There is nothing unusual about the plagiarism accusations surrounding the master’s thesis of Laura Huhtasaari, a deputy chairperson of the Finns Party, according to plagiarism researcher Erja Moore.
“There are lots of plagiarised theses, and Huhtasaari’s text is by no means an exception,” Moore commented in an interview with Uusi Suomi on Monday.
Huhtasaari is suspected of copying, without giving credit, up to 30 per cent of the master’s thesis she submitted to the University of Jyväskylä in 2003, according to an analysis conducted by a journalist at YLE. Sanna Anttilainen, the general counsel at the University of Jyväskylä, told Uusi Suomi on Monday that the university has obtained the alleged main source – the master’s thesis of Tiina Simpanen – and is “very likely” to re-examine the thesis of Huhtasaari.
Moore, however, reminded that there are no straightforward procedures for responding to plagiarism.
“There are no clear guidelines. There are various ways to deal with these kinds of issues. Sometimes you just rubber-stamp the work with the words ‘contains plagiarism’. Other times you rule that there’s no plagiarism even though the plagiarism is blatant,” she explained.
“Stamps like that are inconsequential. There’s a few-day outrage before the case is forgotten.”
Moore said she conducted a random-sampling study to gauge the extent of plagiarism in the master’s theses submitted to universities of applied sciences in 2012, finding that 12 per cent of the theses contained plagiarism and 33 per cent inaccurate referencing.
“Electronically published theses contain an astounding amount of plagiarism. It has really gotten out of hand,” she told.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi