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iThenticate Blog

Read the most up-to-date information on the integrity of the research across industries, publishing in top journals, reputation and much more.

Alleged Plagiarism Leads to Second IOC Member Resignation

Posted by David Rothschild on Apr 26, 2012 1:59:00 PM

olympics-taekwondo-plagiarismAllegations of plagiarism have struck a second International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, South Korean taekwondo gold medal winner Moon Dae-sung, according to South Korean news agency reports.

In addition to being an IOC member, Moon recently won a seat in parliament during the election and, as a result of the plagiarism accusations, has resigned from the conservative party currently ruling the nation.  If proven, the allegations could lead to Moon losing his IOC membership, igniting concerns that this event may affect the status of taekwondo on an international level, possibly harming its potential to be selected as an Olympic core sport in September 2013.

The allegations of plagiarism relate to the academic work Moon submitted in order to obtain his PhD from Kookmin University in 2007. It is alleged by the university that Moon's doctoral thesis drew heavy from the work of another student. According to the Korea Herald, Moon's thesis was on the subject of “proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching and its effects on taekwondo athletes.” The Korea Times reported that the university has found the similarities between Moon's work and that of an unnamed Myongji College student to be far too numerous and deep to accept as being fully legitimate. The full investigation is expected to take three to four months. 

Moon has not admitted to plagiarism. In denying the allegations, he has stated that while he didn't plagiarize in the preparation of his doctorate thesis, he was sloppy in his academic work, making errors in attribution, as well as potentially misunderstanding the guidelines concerning the formal attribution processes associated with citing theoretical work that serves as a foundation for the sort of experimental thesis he was preparing. Moon also stated, according to Korean news agencies, that some of his errors stemmed from being somewhat overwhelmed and exhausted by the dual demands of academics and athletics.

IOC Membership in Peril Due to Plagiarism

Once Kookmin University made the allegations concerning the potentially plagiarized dissertation public, not only did Moon's PhD become threatened, but also his International Olympic Committee membership. If the allegations prove true, then Moon may become the second IOC member to face serious problems due to plagiarism this year. Pal Schmitt, was another IOC member who resigned as the Hungarian president also due to doctorate thesis plagiarism. If the allegations against Moon are proven to be true, then the IOC Ethics Committee is expected to convene to discuss rescinding his membership.

As with former president Scmitt's case, Moon's plagiarism has also caused damage on many levels. It is feared that the plagiarism scandal could hurt the chances of taekwondo being chosen as a core Olympic sport when the committee makes its selections in September 2013. Moon is also experiencing pressure to give up his seat in parliament on top of the problems he is facing with the IOC.


Hersh, Philip.  "Second plagiarizing IOC member leaves political post."  Chicago Tribune.  April 20th, 2012.

Associated Press. "SKorean IOC member and lawmaker-elect quits political party over plagiarism allegations." The Washington Post. April 21st, 2012.

Kyu-wook, Oh.  "Plagiarism case embarrasses taekwondo officials." The Korea Herald.  April 24th, 2012.


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Revocation of 3 German Politicians' Ph.Ds For Plagiarism, 3 Reactions

Posted by Jessica Gopalakrishnan on Jul 18, 2011 8:27:00 AM

Plagiarism choices reactionsIt’s been only a few months since German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned after being accused of plagiarizing his doctorate. Now two more German politicians have resigned and been stripped of their Ph.D’s as a result of plagiarism.

Last month Silvana Koch-Mehrin, a leading politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and previously vice president of the European Parliament, was investigated by the The University of Heidelberg for plagiarism in her thesis, revocation of her Ph.D as the final result. According to, 120 passages on 80 different pages from nearly 30 different publications (and two-thirds of those not accurately cited) in her thesis were plagiarized.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, also a member of the Free Democrats (FDP), is the latest German politician to be revoked of his doctorate for plagiarism. The faculty at the University of Bonn invested his Ph.D thesis and found enough evidence to revoke the doctorate degree.

All three of these political figures had different excuses to the accusation of plagiarism.

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British Columnist Challenges Definition of Plagiarism

Posted by Jessica Gopalakrishnan on Jul 6, 2011 12:22:00 PM

guilty of plagiarism or notJohann Hari has certainly set off a media frenzy the past two weeks challenging the definition of plagiarism. Last week it was discovered that Hari, columnist for the British newspaper the Independent and winner of the Orwell Prize, has a habit of taking statements or quotes from other reporters' interviews and inserting them into his own interview article as if the person had said it to him instead of the original reporter. Of course, without credit to the original reporter.

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Fighting Global Diversity – The Evolution of Plagiarism Software

Posted by Janett Perry on Mar 10, 2011 12:55:00 PM

global diversity resized 600Everyday, plagiarism is becoming a more frequent subject in the news.  The New York Times recently published a very interesting article that examines the current state of plagiarism in the world today. 

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International Research Community Stands up to Plagiarism

Posted by David Rothschild on Feb 16, 2011 1:12:00 PM

international research‘International research community’ is a term you hear quite often; referring to a global consortium of researchers working together towards a common discovery. 

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Plagiarism in China

Posted by Janett Perry on Oct 27, 2010 1:54:00 PM

Plagiarism Chinese Characters resized 600China’s economy is rapidly growing in a variety of industries.  One growing sector is even profiting off of the rising incidence of plagiarism in China’s university and research institutions. 

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Eye on the Billion Dollar Plagiarism Law Suit

Posted by Janett Perry on Oct 20, 2010 1:57:00 PM

money resized 600One of the biggest plagiarism law suits of the decade continues to make headlines in the UK and internationally. Billionaire ‘Harry Potter’ author J.K. Rowling and her publisher Bloomsbury Publishing PLC face an ongoing law suit coming from the estate of a now-deceased fantasy writer.  

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Scientific Research Mashups - Higher Risk for Plagiarism?

Posted by David Rothschild on Aug 11, 2010 2:24:00 PM recently covered a new and unique  ‘Web 2.0′ method of publishing scientific research.  Liquid Publication, a European collaborative, has built a software platform that allows scientists to easily post their research to an online journal. 

researcher science plagiarism
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Plagiarism Punishment

Posted by Robert Creutz on Jun 23, 2010 2:37:00 PM

prison cell 150x150 resized 600A recent article from Times Higher Education discusses a new ‘Tariff’ that academics in the UK are proposing that will lay out a universal system of penalties for university students that plagiarize.  

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