Da alcuni anni si discute in modo crescente, a livello internazionale, sul come prevenire ed eventualmente sanzionare i comportamenti scorretti degli accademici, al di là delle retractions. Comportamenti che spesso sono incentivati da sistemi di valutazione publish or perish o peggio ancora be cited or perish: salami slicing, ring citazionali, plagio, autoplagio, frodi, manipolazione dei dati e delle immagini. La questione è particolarmente rilevante quando entrano in gioco fondi pubblici, eventualmente assegnati a soggetti scorretti o spesi dando luogo a una letteratura scientifica discutibile. Ancora, la questione è particolarmente rilevante in Italia, dove a nessun livello sembrano operare sistemi efficaci di prevenzione e sanzione, come denunciato a suo tempo da Nature e come emerso a seguito di un recente scandalo. Ci sono poi casi estremi, come quello – segnalato da Euroscientist – della ex assistant professor e ora giornalista rumena Emilia Sercan. Scrive Euroscientist:
“The problem in Romania is that people in all important leadership positions, in all institutions, parties, secret services, administration and even in the academia have plagiarised Ph.D.’s. No one wants a real change. You can’t imagine how hard the battle is here and what kind of obstacles they try to find just not to change things and not to be in position to pay for this,” said E. Șercan.
She points out the plagiarism of high-ranking public, political, military and security services officials in her book FABRICA DE DOCTORATE sau Cum se surpa fundamentele unei natii (2017, ISBN 978-973-50-5776-3, 210 pages); in English: DOCTORAL FACTORY or How to Destroy Fundamentals of a Nation.
For the past 4 years, she has been constantly publishing investigations on plagiarised theses defended both in military and civil universities. [..] She has constantly been a target for intimidation and denigration campaigns, however, she has continued to do her job with respect for the truth, serving solely public interest. The death threat that she received on the evening of 15 April by a SMS message represents yet another attempt to hinder her disclosures.
Di particolare interesse lo svolgimento delle indagini:
The case was transferred on 25 April from the District 4th Attorney Office and the Bucharest Police Office to the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), which is competent to investigate cases involving police officers who have committed certain offenses. DNA is a special unit within the Attorney General Office, specialized in corruption cases. The police officer who threatened her admitted that he was the one who sent her that message, but he said to the prosecutor that it was not his own initiative and he did it because he was asked by the Rector of the Police Academy, who is a police questor and full professor and PhD supervisor (this rank is equivalent to the general in the army), with whom he had a special relationship. The Rector of the Police Academy, Adrian Iacob, devised the threats along with the Deputy Rector, Mihail Petrica Marcoci, who was associate professor, police chief-commissioner and the spokesperson of the Police Academy.
On 25 March, E. Șercan revealed that Adrian Iacob, the Rector of the Police Academy, plagiarised more than 70% of his PhD thesis.
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