- He has recently published a report about The Tolerance of Poor Ethics at Turkish Universities (Turkish Version ).
- I note that report didn't cover the 2 topics I am interested in Dodgy Science Journals and Dodgy Science Conferences too much
except in passing, which he has covered in his articles in Turkish newspapers and, which have not yet been translated.
- However since his report highlights a culture of ignoring unethical practices I summarize it below :
- It mainly focuses on bad-behaviour in the submitting of PhD theses. Documenting problems like :
1. PhD Students and Advisors Conspiring to Break rules
2. Cover Up ? It is Difficult to Access Theses Published in Turkey
3. Get away with it. There's No Clear Reaction to Scientific Theft in Turkey
- In PhD Rule-breakers :
1. students theses sometimes contained plagiarised parts from outside sources or from other students (even sometimes in the same year, same course !)
2. sometimes 2 theses would be basically the same (perhaps showing that 2 students were cooperating on the same project)
3. That some of the same PhD advisers who obviously knew about those problems had also sometimes participated themselves in other unethical practices e.g. submitted plagiarised articles to Science journals, published papers in journals they themselves edited, organised dodgy conferences
- The common theme is that even though caught read handed, all the PhD advisors seem to continue in their jobs.
- In Cover Up : He shows that, cos only PhDs after 2006 are kept online, and cos you have the right to keep some material off the record.. people can steal from older theses and it 's quite difficult to prove. Also if today some academics malpractice come to light it is often impossible to go bad and check their pre-2006 theseis, cos of bureaucratic obstactles thrown in the way.
- In getting away with it : He mentions 2 BIG cases : the 65 plagiarized papers case from 2005 and Bengü Sezen being stripped of a Columbia University PhD due to massive fabrication around 2000-7; yet almost all parties are now happily working at Turkish universities seemingly unpunished AND that just is not the way it happens in other countries where instead the offenders are disgraced and punished..
- Both exisiting regulations & the call to action by the State Auditing Board are IGNORED
He concludes by warning that this tolerance of unethical practices is perpetuated as todays's "let-off" students, become tomorrow's professors.
- I thank Murat for making me think about the picture and that ethical problems such as Dodgy Science Journals and Dodgy Science Conferences are symptomatic of a wider problems of negative pressures against ethics in the world of academia. we are all slaves of to own cultural contexts
.. and that in todays university world there are a number of negative forces .. and perhaps in Turkey where there are other cultural dynamics like a non-tradition of openess and a disfunctional legal system then these negatives forces may be stronger. However I have seen positive forces like people who care about ethics & who don't want to give students easy passes etc.
- He concludes with a call for action.
I second that : This bad practice or cheating devalues the other PhDs awarded in Turkey and so it hurts legitimate students and the good name of Turkish Universities.