The Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca (UBB) announced, on Thursday, that it is resuming the analysis of the doctoral thesis of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Lucian Bode, following the appearance in the public space of new suspicions of plagiarism.
“The University (…) took note of the new information appearing in the public space about new suspicions regarding plagiarism in Mr. Lucian Bode’s PhD thesis. As it has publicly committed, starting from good international practices to approach integrity with integrity, the UBB Ethics Commission has self-reported and will analyze the thesis from the point of view of academic ethics based on this new information, according to academic reference practices and mechanisms, beyond the social or political analyzes and debates that are absolutely natural in a democracy“, says a press release from UBB.
According to the same source, independent international experts will also be co-opted in the analysis, considering the public interest in this case. “We remind you that ethical violations are analyzed exclusively following reports or through self-reporting when there is clear evidence in the public space and only within their limits. Any other approach would be illegal and contrary to the presumption of innocence, exceeding standard academic practices. Also, starting from good international practices, we specify that the analysis can be resumed whenever necessary, based on the new evidence presented by those interested”, the press release states.
UBB’s announcement comes after journalist Emilia Șercan wrote on Thursday that the Minister of the Interior would have plagiarized at least 18.5% of the text of his doctoral thesis, and not just 2.95%, as established by the UBB Ethics Commission.
The university in Cluj had announced, on November 2, that it had submitted to CNATDCU and the Ministry of Education the information regarding a first decision of the Ethics Commission regarding Lucian Bode’s doctoral thesis.
UBB mentioned back then that the value of the scientific content of the paper was not analyzed, which is not the subject of the ethical approach. Instead, the Decision of the UBB Ethics Commission “clearly” identified the existence of ethical violations and made internal recommendations for Lucian Bode as well, which, however, cannot be imposed directly on him, as he no longer has contractual relations with the university.
UBB had previously made public the conclusions of the Ethics Commission’s analysis of Minister Lucian Bode’s doctoral thesis, finding that there are “a series of deviations from good publication norms – citation errors and some plagiarized fragments”. The ethics commission stated that it cannot order sanctions in this case, but it requests the author and the publishing house that published the work to correct the identified inaccuracies.