I saw my stats go up sharply yesterday and in addition to the daily traffic of Middle Eastern people googling for “Tarzan sex” (I honestly wonder what the cultural explanation behind people from the Middle East googling for “Tarzan sex” is), most of yesterday’s traffic went to this post. This was very much a surprise, because normally not a whole lot of people care about my plagiarism posts. At least not as many as care about epic fantasy or Game of Thrones or Doctor Who or Tarzan sex or Zeppelin porn.
What stunned me most was that the Jorgo Chatzimarkakis case that I blogged about yesterday is much less high profile than the other recent plagiarism cases among German politicians of a certain type and political orientation. So why did Chatzmarkakis yield so much more hits than Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg and Silvana Koch-Mehrin, both of whom were much more high profile?
I suspect the answer that simply because Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg and Silvana Koch-Mehrin had a much higher political profile as German defense secretary and vice president of the European Parliament respectively, there were a lot more English language reports about them. However, not a whole lot has been written about the Chatzimarkakis case in English – a quick Google check revealed two other blogs aside from mine. So anybody interested in the case who doesn’t speak German doesn’t have a whole lot of sources of information. And considering that Chatzimarkakis is the son of Greek immigrants who only recently called his former countrymen “stupid and corrupt” in a political talkshow on TV, it’s probably no surprise that quite a few hits came from google.gr. I bet there is some gloating going on in Greece right now.
Anyway, for all those who are actually interested in the wave of plagiarism scandals currently rocking the right of center half of the German political scene, I’d like to point you to Copy, Shake and Paste, an English language plagiarism blog written by German professor and plagiarism specialist Debora Weber-Wulff. Lots of good stuff there, including this post about the Chatzmarkakis case.
Given Chatzimarkakis “alternative” citation style, if he had been an undergraduate student in a class of mine, I would have taken him aside, explained proper citation style to him and told him to hand in a revised version of his paper by the end of the following week or so. Alas, Chatzimarkakis wasn’t an undergraduate student but a doctoral candidate and one would expect doctoral candidates to have mastered something as basic as proper citation style.