University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 010/2024 - 25 January 2024
Commission for Academic Integrity at the University of Bayreuth has decided on suspected plagiarism report
The University of Bayreuth will not initiate main proceedings to investigate suspected plagiarism in Dr. Alice Weidel's doctoral thesis. This was decided unanimously yesterday by the Commission for Academic Integrity due to a lack of evidence of grossly negligent or deliberate academic misconduct.
In the opinion of the committee members, there are isolated citation errors in the work - i.e. the adoption of text passages from other works without appropriate identification. However, the scope and significance of these passages are not sufficient to prove culpable (i.e. grossly negligent or intentional) scientific misconduct in accordance with the requirements of Section 8 of the Statutes of the University of Bayreuth to ensure the standards of good scientific practice and to deal with scientific misconduct. This assessment results primarily from the fact that the number and scope of the passages for which the suspicion of an unmarked takeover has been substantiated are small and that these passages relate to the presentation of general economic knowledge or descriptions of facts. There are a single-digit number of passages in which textbook knowledge is reproduced. An attempt to appropriate the research findings of other authors that are not yet generally known cannot be ascertained. In view of the small number of passages, there are also no indications of a systematic approach. The Commission members therefore voted unanimously against the initiation of main proceedings. The proceedings will be discontinued in accordance with Section 14 (3) of the statutes.
The ombudsperson of the University of Bayreuth received a suspected plagiarism report on Dr. Alice Weidel's doctoral thesis on 4 December 2023. The University of Bayreuth then examined the suspected plagiarism within the framework of the procedure provided for this purpose, which is regulated in the "Statutes of the University of Bayreuth to ensure the standards of good scientific practice and to deal with scientific misconduct" (https://www.amtliche-bekanntmachungen.uni-bayreuth.de/de/amtliche-bekanntmachungen/konsoldFassg-SamSa-ab2023-002/2023-002-164-kF.pdf). The Commission for Academic Integrity met a total of three times. As stipulated in the statutes, it gave Dr. Alice Weidel the opportunity to make a statement.
The University of Bayreuth will refrain from making further statements and providing detailed information on the case.