Korea Univ. head slammed with plagiarism charges

Posted on : 2006-12-27 14:37 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
3 papers contain verbatim passages from students’ work
 president of Korea University
president of Korea University

Professor Lee Phil-sang, Korea University’s new president, has come under fire for alleged plagiarism. The charges have dealt a blow to his reputation, just after he assumed the helm of one of the nation’s most prestigious schools on December 21.

The plagiarism scandal also comes only six months after then education minister Kim Byong-joon stepped down amid fierce criticism over one of his academic publications, allegedly purloined from a student under his supervision.

The Hankyoreh confirmed that two of Lee’s papers, both published in December 1988, carried almost the same content as those written by two students writing theses under his supervision at the time. Another work Lee published in a South Korean academic journal in August last year also carried identical content as that written by another of his students in his Ph.D. dissertation two months prior.

One of the two papers that Lee published in 1988 was about South Korea’s bond market profitability. It carried some 200 of the same sentences contained in a thesis written by one of Lee’s students at the time. The other controversial paper from that year analyzed management styles at local conglomerates; it, too, contained more than 130 sentences identical to those found in another student’s paper.

Even more tellingly, Lee’s 2005 paper carried even the same mistakes found in his student’s doctoral thesis.

Lee admitted that the papers in question contain content similar to that written by his students.

"It was inappropriate to publish such papers containing similar content as work done by my students," Lee said in a press conference. "But it was not a serious problem given the academic practice at the time, [since] I was the one that provided these students the ideas and content used in their theses."

One of Lee’s former students, whose paper bore identical passages to that of the professor, said he could not remember whether Lee attempted to get his prior approval to use his paper, but added that "it could be possible enough for the two papers to have identical content, since we worked together during the research process."

Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]

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