January 18, 2021

The University of Barcelona withdraws the doctorate to a position of the PDeCAT for plagiarism | Society

The University of Barcelona withdraws the doctorate to a position of the PDeCAT for plagiarism | Society


The University of Barcelona (UB) will withdraw the title of doctor to Marc Guerrero, a leading figure in the liberal sector of PDeCAT, for having plagiarized important parts of his thesis of a book published by political scientist Jaume Urgell, as EL PAÍS has learned. The decision comes after the mandatory report of the Generalitat's Legal Advisory Committee, which has ratified the irregularities found by a commission of the university that detected the existence of "highly plagiarized passages" and the copy of an "essential part of the plot structure ".

At the time of the denunciation he was a member of the European Parliament and the most important figure of the party in Brussels, where he was also vice-president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (AT).

Guerreo received the highest rating for his thesis, cum laude, which he defended in 2007 at the Faculty of Economics of the UB. Titled Identity in sub-national external performance, the work focused on comparing the external action of the Generalitat of Catalonia with that of the State of Washington, in the United States.

The thesis, however, contained at least four pages copied literally from the book Give prominence to Catalonia de Urgell, who has a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, as well as numerous coincidences in his exhibition, as this newspaper advanced in December 2015.

After receiving the complaint from Urgell, the Doctoral School ordered the creation of a technical commission formed by three professors to investigate plagiarism. After two months of work, the commission concluded that Guerrero had literally copied "approximately" four pages of Urgell's book. Although this extension, according to the commission's own words, "would seem to have a relatively minor importance", the conclusions emphasized that "the plagiarized passages have a very important role" and that "in the whole of the thesis, the ideas of Jaume Urgell taken without an appointment are an essential part of the plot structure ".

The withdrawal of the doctorate to Guerrero culminates a long process that has lasted more than three years and that has not been exempt from administrative problems. At first, Urgell denounced the case to the Faculty of Economics and the Rectorate. The first sent the complaint to the Doctoral School (which did not open any procedure), while the second put it in the hands of his legal counsel. This responded to Urgell that the subject was not the competence of the university and invited him to resort to the contentious-administrative procedure.


Reprinting of one of the paragraphs of the book by Jaume Urgell (left) copied in the thesis by Marc Guerrero (right).enlarge photo
Reprinting of one of the paragraphs of the book by Jaume Urgell (left) copied in the thesis by Marc Guerrero (right).

Subsequently, the University admitted that it had not given the appropriate response to the complaint and ordered its Doctoral School to create the technical commission. After knowing these conclusions, the then rector of the UB, Dídac Ramírez, dictated a resolution that ordered to open a file to review the concession of the title of doctor to Guerrero.

The next step was to refer the case to the Legal Advisory Commission of the Generalitat, an advisory body made up of 15 jurists of recognized prestige. The UB's Doctoral School, however, took more than three months – the legally established deadline – to do so, so the procedure has expired. The new rector of the UB, Joan Elias, signed the Resolution File on September 14, 2017.

Urgell then presented a remedy for the University of Barcelona to initiate a new procedure that has now been completed. The victim showed yesterday his satisfaction for the decision. "It was evident that Guerrero had committed plagiarism, I am not going to go into intentionality, but when you prepare a doctoral thesis there are things that you have to be very clear about, and one is that you must quote everything that someone has written before and do not pass it. as my own work, "he said.

This newspaper has not been able to obtain for the moment the opinion of Guerreo on the decision of the UB, although this one already has retired of its page in Wikipedia the mention to that it is doctorate.

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