The one who was the economic brain of the PP, Daniel Lacalle, has announced this week legal actions against this medium. The economist has issued a statement through the Novalex law firm in which this decision is advanced after the publication in elDiario.es of two pieces of information in which the irregularities and errors of the thesis with which he obtained his doctorate were shown. in 2016 by the Catholic University of Valencia.
Daniel Lacalle obtained a doctorate 'cum laude' with a thesis full of "copy and paste" of other people's and own texts
The statement refers to two pieces of information published on May 24 and June 6 of this year. In these articles, the use of foreign texts without the correct attribution, translation errors or formulas poorly copied from academic articles were evidenced without the different existing university controls putting it in evidence.
elDiario.es will continue to investigate this case in which significant errors have been evidenced both in the preparation of the work and in its evaluation. The thesis dates back to 2016, when Lacalle received his doctorate after defending his work under the title 'Inflation, unemployment and productivity: the Spanish and European case' in the court of the Catholic University of Valencia. A few months later, already in 2017, it was published through the Spanish University Foundation.
In the first information, under the heading “Daniel Lacalle obtained a doctorate 'cum laude' with a thesis full of "copy and paste" of other people's and own texts” it was pointed out that the university work contained important attribution errors of the works of foreign and Spanish economists, with extracts copied and translated from the original versions.
Lacalle responded to this information in a telephone conversation with this medium, although he later sent a rectification by burofax. This text was published by elDiario.es, as required by the Organic Law 2/1984, of March 26although this means is ratified in the information published on the numerous irregularities of his thesis.
In the second information, with the title “The first 70 pages of Daniel Lacalle's thesis are copied from other authors”, the focus was on the irregularities found in the first of the three chapters of the thesis, under the title of 'Theoretical framework'. At this start of the thesis, Lacalle copies, with translation errors, seven important Anglo-Saxon economists whom he cites irregularly: only in the introduction and in the bibliography, but not when he literally uses their words, equations or graphs, which he does not attribute. .
All the graphs, all the equations and the great majority of the tables are copied, in a rehash of the original articles where the reader is not told which part corresponds to Lacalle and which part belongs to each author.
The 'copy and paste' includes several errors, such as translating 'equity' as 'equidad', when the correct translation into Spanish would have been “own resources” or “patrimony” or even “equity” in English, without translating. Or numerous verbatim paragraphs from the first line of the thesis, including first-person sentences from the original authors.
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Lacalle defends that these articles are indeed cited –in the introduction, but not when they are copied–. But after the publication of these irregularities by elDiario.es, several economists and academics have questioned this way of proceeding on social networks. Among others, Juan F. Jimeno, economist at the Bank of Spain and professor of Economics at the University of Alcalá. Or the professor of Economics at the Carlos III University Joseph Louis Ferreira.
The dismantling of Lacalle's defense of the accusations of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis follows. It's all nonsense. Bad thesis, bad publication, errors in his affiliation. And above all, plagiarism (because saying that you are going to copy 7 articles does not give you the right to copy them). https://t.co/MF6lDByyiS
– Juan F Jimeno (@jfjimenoserrano) June 13, 2022
Other passages in the text evidenced the erroneous incorporation of mathematical formulas. For example, in the equations that Lacalle copies from the Nobel Prize winner in economics Robert M. Solow, a point above a variable is used to express a rate of change. On many occasions in Lacalle's thesis that point disappears, leaving as a result an erroneous equation. In other cases, a '=' is replaced by a '-' or numerators and denominators are altered. In this way, a large part of the equations copied by Lacalle are left without meaning or with an incorrect one.
In addition, most of the footnotes of this first chapter, which should refer to the origin of the contributions of the thesis, are copied, for the most part, from the articles of the mentioned authors.
3. Whoever reads the chapter has no way of knowing which paragraphs or ideas are Lacalle's and which of the authors they are based on.
4. The above misleads the reader and is a textbook example of how not to do things.
– José Luis Ferreira (@JL_Ferr) June 12, 2022
After the publication of this second article, Lacalle sent to elDiario.es a new note of correctionwhich we publish again, as required by the organic law that regulates this right, which allows those affected by news to give their version. In this second rectification, Lacalle does not question any of the facts, examples or data collected in the information from elDiario.es, but points out that his thesis was "reviewed by independent validators, the thesis director and the examining board." Some of them have signed open letters defending this thesis and the evaluation that they themselves carried out.
During the investigation, this medium had a telephone conversation with Daniel Lacalle in which he was asked about the use of other people's texts without the correct attribution. The one who was the economic brain of the PP maintained that there were no problems and that the thesis complied with the requirements of the Catholic University of Valencia. In addition, he defended that it was not a "research thesis" but an "informative thesis". "It is not a thesis in which a problem is investigated, a formulation is sought and solutions based on that research are concluded", he added. "It's a disclosure thesis where I report the results of other people's research and I'm referencing them," he settled.
Such type of “disclosure thesis” does not exist in Spanish legislation. According to him Royal Decree 90/2011 which regulates official doctoral studies (article 13), “the doctoral thesis will consist of an original research work prepared by the candidate”.
According to several professors consulted, from different Spanish universities, the correct way to have incorporated the references to all these publications would be to put quotation marks when dealing with literal texts, then attributing the author and the work. In addition, what corresponds to other researchers and what the author of the thesis writes must be clearly differentiated. None of this occurs in Lacalle's thesis, which only cites a good part of the articles copied in the introduction and in the bibliography.
Despite these data exposed by this investigation, Lacalle considers through the aforementioned law firm that it is a “huge and manifest amount of falsehoods and misrepresentations”. For this reason, he announces that he will undertake “soon” the “appropriate legal actions”.
Despite this threat to prevent us from continuing to publish information, elDiario.es will continue to investigate. We also do not retract anything published.
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