De VU University of Amsterdam is starting an investigation of plagiarism for the whole oeuvre of top economist and VU professor Peter Nijkamp. A research conducted by de Volkskrant shows that nearly 60% of Nijkamps articles contain copies of entire portions of text out of other articles, without a proper mention. Furthermore, the names of co-authors were often emitted by not making a reference when copying earlier texts. According to scientific norms this is considered plagiarism.
Tuesday the VU announced to research the work of professor of spatial economics Nijkamp. The motivation is a research report on a dissertation that Nijkamp supervised, that has been made public. This report recently appeared on the website of VSNU, a university association. The report was completely anonymised.
The report shows there were accounts of plagiarism in the work both of the PhD student and Nijkamp himself. Nijkamp is a leading scientist, he is on top of the list in global rankings as a scientist that produces a relatively very high amount of articles. For seven years he was the head of the government organization that provides money for research, the NWO.
The analysis conducted by de Volkskrant shows that out of 115 articles that Nijkamp produced in the last years, he frequently plagiarized himself. Often these accounts of self-plagiarism were relatively harmless, for example copying explanations or summaries. However, regularly the professor copied entire pieces that were presented as authentic research.
More than half (68 out of 115) of the articles de Volkskrant analysed contained multiple paragraphs that were copied from earlier work. In some accounts the self-plagiarism continued for ten paragraphs or even longer.