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Kriminalistische Beweisfuehrung bei Plagiaten


Haas, Henriette (2006). Kriminalistische Beweisfuehrung bei Plagiaten. Medialex: Zeitschrift für Kommunikationsrecht, 4:200-209.

Abstract

The study reveals the modus operandi used by academics trying to steal the work of younger researchers. When tenured professors plagiarize, they aim at claiming first or sole authorship of the research tools created by assistant professors or doctoral students (software, experimental design, etc.). Their modus operandi is obviously much more sophisticated than most of the offenses committed by ordinary criminals. In order to hide their true intent, they make their activities seem like a series of mishaps. However, as the perpetrator must cover the whole territory of new research tools (in which he has had no participation) with incorrect citations, he attacks the victim's intellectual property in a systematic way. He secretly publishes the copied material in the time span between the completion of the victim's work and its publication, where he can hope for he best quality of the work. To create an "official record", the perpetrator is likely to put the copied results in detail into a research grant or into an expertise, to which the victim has no access. On the other hand, in order to create a facade of openness with respect to the stolen material, the perpetrator will also want to use the results in his lecture notes, books and articles, trying to veil the lack of proper citation with various tricks. The latter records can be easily detected by the victim and used as evidence. Due to the perpetrator's lack of specific knowledge and to his efforts to cover his tracks, the methodological description of how he obtained "his" results, must inevitably contain errors and fatal simplifications. The odds against innocence can then be established by calculating the likelihood ratio between a masterminded attack and the assumption that the given constellation is due to coincidence. Indeed, the more a perpetrator tries to minimize the risk of discovery, the farther his deeds get beyond a random constellation of slips. The "perfect academic crime" is stochastically impossible to commit.

The study reveals the modus operandi used by academics trying to steal the work of younger researchers. When tenured professors plagiarize, they aim at claiming first or sole authorship of the research tools created by assistant professors or doctoral students (software, experimental design, etc.). Their modus operandi is obviously much more sophisticated than most of the offenses committed by ordinary criminals. In order to hide their true intent, they make their activities seem like a series of mishaps. However, as the perpetrator must cover the whole territory of new research tools (in which he has had no participation) with incorrect citations, he attacks the victim's intellectual property in a systematic way. He secretly publishes the copied material in the time span between the completion of the victim's work and its publication, where he can hope for he best quality of the work. To create an "official record", the perpetrator is likely to put the copied results in detail into a research grant or into an expertise, to which the victim has no access. On the other hand, in order to create a facade of openness with respect to the stolen material, the perpetrator will also want to use the results in his lecture notes, books and articles, trying to veil the lack of proper citation with various tricks. The latter records can be easily detected by the victim and used as evidence. Due to the perpetrator's lack of specific knowledge and to his efforts to cover his tracks, the methodological description of how he obtained "his" results, must inevitably contain errors and fatal simplifications. The odds against innocence can then be established by calculating the likelihood ratio between a masterminded attack and the assumption that the given constellation is due to coincidence. Indeed, the more a perpetrator tries to minimize the risk of discovery, the farther his deeds get beyond a random constellation of slips. The "perfect academic crime" is stochastically impossible to commit.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Proving academic plagiarism
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:interpretation of evidence, plagiarism, modus operandi, academic theft, likelihood ratio, forensic science
Language:German
Date:December 2006
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:29
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:22
Publisher:Stämpfli
ISSN:1420-3723
Additional Information:PDF shown with permission of the publisher
Related URLs:http://www.psychologie.uzh.ch/institut/angehoerige/dozierende/haas.html (Author)
http://www.medialex.ch/index.cfm (Publisher)
http://www.henriette-haas.com/biblio.en.html (Author)
http://www.haas-consulting.com/plagiarism.html (Author)
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2221

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