While academic plagiarism was not unheard of (or rare) in the Soviet period, it was not as pervasive as it is in contemporary Russia. Plagiarism became especially problematic in the 2000s, as the rapid spread of the Internet made an overwhelming number of academic and popular texts easily accessible. The 2012 awakening of public activism in Russia has produced a new situation in which a professional community of scholars is protesting the most blatant cases of academic misconduct, including plagiarism and the falsification of scholarly credentials and journal publications. Public outcry in response to several recent cases has prompted the Ministry of Education and Science to take steps toward punishing some who have faked their dissertations and revoking their degrees. At the same time, the scandals have coincided with a state effort to reform higher education that involves drastic faculty cuts. Nicknamed “Dissergate,” the whole situation has turned highly politicized, as various political forces have become eager to use dissertation scandals to discredit each other.
The Political and Social Implications of Thesis Falsification and Education Reform
PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo No. 246
by Serghei Golunov and Ivan Kurilla