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MOSCOW, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The problem of plagiarism in dissertations can be eliminated with the creation of an open database of scientific works, the head of the information and regional policy department of Russia’s Education Ministry, Anna Usacheva, told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
“Russian PhDs lack credibility. Their degrees’ authenticity is in doubt due to plagiarism, which is widespread among researches in the country. Russian scientists feel that this issue requires a complex decision - creation of an open scientific database, which will contain all the theses, monographs, investigations and other scientific materials”, she said.
Usacheva said they were not planning to check the authenticity of all the theses presented earlier, but to create an electronic file of all the original works, which would both be useful to young researchers and provide an outlook of the current situation in Russian science in general.
The official stressed this database would provide them with an access to a wide range of original works, which would help eliminate the risks of illegal and erroneous quotations and make it easier to control the copied fragments.
“We will soon be able to detect precisely where any written fragment was copied from, as well as its original author and edition. This will help us avoid many negative consequences of plagiarism in the nearest future”, Usacheva explained.
Russia’s Education and Science Ministry is also considering other possible ways of fighting plagiarism, but this option is seen as the most promising. However, it is not so easy to implement: the ministry will have to face copyrights, access restrictions to some works and problems with theses on ambivalent topics. “That is why we have to do a number of things first: create a prototype of such database and get an expert to analyze the copyrights and the possibility of an open access to scientific studies. We also have to finish the projects we have started earlier, such as stimulate the introduction of plagiarism control systems”, concluded Usacheva.
Consequently, the Education Ministry does not plan any check-ups on theses authenticity at the moment.