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Minister Faces Plagiarism Accusations

Posted July. 25, 2006 03:53,   


A dissertation of Kim Byung-joon, minister of education and human resources development, was found on Monday to be similar to a doctoral dissertation written by one of his students when he was a professor at Kookmin University.

Kim’s paper, “Responses of the residents on reconstruction,” was published in the June issue of the official journal of the Korean Association for Public Administration in 1988. Minister Kim is accused of copying some details of a doctoral dissertation of his student, identified only as Shin.

Kim’s thesis used the survey results of Shin’s dissertation, which were obtained by interviewing 400 people in the four regions of Seoul in which reconstruction projects had been undergoing in September 1987. In addition, the titles of the two are almost identical except for a few words.

Five out of the 11 statistics tables in Shin’s 140 page dissertation are identical or have a minor difference in some figures to those in Minister Kim’s 15 page paper. The contents of the two papers’ conclusion are also very similar, although they were expressed with different choices of words.

Shin received a doctorate degree at Kookmin University in February 1988 with his dissertation, “Studies on the policies of residents in the re-development areas.” Minister Kim was one of the judges to assess Shin’s doctorate paper.

In this regard, Ministry Kim said, “This is not plagiarism as my paper mentions the use of Shin’s survey results. In addition, it is important to note that it was published earlier than Shin’s paper in a university journal in December 1987.”

Minister Kim said he is willing take the matter to the Korean Association for Public Administration to determine whether or not this paper should be ruled as plagiarism. In the meantime, some members of academic circles are saying it is obvious plagiarism, while others are claiming that the same research materials could be used for different research.