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Prominent findingsBearbeiten

  • Almost four pages of the thesis (79 (first half), 80, 81, 82) are copied from the paper Xu et al. (2004) with only minor adjustments and without mentioning this paper anywhere in the thesis. A member of the thesis committee (Hsinchun Chen) is one of the co-authors of this paper, which leads to the question, why he did not notice the plagiarism when he read the thesis.
  • The pages 192, 193, 194, and 195 are taken from the publication Smith & King (2002). This is interesting, because a paper written in 2009 (after the dissertation) by four authors, Nm and the chair of the thesis committee D.L. Hicks among them, has been retracted by the IEEE, because it contained non-attributed original text from the same source, see the retraction notice.
  • In many instances the copied text is adapted to make it more suitable for the terrorist theme of the thesis, often subsituting the word "terrorists" for "criminals". Some examples are given here:
  • Several pages of the thesis are copied from the "Military Guide to Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century". This publication is mentioned in the thesis in two places, but not in the bibliography. The copied text typically has been adapted only slightly. On page 64 a figure has been copied from the Military Guide without reference.
  • The dissertation of Hamill (2006) is the source for parts of the "Problem Definition", the "Research Objectives" and the "Conclusions and Recommendations" sections. Even the final words of the thesis are plagiarised: Nm/Fragment_249_01. The first sentences of the thesis are also copied (but from another source): Nm/Fragment_019_01
  • Nm/Fragment_026_04: not only has an entire paragraph been taken literally from Koschade (2005). It is then attributed to Memon & Larsen (2006), while references that can be found in the original source have been removed. The same copied text is used twice in the thesis, see also: Nm/Fragment_045_18
  • Nm/Fragment 104 12: Two equations and explaining text have been copied from Koschuetzki et al. (2005). At most places index names have been changed from s and t (source) to u and w (thesis), but in one instance s and t remain in the thesis, which makes no mathematical sense but shows the original source of the paragraph.
  • Nm/Fragment_206_01: Even the description of structural aspects of the knowledge-base that constitutes the empirical core of the thesis is a literal copy from a publication that is nowhere mentioned in the thesis: Zhao et al. (2006) This leads to the question to what degree this knowledge-base is an original creation of Nm.

Other observationsBearbeiten

  • In this thesis one finds text copied from a large number of sources (see Quelle:Nm). The amount of text copied from each individual source, however, tends not to be very large. Most of the time the source is not mentioned anywhere close to the borrowed text, and often the source is not mentioned anywhere in the thesis at all.
  • Several chapter and section titles are commented with a footnote indicating that the entire following section is taken from another publication. This might be acceptable when the author mentions -- as he does several times in the thesis -- that he has published the material previously himself. But how should one interpret the following footnotes on chapter titels?
    • FN 9 (page 49): Some parts of this Sections are taken from ”A Military Guide to Terrorism in 21st Century“ [note: this Military Guide is not listed in the bibliography]
    • FN 14 (page 95): Most of the concepts discussed in this section are taken from West B. Douglas (2001).
    • FN 19 (page 125): The most of the text is taken from
    • FN 20 (page 130): The most of the text for this section is taken from
    • FN 31 (page 183): The matter is taken from (Heer et al., 2005) [note: Heer et al. 2005 is not listed in the bibliography]
  • There are several references to the Wikipedia, without specifying which date the Wikipedia article has been consulted (footnotes on pages 121, 125, 130, 166, 170, 171)
  • Several text fragments appear in the thesis more than once, for example:
  • Large parts of the thesis have been published elsewhere, either before or after the publication of the thesis. Not surprisingly these other publications "inherit" fragments of copied text. Some examples are listed here, a more comprehensive overview can be found here. In fact, about half of all fragments documented in the thesis of Nm can be found also in other publications, see here.
  • Nm often states in the thesis that a certain section or chapter has been published previously elsewhere. However, there are also various examples where thesis material has been previously published somewhere else without this being mentioned in the thesis. While these instances of self-plagiarism are beyond the scope of the present documentation, one example is listed here:


  • Currently there are 227 reviewed fragments documented that are considered to be violations of citation rules. For 201 of them there is no reference given to the source used („Verschleierungen“ and „Komplettplagiate“). For 26 fragments the source is given, but the extent of the used text is not made clear („Bauernopfer“).
  • The publication has 231 pages that have been analyzed. On a total of 150 of these pages violations of citation rules have been documented. This represents a percentage of 64.9%. The 231 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 81
0%-50% text parallels 43
50%-75% text parallels 19
75%-100% text parallels 88
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 37% 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.

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