Many lecturers get doctorates with plagiarized dissertations

Published: 19/04/2011 05:00



A lot of doctoral theses have escaped the defending council’s eyes, even though they are copied works.

Using colleague’s documents

Dr Tran Thi Mai Nhan, Lecturer of the HCM City University got angry when discovering that her master thesis with the theme about Vietnamese literature in the war has been reproduced by a postgraduate: “K”, a lecturer of another university. K copied a lot of the paragraphs from Nhan’s master’s thesis for his doctorate thesis, without any words about the referred original document.

After successfully defending the doctoral thesis in 2000, K published a book with some chapters sourced from his doctoral thesis in 2006. When reading this book, Nhan realized that her work was plagiarized by a PhD.

Meanwhile, when talking with Nguoi lao dong newspaper, K said that when preparing for the PhD thesis 15 years ago, he was too young and did not have much experience. “I admit using Dr Nhan’s thesis while I did not show the original document. The problem was that a friend of mine photocopied the document for me and there was no cover of the document. I simply used the document though I did not know who wrote it,” K said.

He went on to say that only when Nhan spoke up about the plagiarization, did he realize that he used Nhan’s thesis. “I sent a letter of apology to Dr Nhan, where I wrote that I will purchase all my books available at bookstores, and that if I have the book reprinted, I use not use the paragraphs quoted from Nhan’s thesis,” he said.

K has also promised to re-print his PhD thesis, where he will show the documents and books he referred to when writing the dissertation.

Using student’s materials

The dissertation by T with the theme on comparing some syntax-semantics features between Vietnamese and Korean languages was considered a sophisticated work with the presentation in both Vietnamese and Korean. This was really a difficult work, which required the author to have deep knowledge in both Vietnamese and Korean. However, experts pointed out that there were too many mistakes in the thesis, including very simple ones.

Especially, in the doctoral thesis; T used a lot of materials from students’ graduate theses relating to proverbs. The students’ graduate theses were recognized by the author as the “important materials” for T’s doctoral dissertation.

“In doing scientific research, everyone well knows that one cannot refer to student’s works, i.e, the works of the people with lower degrees, when making doctoral theses. It is unacceptable if a doctorate dissertation is written based on the viewpoints of students,” an education expert said.

T’s doctoral dissertation was successfully defended on April 16, 2007. According to Nguoi lao dong newspaper, the thesis defending council included seven members, and none of them was good at Korean language.

There are many ways of plagiarizing

Associate Professor Dr Tran Huu Ta, former Dean of the Literature Faculty of the HCM City University of Education, said that people have become more and more “professional” in plagiarizing.

“Learners only plagiarize good paragraphs, while they do not copy bad paragraphs. If you read a dissertation written in a careless manner, and then you read some paragraphs with polished words, you can be sure that the author plagiarized the paragraphs,” he said.

An associate professor, who was the member of the defending council, admitted that in many cases, it was difficult to discover the plagiarism, because authors only copied separated sentences, while they did not copy the whole paragraphs. Meanwhile, even the members of defending councils could not read all relating documents.

Dr Tran Huu Ta related that a postgraduate, who tried to defend a dissertation on the satirical art in works by Vu Trong Phung writer, was asked to summarize “So do” novel of the writer, a simple thing which was done even by a high school student. However, the postgraduate could not do this.

Source: NLD

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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