Helge Braun is allowed to keep his doctorate - but gets a homework assignment

University of Giessen has checked Helge Braun is allowed to keep his doctorate - but gets a homework assignment

Chancellery chief Helge Braun speaks

The University of Giessen found no intent to deceive in Helge Braun's doctoral thesis

© Britta Pedersen / AFP

The University of Giessen has reviewed the minister's doctoral thesis. It came out: The Helge Braun case is not a plagiarism affair. However, work is now waiting for the doctor and politician if he wants to keep the title.

Helge Braun may keep his doctorate. In the dissertation of the CDU politician and head of the Chancellery, no intention to deceive was found, according to the University of Giessen. Nevertheless, corrections are necessary in some places, announced the Justus Liebig University (JLU) on Wednesday after the test procedure was completed. According to the recommendation of the commission, the withdrawal of the doctorate is out of the question in his case.

Braun, who is also chairman of the CDU district association in Giessen, received his doctorate in medicine in 2007 at the age of 35. His PhD thesis dealt with the influence of palpitations during an operation and is entitled “Influence of intraoperative tachycardias on the postoperative prognosis - analysis with an anesthesia information management system”.

Previously published publication on the same topic

When examining the allegations, the focus was on the relationship between the doctoral thesis and a previously published publication with Braun as co-author, as well as possible overlaps with other publications in the working group.

After hearing the witnesses and Braun, the commission came to the conclusion that the procedure was common practice in the working group at the time. All the authors involved were aware that the publication, which was mainly produced by Braun, would subsequently lead to his dissertation.

Insight into the private

In addition, it was in line with the practice of the time to positively consider a relevant prior publication when determining the grade for the dissertation later on. Braun independently developed and consolidated the findings from the previous publication.

Helge Braun made the earlier publication transparent in his dissertation

Braun had expressly referred to this earlier publication in his doctoral thesis and stated that "Excerpts of the investigations and results presented in this thesis" had already been published, said the Giessen University mit.

However, since detailed individual evidence for the earlier publication was missing in some places, there was scientific misconduct, the university commission restricted. For this reason, Braun had to correct the dissertation in the affected areas. He has six months to do this.

The reason for the investigation were allegations which, according to an earlier announcement from the university, had been brought to the university “by an individual” at the end of January this year. The doctor and politician asked the university to review the allegations himself.

With the outcome of this review, Braun stands out positively from a number of politician colleagues who resigned in the course of plagiarism scandals. The most recent example is the former family minister Franziska Giffey, who gave up her office last month when reports emerged that the Free University of Berlin was in favor of withdrawing her PhD have pronounced.

At the beginning of 2013, the then Federal Minister of Education, Annette Schavan, had her doctorate withdrawn, whereupon she also submitted her resignation. Two years earlier, the then Federal Defense Minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, was caught up in a similar scandal. The Guttenberg plagiarism affair is probably the best-known scandal of its kind in this country.

Source: Justus-Liebig university of Giessen