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Rostovtsev to write software to automate the process.The Dissernet group knew that an electronic synopsis of every doctoral thesis was posted online in Russia.
Good friends, that is: The going rate for a fake degree online starts at around $1,400.
A study published in the newspaper Novaya Gazeta found that out of 450 members of Parliament, about 200 claimed advanced degrees and at least 49 had been accused of plagiarism, including the speaker.
(He denied it.)Dissernet started work in 2013 after a political appointee with a limited academic record was tapped to lead a prestigious mathematics school.
Academics began poring over his history dissertation line by line, which inspired Mr.
The software makes comparisons 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and a band of about 50 volunteers does the rest. Given that Russian organizations that try to play public watchdog are often shut down under the pretext of being foreign agents, Dissernet was established with a purposely low profile. While he cannot prove that it had any connection to his Dissernet work, the group had just published an analysis of a Moscow City Council member’s thesis.
It has no staff, no central office and relies largely on crowd funding. There is an official method of challenging doctoral degrees in Russia, so even when the group publishes page-by-page analysis showing all the copied material, it is considered an allegation until the Ministry of Education and Science investigates the matter. Livanov, the education minister, has said that the group lacks the expertise needed to render judgments in so many fields.Parliament also passed a law that stretched the period of time allowed to challenge a thesis to 10 years from three, but included an assurance for its members — making all doctorates received before January 2011 off-limits.Though he was inaugurated only weeks ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin already faces serious challenges to his administration.(The 2009 movie was based on this episode.) Medinsky’s portfolio includes overseeing state policy regarding arts, film, cultural heritage, archives, libraries, and museums.But instilling patriotism and nationalism among the Russian people, by sponsoring the rewriting of Russia’s history, will doubtless be on the top of his list.MOSCOW — By Russian standards, the few lines that Melania Trump used from Michelle Obama for her speech at the Republican National Convention this week would barely tip the plagiarism scale.A parade of government ministers, members of Parliament, senior judges, medical doctors, academics and others in Russia hold advanced degrees seemingly based on purloined work.Other government critics have called the software flawed.Dissernet members described some plagiarists as so lazy they did not bother to change any text; they just substituted the cover page with their name as author.Following his March election, in which fraud was alleged by numerous observers, the inauguration itself was clouded by street protests in which hundreds were detained.And in an extensive new survey of Russian voters, the Center For Strategic Studies in Moscow now finds that public support for Putin’s government is eroding steadily, raising the possibility of a political crisis before he finishes his six-year term.