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Submissions/Collaborative Plagiarism Documentation

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 2504
Title of the submission
Collaborative Plagiarism Documentation
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Debora Weber-Wulff
E-mail address
Country of origin
born in USA, working in Germany
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

In an attempt to clean up the mess that was the German doctorate-granting system in the late 1800s, which at times included the doctoral advisor writing the thesis (for a fee) and the university selling the doctoral certificates by mail-order (for an additional fee), Theodor Mommsen proposed a reform that included publication of all doctoral theses.

Since the theses were published, it was now possible for a wider audience to read them and soon the academic journals were sprouting with book reviews. Some of the reviews focused on works that turned out to have been plagiarized, and this at times led to doctoral degrees being revoked. Some German universities even went so far as to publish notices in scientific journals warning that this or that person had had their doctorate revoked. A yearly catalog of theses published in Germany would at times also note in a corrections section that a doctorate had been rescinded.

Since 2011, when the doctorate of the German Minister of Defense, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, was shown to be an extensive plagiarism, a broad discussion about plagiarism has resulted in Germany, not all of it well-informed. The so-called "swarm" phenomenon, the persons active in the GuttenPlag Wiki and the VroniPlag Wiki, have shown how digital collaboration using wikis, publication of dissertations (especially open access publication), and open discussion of plagiarism cases can contribute to a new type of open scholarship. This has provoked an extensive debate in the otherwise change-resistant German higher education system and led to changes in the system of mentoring doctoral students, as well as cost a few politicians with plagiarized dissertations their offices.

The talk will focus on how the mesh of wiki and chat and access to scientific literature has led to this successful collaboration. Ignoble examples of doctoral dissertations incorporating non-cited Wikipedia articles will round out the talk.

  • Legal & Free Culture
  • Open Scholarship
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 Minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
I am planning to Flight and hotel now booked, registered for conference. Still hoping to be able to present this material to an international audience.
Slides or further information (optional)

GuttenPlag Wiki home page http://de.guttenplag.wikia.com/wiki/GuttenPlag_Wiki

VroniPlag Wiki home page http://de.vroniplag.wikia.com/wiki/Home

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  1. Ijon (talk) 22:23, 30 January 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. LVilla (WMF) (talk) 01:00, 6 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Lawsonstu (talk) 11:13, 12 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Professor Weber-Wulff is an established and well-published expert on plagiarism fight and prevention. I'm sure this is going to be valuable. Pgallert (talk) 20:52, 24 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:38, 28 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Gnom (talk) 20:10, 19 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Ziko (talk) 22:30, 14 May 2014 (UTC) great to see this submission[reply]
  8. Add your username here.