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Self-plagiarism in former minister's PhD dissertation were just minor mistakes, University of Copenhagen committee finds
19 instances of ”recycled text” have been found in Esben Lunde Larsen’s PhD dissertation, but the independent Practice Committee at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) has ruled that these instances are “trivial”, writes Danish news site dr.dk.
The case was opened in November last year by the Dean of the Faculty of Theology after a digital analysis of Lunde Larsen’s dissertation showed several examples of plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Lunde Larsen was minister of Higher Education and Science at the time.
In spite of the overall ruling, the committee criticises the minister for neglecting to cite an author, as well as failing to mention that the dissertation is a continuation of his master’s thesis.
”I’m upset that there’s a quotation of nine lines missing a citation out of a dissertation of more than 300 pages. But I also believe most Danes are aware that when you work, you can make mistakes. So can I.”
“However, I also know that there is not a single place where the Practice Committee says it is contrary to good scientific practice. That is what’s crucial,” says Lunde Larsen.
The case isn’t formally over yet. According to a press release, Dean Kirsten Busch Nielsen will now consult with the Academic Council of the faculty, and the initial assessment committee and PhD supervisor will be informed.
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