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  • Problematic text parallels can be found in the following chapters (state of analysis: 16.03.2014):
  • 1 The mucosal immune system (p. 2-4): page 3
  • 2 The respiratory tract in context of immunity
  • 2.1.2 Dendritic cells (p. 7-8): pages 7, 8 – [almost completely]
  • 2.1.3 Lymphocytes (p. 8): page 8
  • 2.1.4 Airway epithelium (p. 9-10): pages 9, 10 – [almost completely]
  • 2.1.5 Alveolar epithelium – Type II and Type I alveolar epithelial cells page (p. 10-13): pages 11, 12
  • 2.2 The alveolar type II epithelial cell as an integrative unit of the alveolus (p. 13-16): pages 13, 14, 15, 16
  • 2.3 The alveolar type II epithelial cell as the source of alveolar surfactant (p. 16-18 [beg.]): pages 16, 17, 18 – [almost completely]
  • 2.3.1 Immunoregulatory functions of surfactant proteins (p. 18): page 18 – [completely]
  • 2.3.2 Collectin structure (p. 18-19): pages 18, 19
  • 2.3.3 Collectin regulation of immune cells (p. 20-23): pages 20, 21, 22 – [completely (text)]
  • 3 Autoimmunity (p. 24-26): page 24
  • 4 Regulatory T lymphocytes (p. 27 [beg.]): page 27
  • 4.1 Naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (p. 28-29): pages 28, 29 – [almost completely]
  • 4.2 Adaptive regulatory T cells (p. 30-31): pages 30, 31 – [almost completely]
  • 4.3 Mechanism of suppression (p. 31-32): pages 31, 32 – [completely]
  • Results Part II – Characterization of self-antigen expressing alveolar type II epithelial cell from SPC-HA x TCR-HA mice
  • 3 Aims of the study (p. 55-56): page 55
  • 4 Results
  • 4.1 Isolation of murine alveolar type II epithelial cells (p. 57-60): page 57
  • 4.11 Differences in the surfactant protein expression in AECII from SPC-HA x TCR-HA double transgenic mice and SPC-HA transgenic mice (p. 79-81): pages 79, 80
  • 1 Discussion (p. 86-99): pages 86, 90, 93.

Prominent SourcesBearbeiten

  • Pp 12-18 (first paragraph) are largely based on Fehrenbach (2001). This source is cited once each on pp. 12, 13 and 17. The author adopts Fehrenbach's review of the state of research and occasionally adds a few lines for research which has been published since 2001. The longest uninterrupted adoption of Fehrenbach's work runs from the bottom of p. 13 to the top of p. 16, a summary of some 30 studies, for which no credit is given to Fehrenbach.
  • Wright (2005) is a source that has been extensively used. In particular page 21 and 22 are taken from it in their entirety with only one reference to it among more than 20 references that are taken from it as well.
  • Bluestone & Abbas (2003): another source of very substantial copying. In most instances the source is not mentioned.
  • Chen et al. (2004) is the source of less extensive text borrowings. This source, however, has not even been mentioned in the list of references. Neither has the source Roper et al. (2003).

Other ObservationsBearbeiten


  • Currently there are 46 reviewed fragments documented that are considered to be violations of citation rules. For 31 of them there is no reference given to the source used („Verschleierungen“ and „Komplettplagiate“). For 14 fragments the source is given, but the extent of the used text is not made clear („Bauernopfer“).
  • The publication has 110 pages that have been analyzed. On a total of 31 of these pages violations of citation rules have been documented. This represents a percentage of 28.2%. The 110 analyzed pages break down with respect to the amount of text parallels encountered as follows:
Percentage text parallels Number of pages
No text parallels documented 79
0%-50% text parallels 9
50%-75% text parallels 5
75%-100% text parallels 17
From these statistics an extrapolation of the amount of text of the publication under investigation that has been documented as problematic can be estimated (conservatively) as about 16% of the main part of the publication.


The following chart illustrates the amount and the distribution of the text parallel findings. The colours show the type of plagiarism diagnosed:

  • grau="Komplettplagiat" (copy & paste): the source of the text parallel is not given, the copy is verbatim.
  • rot="Verschleierung" (disguised plagiarism): the source of the text parallel is not given, the copied text will be somewhat modified.
  • gelb="Bauernopfer" (pawn sacrifice): the source of the text parallel is mentioned, but the extent and/or the closeness of the copy to the source is not made clear by the reference.

Mag col.png

(state of analysis: 16.03.2014)

Image Irregularities Bearbeiten

While Vroniplag Wiki is usually restricted to the documentation of plagiarism, there are several problematic observations in the results section of the thesis that can be documented on the basis of the published thesis alone. This is done here.

Figure 11 (relevant part on page 41)Bearbeiten

The problem with figure 11 is that the two point clouds in the first row of page 41 ("MLN") are identical up to the smallest detail, while they are meant to represent measurements on different samples:

Mag figure11a.png
Figure 11: HA-specific CD4+ T cells are present in periphery of SPC-HA x TCR-HA mice. SPC-HA x TCR-HA and TCR-HA control mice were sacrificed, lung and BLN, MLN, Spleen, AXLN, INLN, CVLN were isolated and stained for CD4 and 6.5 expression to measure the percentage of transgenic T cells in the different compartments. These results are a representative of two similar experiments.

The point clouds in the first row ("MLN") enlarged:

Mag figure11b.png
Mag figure11c.png

Figure 13 (page 47)Bearbeiten

The problem with figure 13 is that the alphaEbeta7 Integrin, CD103 panel is identical to the Foxp3 panel, as can be seen easily from the characteristic white specs on both panels:

Mag figure13a.png
Figure 13: Semi-quantitaive RT-PCR analysis of ex vivo isolated 6.5+CD4+ lung lymphocytes from SPC-HA x TCR-HA mice and TCR-HA control mice. The expression of different molecular marker genes for regulatory T cells as CD103 (alphaEbeta7), CTLA4, Neuropilin-1, GITR (TNFRSF18), Foxp3, Galectin, PD-1 and ICOS was analyzed. RPS9 was used as a housekeeping gene.

The alphaEbeta7 Integrin, CD103 panel enlarged:

Mag figure13b.png

The Foxp3 panel enlarged:

Mag figure13c.png

Figure 21 (page 60) and figure 24 (page 68)Bearbeiten

The problem with figures 21 and 24 is that the second panel of the second row of figure 21 ("SP-C") and the third panel of the third row in figure 24 ("RPS9") appear to have been derived from the same image, as suggested by two white specs having exactly the same position in both panels as well as other minor identical patterns in the background.

Mag figure21a.png
Figue [sic] 21: Analysis of hemapoetic cell contamination of post-sorted AECII population by PCR. RNA from freshly isolated alveolar type II epithelial cells was compared with RNA obtained from complete lung tissue. Primer pairs CD3, CD19 and CD14 were chosen to test for hemapoetic cells in the type II cell preparation. Primer pairs SP-A, SP-C, SP-D and alkaline phosphatase were chosen to test the RNA for specific AECII expressed genes. RPS9 represents a housekeeping gene expression.

Mag figure24a.png
Figure 24: Gene expression in AECII derived from SPC-HA x TCR-HA double transgenic mice and SPC-HA transgenic mice. Different genes were selected to analyze their expression level in AECII by RT-PCR. (A) Genes encoding costimulatory molecules (PD1-L, ICOS-L, MHC II, CD80 and CD86) were used to determine the stimulatory capacity of AECII on the molecular level. (B) represents selected genes for Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-9, MMP-2 and MMP-3) and (C) MCP-1 and TGF-β. The housekeeping gene RPS9 was used to estimate the quality and quantity of used cDNA.

Panel RPS9 of figure 24 enlarged:

Mag figure24b.png

Panel SP-C of figure 21 enlarged:

Mag figure21b.png

Note that the differences between those two images can be explained by differing image adjustments. To illustrate this point, here is an adjusted version of the RPS9 panel of figure 24 (higher contrast, higher exposure, slightly stretched vertically):

Mag figure24b adjust4.png

Figure 34 (page 82)Bearbeiten

There are two problems with figure 34:

  • In all 8 panels on the right side the H2O control has been pasted in, which can be seen looking at the differing backgrounds. Also, the H2O part of each panel is a separate image in the PDF file of the thesis and can be selected separately.
  • In addition, the pasted in H2O controls are identical for the Foxp3 and the IL-10 panel as can be seen from the characteristic light specs on identical spots in the background of the two controls.
Mag figure34a.png
Figure 34: Semi-quantitaive RT-PCR analysis of re-isolated CD4+ T cells prior cocultured with AECII from SPC-HA x TCR-HA, SPC-HA and BALB/c mice. To assess the effect of AECII derived from SPC-HA x TCR-HA double transgenic mice, SPC-HA transgenic mice and BALB/c control mice on the phenotype of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells the expression of different molecular marker genes for regulatory T cells including CD103 (alphaEbeta7), Neuropilin-1, GITR (TNFRSF18), Foxp3, Galectin, PD-1 and IL-10 was analyzed. RPS9 was used as a housekeeping gene. Different amounts of cDNA (undiluted (1) and 1:6 diluted) were used for the semi-quantitative RT-PCR analyses.

Right part of the Foxp3 panel of figure 34 enlarged:

Mag figure34b.png

Right part of the IL-10 panel of figure 34 enlarged:

Mag figure34c.png

Right column of figure 34 with adjusted contrast and exposure to make differences in the background more visible:

H20 contrast.png

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