Plagiarism Debate & The Future of Academic Writing

  • Earlier this summer I was pre-informed by the university about the revocation of my dissertation. A few hours later I was pre-informed that I was being fired, all by email and without a personal conversation.
  • The next day a member of VroniPlag wrote an email to the dean’s office informing the university about the plagiarism allegations, demanding the university to investigate. Apart from the timing, the wording of the email strikes me as a bit odd, as I would have assumed that VroniPlag uses site traffic analysis where they would have probably discovered that different computers from our University had been accessing VroniPlag since January. In any case…
  • One day later the journalist — who had originally contacted us in January — contacted us again and officially reported in the FAZ that my dissertation was revoked, based on the information the university gave him.
  • Blindsided by the fast turn of events I gave an interview to DerBrutkasen where I tried to raise questions, but could not say much, as I had not talked to my lawyers yet.

What happened…

  • The university applied a law from 2017 to assess and revoke a dissertation that was approved in 2001 (16 years before that law was passed).
  • The university chose to ignore the statements of both my thesis advisors who defended the original contribution of my dissertation. The university ignored those statements on the grounds that they seemed biased — in spite of the fact that the university had informed me that I could include the statements of my thesis advisors when submitting my own statement.
  • The university dismissed the fact that I published my dissertation voluntarily online — which was a new and optional feature back in 2001 and not a standard practice — and that I have been listing the link to my dissertation on platforms such as Linkedin for years. Assuming that the incorrect citations in my dissertation are a result of intentional plagiarism is an interpretation but not a fact. Both reviewers — officially appointed by the university — stated that intentional plagiarism cannot be concluded.

Independent Scientific Contribution?

What’s next?




Author of ‘Token Economy’ Founder @tokenkitchen @blockchainhub & @crypto3conomics// Artist

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Shermin Voshmgir

Shermin Voshmgir

Author of ‘Token Economy’ Founder @tokenkitchen @blockchainhub & @crypto3conomics// Artist

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