29 questions for the Prime Minister about his doctoral thesis
While we wait for the Senate and the PM's office to set a suitable date for his appearance in the upper house to talk about his doctoral thesis, here are some questions I would like to hear an answer to.
- Can you define your concept of plagiarism?
- If you do not like the definitions of Harvard or Oxford universities, how do you describe it, what label [xxxx] works, when someone includes, in a doctoral thesis, verbatim quotations and paragraphs from other works, badly paraphrased paragraphs and quotations, or paragraphs and quotes in which the order of the words or the grammatical structure hardly changes?
- Do you defend the existence of a concept of "Spanish plagiarism", which is in some way different or less or laxer than the definitions used by the best universities in the world?
- Should Spanish universities use a different standard?
- What level of plagiarism or how many examples of plagiarism or [xxxx] is acceptable in a doctoral thesis in Spain?
- Who wrote your doctoral thesis?
- Did Carlos Ocaña write part of it, or help in some way to put it together?
- How many examples of plagiarism or [xxxx] do you think your doctoral thesis contains?
- In your work, how many times did you copy paragraphs from other works or reports verbatim without using quotation marks, with a mosaic of several texts, or by paraphrasing badly or changing the order of words just a bit?
- When you sat down to write pages 220-221 and only included a footnote with reference to Miguel Sebastián's speech on June 6, 2011 at the ICEX presentation, and then copied or transcribed several phrases spoken by the minister that day, verbatim or without quotation marks, without paraphrasing and without citing the original author in the text, did you think it was not plagiarism or [xxxx], or that no one would notice?—[Repeat the same question for all of the other specific examples discovered by the media in the last two weeks]
- Can you describe in two or three sentences what the scientific aim of your doctoral thesis was?
- And the main conclusions you reached?
- Why does the Prime Minister's office not want to publish the plagiarism reports from Turnitin and PlagScan?
- What is your opinion about the PlagScan statement that says there is not a 0.96% coincidence in your doctoral thesis but 21%?
- Do you understand that 0.96%, 13% or 21% coincidence are not the same as plagiarism, and that software programmes do not know how to detect coincidences based on non-public reports or speeches as might be the case with some documents from the Industry Ministry 10 years ago?
- What percentage of the book did Carlos Ocaña write?
- Which chapters of the book did Carlos Ocaña write and which ones did you write?
- How is it possible, as ABC reports in its September 24 story, that in the book there are "161 lines with 1,651 words from six other texts without any type of quotation"?
- On page 155 of the book, why did you copy and paste the same paragraph twice, again without proper citation, without quotation marks, and without reference, from the parliamentary gazette?
- Were the examples of plagiarism uncovered by the media copied and pasted or transcribed by you, by Mr. Ocaña or by a third party?
- Who decided who was going to sit on your doctoral thesis committee?
- How do you think your thesis committee managed to award you the doctorate, and with great distinction, given the criticisms the work has received since its publication on TESEO?
- Do you think the matter of your thesis sullies the academic reputation of the Camilo José Cela university?
- Why did you lie to Congress that first Wednesday by stating the thesis was already available online on TESEO when it was not actually available until the Friday following your parliamentary answer?
- In the event that a Spanish university or universities discovered doctoral thesis committees had awarded advanced degrees knowing they contained plagiarism or were otherwise deficient, how would you guide your Minister of Education towards solving the systemic problem?
- What should the national standard on plagiarism and the awarding of academic degrees that contain it be?
- What example are you setting to Spanish pupils and students concerned about the quality of their own studies at the moment?
- What percentage of plagiarism, or how many specific examples of plagiarism, should lead to the revocation of a doctorate in Spain?
- If a Prime Minister has his doctorate revoked by a university for containing plagiarism, should he resign?
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