According to unofficial reports, the Committee on Ethics in Science and Higher Education has adopted an opinion on the complaint by four scientists who accused Croatian Minister of Science and Education Pavo Barišić of plagiarism. The Committee found that Barišić had taken parts of a text of American philosopher Stephen Schlesinger while not quoting his sources, reports Jutarnji List on January 10, 2017.
Four scientists reported Barišić in 2011 for plagiarism in an article published in the journal Synthesis Philosophica. The complaint stated that Barišić plagiarized several parts of other people's works, books and Internet sources in his article in the English language “Does Globalization Threaten Democracy”, which was published in the second issue of the magazine in 2008. The complaint featured a comparative analysis of the controversial parts of the Barišić’s article and allegedly plagiarized parts of other people's works, which noted many similarities, such as taking ideas and formulations, and even literal copying from Wikipedia, without citing the author.
According to the complaint, Barišić took concepts from theorists Samuel P. Huntington, Carl Boggs and Stephen Schlesinger without mentioning them anywhere in his article, while he mentioned Robert A. Dahl in connection with just one sentence, although he allegedly copied a whole range of his ideas and formulations. In addition, complaints claimed that Barišić without citing sources took information from the Wikipedia entry on “Democracy”, together with a misspelled surname of political philosopher Francis Fukuyama, who is both in his article and in Wikipedia’s entry written as Fukayama.
While the charges regarding Barišić’s plagiarism of Schelesinger are deemed undeniable and it is obvious that the passage was plagiarized, the Committee did not agree about other issues.
Members of the Committee reportedly concluded that two other complaints did not contain such obvious cases of plagiarism, and that compared to the original texts Barišić’s work is very similar, even in the order of ideas, but it was not possible to establish that it was plagiarized. The conclusion of the Committee in the case of Schlesinger was expected, given that the respected expert for international relations Stephen Schlesinger confirmed last year that he had received an apology from Croatian Minister of Science Pavo Barišić due to copying parts of his text from the internet without citing the author.
“It is clear that the text in the journal Synthesis Philosophica was plagiarism, but at least there were footnotes in my part of his essay. In any case, I have accepted Barišić’s apology”, said Schlesinger last year. Minister Barišić still categorically denied that he plagiarised anybody.
Accusations for plagiarism against Barišić were first widely reported three months ago, when it was announced that he would become Croatian Education and Science Minister. Due to this and other issues, he was immediately described as the weaskest link in the new government.