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VU investigates plagiarism by Nijkamp

NETHERLANDS. VU University Amsterdam is going to investigate the research carried out by top economist Peter Nijkamp. A committee will reassess his publications, as NRC Handelsblad accused the professor of plagiarism this week.

Nijkamp is not just anybody, but former KNAW vice-president (‘the conscience of science’) and former chairman of research funding organisation NWO. He is one of VU University Amsterdam’s heroes and writes articles at record speed. In 2011, he published an article every three days, concluded scientific journalist Frank van Kolfschooten in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

But now a smudge is appearing. It had recently appeared that a PhD student supervised by Nijkamp had committed plagiarism, after which the professor had to step down as supervisor. And although the Executive Board initially didn’t see a reason to take a closer look at Nijkamp’s work, the university has announced this afternoon that a committee of inquiry will be set up after all.

The committee will investigate to what extent the economist has correctly quoted himself and others “taking into account the fact that guidelines have been tightened over the course of the years”.

HOP, Petra Vissers



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