Not citing the thesis of an author of a joint article was not plagiarism (TENK 2023:4)

Researcher A suspected that Postdoctoral Researcher B, Assistant Professor C and Professor D were guilty of plagiarising researcher E's thesis in a joint article in the field of technology written by B, C, D and E. The article made use of the text, results and observations of the thesis, but the thesis was not cited as a source. A believed that the research community was also misled about the novelty of the findings in the article. In their request for a statement to TENK, A stated that the peer reviewers could not have known about the similarities between the article and the thesis.

In their decision, the President of the University concluded that even though it would have been desirable for the thesis to be cited, no RI violation had taken place. According to the President, "on the one hand, it is advisable to make extensive references to previous theses, but on the other hand, one should refrain from overly referring to one’s own publications to artificially increase citation indices".

TENK has decreed that the authors of joint research articles should jointly approve both the content of the article and the names that are included in the list of authors. If an RI violation in a joint article has taken place, all those named as authors share responsibility for it, unless the contribution of each author is stated separately in the publication in question.

In its statement, TENK stated that because E was one of the authors of the article in question, parts of E's thesis were not plagiarised in the article . In approving the manuscript of the article, E had also accepted that the article did not reference E's thesis. At the same time, however, TENK agreed with the university's view that the thesis supervisors in particular should remember good citation practices when a thesis and a scientific publication are close in content.