The first accusations of plagiarism in Guttenberg's dissertation were made public in February Guttenberg's doctoral dissertation, " Verfassung und Verfassungsvertrag " "Constitution and Constitutional Treaty" , had been the basis of his Doctorate from the University of Bayreuth.

On 23 February , the University of Bayreuth withdrew Guttenberg's doctorate. In May , a University of Bayreuth commission tasked with investigating Guttenberg's dissertation came to the conclusion that Guttenberg had engaged in intentional deception in the writing of his dissertation, and had violated standards of good academic practice.

The prosecutor found 23 prosecutable copyright violations in Guttenberg's dissertation, but estimated that the material damage suffered by the authors of those texts was marginal. Guttenberg studied law at the University of Bayreuth , [20] where he passed the first legal state examination in The doctoral thesis was titled " Verfassung und Verfassungsvertrag.

On February 15, the newspaper contacted law professor Diethelm Klippel , the Bayreuth University ombudsman, and informed him of the plagiarism charges. On the same day the newspaper informed Guttenberg and gave him a few hours to respond to the allegations.

Guttenberg returned the next day, 17 February , and had a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel. The district attorney's office in Hof, Bavaria , announced it would wait on the results of the Bayreuth University's examination of Guttenberg's thesis [47] and confirmed that two criminal complaints had been filed against Guttenberg, one regarding possible copyright violations and another on a possible false statutory declaration.

The second was immediately declined by the attorney due to apparent insubstantiality. I did not appoint him as an academic assistant or doctor. What is important to me is his work as Minister of Defence and he carries out these duties perfectly. The protection of intellectual property is a higher good.

I wrote this piece of work myself and I stand by it, but I also stand by the rubbish I wrote". Distinct criticism on Guttenberg's crisis management was passed by Norbert Lammert , President of the German Bundestag.

In an interview on 22 February , Lammert also expressed his doubts about the reliability of the university's awarding process.

The following day Lammert presided over a parliamentary questioning in the Bundestag on Guttenberg's use of PRS papers in his thesis. Chancellor Merkel announced through her spokesman Steffen Seibert on 28 February that Guttenberg had still her full confidence. Any intention was denied by Guttenberg. The Chancellor believes him. On 1 March Guttenberg declared his resignation from all political offices at national level. As for the enquiry regarding his thesis he announced his full cooperation with the district attorney's investigations.

For the future the Chancellor declared that "I am convinced that we will have the opportunity to work together again in the future, in whatever form that may take". On 2 March the district attorney's office in Hof announced the launch of an investigation into potential copyright violations contained in Guttenberg's thesis as soon as his immunity would be withdrawn.

Media reported on more than 80 charges, which had been filed. The same day, media reported about an anonymous member of the Commission of Professional Self Regulation in Science allegedly accusing Guttenberg of deception.

On 7 March the district attorney's office in Hof announced the launch of a preliminary investigation into potential copyright violations by Guttenberg. A few days later, as a means of taking responsibility for his error, Guttenberg sent personal apology letters to all those authors who were not properly quoted in his thesis. On 7 April , the Commission of Professional Self Regulation in Science sent its report of preliminary findings to Guttenberg asking for his response by 26 April On 9 April , there was a first leak of the commission's initial findings to the press, in which Guttenberg was accused of deliberate deception [] Guttenberg's lawyer sharply criticized the commission's leaks as an unfair "prejudgment" [] [] [] of his client given that the press reports were published both before the end of the investigation and before the 26 April deadline Guttenberg had been given by the university to respond to the commission's report before its public release.

Guttenberg had no objection against publishing the commission's report after end of proceedings, the lawyers said. A few days later media published extracts from Guttenberg's initial response to the commission.

Guttenberg denied any deliberate plagiarism. He described the working-method during the several years of his dissertation as often working in short periods and using various different data carriers. This led to his losing track of the PhD dissertation, Guttenberg stated. After an announcement on 6 May , [] already citing the conclusions, [] [] the university released the report to the public on 11 May The report started with the elaboration of the commission's historical background, [] its internal duties within the Bayreuth University, also in relation to other committees like the university's promotion commission.

The commission reported missing citations and violations of the academic rules of citations. Two of the PRS papers lacked any citation and four PRS papers were cited insufficiently, [] leading to misconceptions about the initial authorship of the passages.

This led to an overburdening by the thesis, which further increased during the years, Guttenberg described. The commission however, based on the view, that Guttenberg had continued his dissertation despite the feeling of being overburdened, denied negligence and concluded on intention.

The University of Bayreuth's handling of the matter was sharply criticized by its former Vice-President and law professor Walter Schmitt-Glaeser , who, while agreeing that revoking the doctoral degree was justified, described the additional measures taken by the institution as an attempt at character assassination "Treibjagd".

For Schmitt-Glaeser especially the part of the report looking into a possible deception by Guttenberg should not have been published. Also, according to Schmitt-Glaeser, the fact that Guttenberg had to agree to the report's publication due to massive public pressure, including from University of Bayreuth, cast a shadow of suspicion on the entire proceedings.

From the judicial proceeding on this case he expected a result solely based on facts without regard to the person concerned.

Others [ who? Among these critics was Thomas Goppel CSU , former Bavarian Minister of Education, who viewed the report as an attempt by the university to downplay its own responsibility and acquit itself.

Rieble decried the widespread practice of academic publications being written by assistants but published by professors as much worse for academia than any plagiarism.

In August , the authors of Guttenplag Wiki, which triggered similar initiatives on VroniPlag Wiki , were accused of running a partisan campaign after it emerged that the founder of VroniPlag was a member of the opposition SPD party. In November the attorney's office in Hof dropped [] the charges against Guttenberg after having found 23 relevant copyright violations with only minor economic damage.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved Spiegel Online. BBC News. The Guardian. Deutsche Welle.

Die Welt. Badische Zeitung. Associated Press. Focus Online. Retrieved 14 January The Local. Bundesministerium der Verteidigung. Frankfurter Allgemeine. CBS News. The Telegraph.

Retrieved 1 March Staatsanwaltschaft Hof. Retrieved 15 January The New York Times. Retrieved 16 January The Independent. Deutscher Bundestag. Merkel" in German. Aargauer Zeitung. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 31 December Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Zeit Onlie. Retrieved 16 July Zeit Online. Westdeutsche Zeitung. University of Bayreuth. Welt Online. Augsburger Allgemeine. Retrieved 23 January Retrieved 13 February Spiegel online. Categories : Plagiarism. Hidden categories: CS1 German-language sources de Articles containing German-language text All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from December Namespaces Article Talk.

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Guttenberg plagiarism scandal


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