Talk:U.S.A. researchers report plagiarism in Putin's dissertation

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67-21-48-122 22:07, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Very interesting. However, the alliteration in the headline seems a bit forced. --167.83.10.24 18:44, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

It wasn't intended ;) Lyellin 19:04, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Russian Context/Iraq espionage context discussionEdit

I was a little brave in adding the Iraq espionage context, hope you don't feel I was out of line. SethDelisle 20:10, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Oh - def not out of line to add stuff to articles, and good that you went here to explain it... I just happen to think it's not needed at all ;) Lyellin 20:12, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

The Pitsburg times article appears to contains original reporting; but it echos the reporting of the Washington Times, which is the paper that broke the story on the 26th. Perhaps that should be the primary reference. It's significant that the post broke the story because, to quote the wikipedia entry:

In truth, most established journalists [2] (apart from conservative columnists) do not view the Times positively[3] and would not wish to work there in light of its ownership.

There is some more context missing in this article, in fact as the article stands, it alludes to a fact in a rather confusing way. According to serveral articles, including the wt article, it was common for "up and comming" politicians to have ghost writers write their dissertations. So Puting wouldn't be responsible for plagiarism, but instead of some sort of accademic fraud. A type of fraud that may be socially acceptible in his circle. I guess what I'm saying is that this article may be a little like a US news source criticising Francois Mitterand for having a lover at a time of political tension between the US and France. SethDelisle 20:10, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure that the context of Russia is really needed. The article focuses on what these two researchers accused Putin of - not anything regarding the US. Can you explain again why it was added - I don't see how the rising tensions relate at all. Lyellin 19:53, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
The same reason that Saddam's underpants are germain to the war in Iraq. This story is juicy gossip, but why is it important? Essentially it's saying that Putin is dishonest person. Sure, we all know that, he's the head of a country, you only get there by being a sleezeball. No one in the English speaking world is likely to want to defend Putin, so it's really easy to smear him (he's a former KGB agent for crying out loud). But it is clear that there are tensions between the US and Russia, we're eating their former possesions by clever political means, Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgystan... we disagree on Iran. News in the US usually boils all this down to: we're friends but Vlad is a little cooky. Look at the tensions we had at the end of the Bosnian war. Stricly speaking I don't think it counts as NPOV to echo a slur like this without some kind of context. SethDelisle 20:10, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
May I also suggust signing your comments by using three or four tildes (~). Anyway - yes, there is a western context to this, but it's news because of the plagerism - plagerism is a crime, and news no matter who committs it. It would be the case if it was the Canadian Prime Minister, the American Justice Deparment Deputy Head, or for that matter anyone else with any position anywhere. It happens to be Putin, but the news is not the Russian relationship with the US, but the plagerism, which is considered a crime. Lyellin 20:06, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
But you're missing a subtle point. Putin might not have been the one to do the plagarising, according to most of the articles. Instead he would be guilty of a far greater dishonesty (having a ghost writer write the whole dissertation). But if that was a common thing in the time and place that it happened then we (Americans, the original authors of the article, the Brookings Institute, etc.) are applying our values to another society, hence NPOV.
Also, I don't think it particulary matters which source is cited - irregardles of why someone wants to work at the Washington Times or not. We can add the source - it doesn't really matter, it's good to have more sources, but I don't think your reasoning for adding it really works. Lyellin 19:55, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
My reasoning is that because the Washington Times is subsidised by the Reverend Sun Yun Moon, a politically sketchy individual, it is more likely to do something politically sketchy, like start a smear campaign. Now, brookings, one of the Nations oldest think tanks, and the times are typically considered to be on opposite sides of the political spectrum... but I don't buy the "spectrum" in the first place. SethDelisle 20:21, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
That's drawing a conspiracy theory we don't really need to draw. Multiple news sources are reporting on it, including Mosnews.com - well, regardless, that's more of a conspiracy theory, and not something we can use to just discount the brookings instition, nor the article. Lyellin 20:26, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
OK, "conspiracy theory" is offsides. And please notice that I'm keeping my "conspiracy theory" on the talk page. I just would like to to be easier for people to discover, on their own, who broke this story and come to their own conclusions as to why the story might have been broken in the first place. The source is a political think tank; the first to publice is Sun Yun Moon's newspaper. SethDelisle 20:54, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Offsides? If you mean, not polite, that may be true. But I have no problems sourcing the Washington Times article for this issue as well as the Pittsburgh Trib-Review - the PTR is just what I was using as a reference when it was written. It is mentioned in the article that Brookings is a think tank. We do not need to point out that The Times has ties to Sun Moon - we have no clue that that has ANYTHING to do with the publishing of the article. To say that it does is looking for a conspiracy. Lyellin 20:40, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting that we point out Sun Yun Moon in the article. I take the "conspiracy theory" comment in good humor, but I would seriously suggest you not use that term. What is it good for? It is a very charged term that implies illogic and all kinds of other failings in a person. I understand that the base of your criticism was that I was pulling to many implications out of too little information; that is a resonable thing to call me on. SethDelisle 20:54, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't know that the mention of US-Russia relations is particularly germane to this story, either; it may be happening but I don't think that context makes much difference to this story. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 20:14, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I certainly respect the choice to remove the reference, but take a moment to think... If someone who's political views you respected was being accused of this kind of thing, what kind of context would you want. If you can imagine yourself being a proud Russian citizen how would you react to this story? I think I would be muttering something about the quality of the education of the president of the United States and drunken frat boys ... SethDelisle 20:29, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Which is legitmate for talking about the President - in an article that related to either the President's education or his frat activities, if someone recently said something about it. But Russian wikinews would not write an article about said acitivites and then quote the rising tensions between the US/Russia - they are not germane to the topic, even though they may be an issue. Lyellin 20:33, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for discussing this issue with me, it looks like the concensus is that context is inappropriate. SethDelisle 20:44, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Hey, I just added the Washington Times article to the sources link. Lyellin 20:46, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Gross POV Title and contentEdit

I can't believe no one has tagged this. No response from Putin and the title proclaims the accusations as fact. This is another example of the anglo/american centric point of view threat to this project's credibility because if Bush was accused of the same thing there is absolutely no way the title "Bush dissertation plagiarizes from Pitt professors' book" would have been up nmore than 2 minutes. Neutralizer 21:13, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Read the sources Neutralizer, Putin has made no response. Also, if you don't like the title, what would you suggust? Lyellin 21:32, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I do not believe there is not a counter argument available online. Is that what you are saying? A better title would be "USA professors alledge plagiarism by Putin." Remember anglo/american centric point of view; most people in the world never heard of "Pitt" other than a gravel "pit" misspelled....the headline would be nonsense to them.

Also, please try to find a response from Putin's office. We do not publish such blatant POV unless we include a sourced reference to the fact that there has been no rebuttal. Neutralizer 21:52, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Excuse me. You want to find a response from Putin's office that is not there. Both sources state that when accuesd, he has no response, and research has not yet found one (I looked yesterday). Secondly, your title completely changes what actually happen. The professors haven't alledged anything, nor have they said it was Putin. Two researchers from Brookings have found 16 pages of text that is a plagerism of the book by two pitt professors, but every article, plus our own, comments that it was common practice to hire ghost writeres to write your disseration in Russia. Finally, in response to "Pitt" - one, I've responded on your text regarding this so called "American centric point of view" that you listed - it's not policy, nor should it be. Anyway.... The article clearly states what Pitt is, that's all it needs to do. Lyellin 21:57, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
It's all a matter of giving the same effort to NPOVing criticism of non-anglo leaders that we do to criticism of anglo-leaders. I found this in about 4 minutes;"According to The Moscow Times, "it was unclear...whether Putin had even read the thesis, which might have been intended to impress the Western investors who were flooding into St. Petersburg in the mid-1990s." Neutralizer 22:00, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
This article

http://washingtontimes.com/world/20060324-104106-9971r_page2.htm in the Washington times indicates that ghost writing was common in the USSR and that Putin may have never even have claimed to have written this material. Neutralizer 22:05, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

  • His name was put on the dissertation to obtain the MBA, so the title would remain factually correct. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:07, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
Nonsense; one has to claim the writing to be plagiarizing. Please read the definition of plagiarism. This is an obvious "kick the Russians" article.
Please fix the pov; here is another source; http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2006/03/27/011.html

"It was unclear, however, whether Putin had even read the thesis, which might have been intended to impress the Western investors who were flooding into St. Petersburg in the mid-1990s, the report said. Putin oversaw the city's foreign economic relations at the time." I do a heck of a lot more work on my tags than MrM so hopefully next time he puts out a tag, you 2 will be as combative about challenging his tags. Neutralizer 22:12, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Let's see here. Every time I bring up a tag, you always ignore it and say it's not good enough. Way to be! Let's all do a dance. --MrMiscellanious (talk) – 22:20, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to know more about Igor Danchenko, he's not listed on this page as a brookings scholar. And he otherwise doesn't show up much on the net thogh the Duck of Minerva recognises him as a former student. SethDelisle 23:38, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Should clarify that the alleged plagarism would be from the Russian translation of the book "Stratigic planning and policy," if that's what is alleged. Otherwise I'm not sure the word plagarism applies, or is Putin's dissertation in English? SethDelisle 00:03, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Another problem: the Kremlin bio of Putin calls the degree a Ph.D., and in economics not business. Anything to the contrary should be cited with a source.


Master's degreeEdit

I re-added this to clarify what a candidate's degree is for people who do not know - I would have just linked it to a wikipedia article instead, but could not find a reference that was appropiate. If someone else can, do the wikilink. Lyellin 02:31, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

No way man. You need to provide references that aren't so biased before publishing that. Putin says he has a Ph.D., you need to prove him wrong! I have ex-soviet friends who say that a Russian highschool diploma is worth more than a US bachelors... I don't agree but, you see these are maters of opinon. SethDelisle 02:38, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

What's fixable is fixedEdit

I generally don't like the "bash the Russian," character of this article. The sources are all sketchy and there isn't any good counter from a perspective sympathetic to Putin. That said, I don't think the article is completely un-newsworthy; I'm publishing it and I propose that we leave it that way unless us nay sayers can come up with more specific actionable ideas for improvement. SethDelisle 02:36, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I think it's much better now. Sorry if I was grumpy before. Neutralizer 03:31, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Allege, Claim, ReportEdit

Amgine, you are concerned that I'm misusing the words claim and allege, I hope that I can convince you otherwise:

The American Heritage Dictionary's first definition says allege is a synonymous with "assert." Same source says that "claim" can mean "state to be true." The way you use report in the title, I feel matches the first two definitions given. I guess the disagreement here is over whether we think it's OK to just take Gady and Danchenko at their word. We have one source, there is no way to verify it without getting ahold of a very rare document--the Russian translation of "Strategic Planning and Policy." Then, we'd have to have some kind of agreement on how much alike the documents need to be before it's plagarism. The articles use the phrase "almost word for word." How close is almost for the authors? I feel that if we say "reported," it means we accept the assertion that they make and are taking responsibility for its veracity. So it's much easier, more NPOV and in my opinion more accurate to say either allege or claim. We are honestly reporting what Gady and Danchenko have told us, and its accuracy is for the reader to decide. SethDelisle 06:32, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

You fail to use the simplest term. A researcher publishes a report of his/her findings. It is the simplest, and most honest, term to use. It does not imply we agree their findings are correct, nor does it attempt to convince the audience of their veracity. It is clearly more neutral than claim, which implies lack of basis for the statement, or allege, which is connotatively accusing of criminal wrongdoing.
The simplest term, in this case, is best. - Amgine | talk en.WN 06:37, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I think we agree that both plagiarism and having your dissertation written by a ghost writer count as wrongdoing. Don't we? If no one else feels strongly about this, I'm not going to be pushy. I agree with your point about simplicity but do not belive it applies in the case, otherwise I wouldn't hold the opinion that I do :) Thanks! SethDelisle 06:56, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
No, we do not. If it is illegal to do so, and a case is brought against Mr Putin by the appropriate authorities, we may say the authorities allege wrongdoing. The USA researchers, however, are not asserting wrongdoing. They are reporting their findings, with evidence. - Amgine | talk en.WN 07:31, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with Amgine. The word "report" implies objectivity and correctness; e.g. "If a crime has been committed in your school, please report it to the police." Amgine's argument may be technically correct(although I am not even sure about that) but "claim" and "allege" are certainly more clear and thereby more NPOV, imo. Neutralizer 13:57, 30 March 2006 (UTC
It doesn't imply those, you think it implies those. Report means either notification or something, or relating the details of something. They are showing their findings, using evidence that is appropiate, in essence, reporting it. If claim or allege is used, it directly implies a criminal case, which the authors have said they will not intiate (although the publishers of the book could). Lyellin 14:57, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
You have presented no basis for casting doubt on the results and evidence of the researchers. Without doing so it is inappropriate to cast doubt in the title; it is in fact pushing a point of view - "I disagree with" - rather than neutral reporting. - Amgine | talk en.WN 15:37, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with everything Amgine just said; it seems conspiracy theoretical to me. Neutralizer 17:52, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Putin's CredentialsEdit

Both Lyellin and AMGINE scolded me over making factual statements that are not supported by sources. I see the point you guys were making, but I still think it was a fair analysis of the situation. "He later earned a Ph.D. degree in economics." means that they translated the title of his degree as Ph.D. Which implies they consider the degree to be the equivalent of a Ph.D, which is what I said they said. SethDelisle 06:56, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

No - in no way do they say that. All the Bio says is that he has a Ph.D. It does not say when or where he earned it. In cultures with a Candidates degree it is normal (and I can find you examples), to present a thesis for both your candidates, and later a Ph.D. What you wrote was not supported by the source, that's all... it wasn't there. Lyellin 14:54, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Weak wordedEdit

Your source for the Putin Thesis is totally WRONG

http://sigla.rsl.ru/view.jsp?o=a&f=1016&t=3&v0=%D0%9F%D1%83%D1%82%D0%B8%D0%BD&o=a&f=1003&t=1&v1=&o=a&f=4&t=2&v2=&o=a&f=21&t=3&v3=&o=a&f=1016&t=3&v4=&o=a&f=1016&t=3&v5=&tr=Cyr-Common&cc=n&i=3&s=2&i18n=en&ce=...U


It is pointing toward a different Putin, with paternal name "Semyonovich" instead of Putin's "Vladimirovich", plus the subject of this dissertation is financial resources for the regional firefighting industry. Sad commentary to the accuracy of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 4.238.14.34 (talk) 15:38, 3 July 2008 (UTC)


Urmm, Neutralizer, it depends on the dregree of plagiarism. Here its quite an extremely long bit, so seems pretty clear cut that he copied it. I'd suggest "U.S.A. researchers say Putin's dissertation contains plagiarism" as a title, and other words ought to be strengthed. Nyarlathotep 14:20, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

I take that back, I prefer the title "Putin dissertation plagiarizes from Pitt professors' book". Its more accurate. It seems like cut & dried plagarism to me. Nyarlathotep 15:48, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Doesn't the term require a degree of pretense or intent to deceive? My point is that I see no evidence that Putin tried to present the writing as his own anymore than we do here and some source contents indicate it's common in russia to hire ghost writers. Neutralizer 17:57, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Your using news/web standards not academic standards, as ought to be applied to a masters theses. Academic standards are meant to identify those porrtions of the work which are an "original contribution to human knowedge" from those which are another works contribution. Its plagarism to copy or paraphrase other people without specifically citing the source, as the reader may think its your original work. Nyarlathotep 19:03, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

If there was no intent to deceive or pretense; is it plagiarism?Edit

I say no; maybe copyvio, but not plagiarism... am I wrong? Neutralizer 17:57, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Completely. In the world of academia, the very act of passing off work as your own is plagerism - no matter the source of that work. Lyellin 18:12, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, plagiarism is much more broad than copyright, plagarism is about failure to fully acknolage a source. Even complete rewrites can be flagrant plagiarism. [1] Infact, you could claim that all wikinews articles with more than two sources are plagiarism because they rarely identify which bits come from which sources, but news people aren't heald to the high standards of academia. Nyarlathotep 18:48, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
S__t; then I have been completely out of line with this article. Once again, assumptions made an ass of me. I had no idea that simply non-acknowledgement was plagiarism. Thank you both for the education and my apologies for running with my assumption. Neutralizer 20:35, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

confusion :(Edit

i see people have worked a lot on this article, so i'll have to leave it to others to fix these problems, but i have two problems following the logic:

  • As quoted, Gaddy states that he believes that Putin had his thesis ghostwritten - he did not write it himself - but also states that he's convinced that Putin did read the textbook from which the text was plagiarised. If Putin wrote his thesis himself, then whether or not he read the textbook is an important argument for a plagiarism claim - if the words are not-exactly-but-nearly the same, then you could argue that it's coincidence (it depends on the actual text - i haven't seen either), but if it's known that Putin read the textbook, then the claim of plagiarism is more credible. But in this case, Gaddy seems to claim that Putin did not write the thesis himself. In which case, i don't quite follow the relevance of whether he read the textbook himself. Unless it's because he discussed with the ghostwriter what's a good textbook for background info? If this is the case, maybe another quote from Gaddy explaining this might make it less confusing.
  • It was in the Russian translation of the only English-language source cited that they discovered what they believe to be plagiarism. Ummm.... What is "the only English-language source"?
    • A source cited in "Putin's dissertation"? In that case, there's no plagiarism by Putin - it's by whoever are the authors of that source.
    • An English-language translation of "Putin's dissertation"? In that case, does that mean that the plagiarism claim is by people reading a Russian translation of an English translation of a Russian original text???
    • Hey, i think it probably means: It was in the Russian translation of the only English-language source cited that they discovered the original text that they believe to have been plagiarised. - in which case, better to correct this - the plagiarism is in the copy, not the original.

Boud 23:58, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

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