Tuesday, July 24, 2012

European Leader Accused of Plagiarism

While two Romanian academic panels agree that Prime Minister Victor Porta clearly plagiarized parts of his doctoral paper, the government-appointed National Ethics Council (NEC) says he simply didn't include footnotes and relied solely on a bibliography to cite sources ("Conflicting Verdicts on Romanian Prime Minister's Plagiarism," Nature, July 20, 2012). Porta is charging that the investigation is politically motivated, while his critics note that the entire committee of the NEC was replaced with new members in June by a Porta cabinet official after another government leader was accused of plagiarism.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Should Prime Minister Porta resign if he is found to have plagiarized his doctoral paper by two of three investigative bodies? 
  2. If he was found to have inadvertently omitted footnotes, should he be allowed to correct the paper and resubmit it while being able to keep his job?
  3. Should a Prime Minister be held to a higher standard for academic integrity than any other doctoral candidate? Specially, if he was found to have been careless in citing sources, should he lose his PhD and his job?

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