Our precious Press,
According to the information stated in the press recently, Higher Education Council (Yüksek Öğretim Kurulu (YÖK)) abdicates its duty to investigate plagiarism and scientific fraud (*). Either it abdicates or continues to share its authorization with the universities as they’ve done so far, it doesn’t matter, indeed. However, it has been proven with the experiences so far that Higher Education Council tends to cover up its own academicians’ scientific corruption with the ‘don’t let it go out of this room’ mentality.
On the other hand, Higher Education Council encourages the attempts of plagiarism by ignoring them so far (**) (***).
Although the situation is desperate in terms of both HEC and universities, that Higher Education Council fades from the scene passing the buck to the universities and trying to make a law meaning ‘don’t mix me with this work’ threatens that the future of science ethics will be even worse.
Instead of suggesting an objective (x independent) scientific investigation and inspection method to prevent scientific theft, Higher Education Council tries to say ‘may each university cover up its plagiarism on his own’ by declaring that they will abdicate its duty to investigate this.
Whether Higher Education Council abdicates investigating scientific fraud or it continues to take responsibility with the universities, scientific malpractice will continue to be ignored and therefore increase rapidly unless an objective National Science Ethics Council (NSEC) is founded.
Provided that it will protect and supervise of science ethics in the basis of universal science ethics norms, an independent National Science Ethics Council should be founded which will serve as an academic honour council and will work with special methods apart from the scope of authority of universities and Higher Education Institute which focuses on ignoring. Higher Education Council should keep “plagiarism and scientific fraud crimes” separate (x and independent of the investigation of these crimes), while transferring its authorization about discipline regulations, with a law which they are trying to make, to the universities and Higher Education Council should transfer investigating these crimes to the independent ‘NATIONAL SCIENCE ETHICS COMMITTE’ which will be founded, not to the universities.
Universities, other research institutes and Higher Education Council should only be responsible for implementing the decisions taken by this new council NSEC. It should be arranged as a legal arrangement about how this kind of new council will occur, working procedures, what the actions and sanctions, which are against the scientific ethics, are and more importantly, what kind of responsibilities Higher Education Council and the directors of universities will have, while performing this new council's decisions with a consensus of universities, academics’ organizations and Science Academy. Scientific fraud can only be prevented with such an independent formation in earnest.
Emeritus Prof. Dr. Kayhan KANTARLI
All Academics Association (TÜMÖD) / Representative of Izmir
(**) as it can be seen in the archive section of the most reliable portal on plagiarism
(http://plagiarism-turkish.blogspot.com.tr) of our country, it has been published 402 essays and news about scientific fraud and plagiarism in the last decade and almost all of them are being criticized and condemned due to the irresponsibility of Higher Education Council and the universities which focuses on cover up. Only in 2007, there had been 82 news and articles regarding to plagiarism which academics got involved in and most of their names were stated clearly. This internet portal shows that plagiarism is still very common in the universities. There are numerous people who has the title as professor, associate professor, assistant professor, research assistant involved in these lots of plagiarism cases and there have not been any obstacles for those to be appointed to the academic and administrative services.
(***) Also see