‘7 lawmakers plagiarized dissertations‘
By Yun Suh-young
The Korea Progressive Academy Council (KPAC), an association of 22 academic organizations, has confirmed that seven newly-elected lawmakers engaged in various types of plagiarism in their dissertations.
The lawmakers-elect to the 19th National Assembly who included plagiarized parts include five from the ruling Saenuri Party — Kang Ki-youn, Chung Woo-taek, Yeom Dong-yeol, Yoo Jae-jung and Shin Kyung-rim — and Chung Se-kyun of the main opposition Democratic United Party (DUP). Also on the list is Moon Dae-sung, an independent.
“We have confirmed that the dissertations of the seven were plagiarized during our inspection,” the group announced Sunday during a press conference in central Seoul.
Examples of plagiarism detected ranged from copying a sentence to copying a paragraph without citation. The plagiarism was categorized into nine categories based on the degree of seriousness such as “simple plagiarism” to “duplication of work.” Other categories included pasting several pieces of work, copying ideas, redundant publication and manipulation of data.
They were classified based on the 2008 guideline from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 2009 research ethics guidelines published by the KPAC and 2011 research ethics code set by the National Science and Technology Commission.
The lawmaker found to have plagiarized to the most serious degree was Moon Dae-sung, a Korean member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and former lawmaker-elect of ruling Saenuri Party who resigned from the party last month due to the allegations of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis. It turned out he had also plagiarized in his master’s thesis.
“The elected lawmakers failed to uphold, throughout the research process, the core values a researcher must fulfill. These are honesty, accuracy, fairness, openness, social responsibility, respect towards the research target, and carefulness. The lawmakers therefore violated research ethics,” the KPAC members said.
The group lashed out at the seven lawmakers saying that in advanced countries, lawmakers who plagiarize are considered swindlers.
“We don’t expect them to have the highest level of morality that we would demand from leaders of society. But how can the law made by these legislators have social authority if they lack the minimum requirement of civic consciousness we would expect in a lawmaker?”