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Jacek Bartosiak lost his doctoral degree

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The Scientific Council of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences invalidated Jacek Bartosiak's doctorate. The possibility of plagiarism had been discussed in the academic community for over a year. “I did not avoid mistakes, but they were not the result of actions aimed at intellectual theft,” Bartosiak wrote in a statement and announced further steps in this matter.

“The Management of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences informs that on June 14, 2024, the Scientific Council of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences adopted a resolution to recognize the invalidity of the resolution on awarding a PhD degree to Mr. Jacek Bartosiak” – it was written on the website of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. At the same time, no additional information was provided.

For over a year, the academic community has been discussing the likelihood of plagiarism in the doctoral thesis of Jacek Bartosiak, who deals with issues in the field of international politics and is a lawyer by profession.

According to Gazeta.pl, the basis for the decision to revoke Jacek Bartosiak's doctoral degree were the opinions of experts: Dr. hab. Tomasz Kamiński from the University of Lodz, Ph.D. hab. Łukasz Fyderek from the Jagiellonian University and lawyer Dr. hab. Mateusz Błachucki from the Polish Academy of Sciences. They became members of the commission appointed by ISP PAN in October 2023.

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Jacek Bartosiak PAP/Kalbar

“Unofficially, Gazeta.pl has learned that the legal opinion of Dr. Błachucki is considered crucial, in which he proves that Bartosiak attributed significant fragments of someone else's work to himself and thus the conditions set out in Article 195 of the Law on Higher Education and Science were fulfilled. It concerns the 'declaration of invalidity of the decision to award a doctoral degree',” it was written in a publication on the Gazeta.pl website.

The authors of the article noted that official expert opinions cannot yet be published because it requires the consent of all parties to the proceedings for reasons of personal data protection.

Bartosiak on the lack of “actions aimed at intellectual theft”

Jacek Bartosiak referred to the matter in a post on the X platform.

“There is not a single fragment of someone else's work in the PhD thesis, the author of which was not indicated. Of course, I did not avoid mistakes, but they were not the result of actions aimed at intellectual theft. The supervisor and reviewers of my work maintained their positive reviews: Prof. Bogdan Góralczyk, Prof. . Stanisław Koziej and Prof. Hubert Królikowski. During the proceedings, Prof. Tomasz Grosse assessed my work positively,” wrote Bartosiak.

He also criticized the way the case was handled. “The way the case is handled by the ISP PAN and the entire situation raise serious concerns about the operation of the Polish higher education system. I assure you that it will be verified by the Council for Scientific Excellence and, if necessary, by the administrative court,” Bartosiak announced.

The beginning of the matter

Michał Piegzik, a lawyer from Edinburgh Napier University, was the first to report the likelihood of plagiarism. A year ago, he mobilized a group of scientists to read subsequent chapters of Bartosiak's doctoral thesis and compare them with various English-language sources. The whole story was described in detail in June 2023 by “Gazeta Wyborcza”. Piegzik also posted on the X platform after the information about the invalidation of Bartosiak's doctorate was made public.

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“Three expert opinions of key importance for the ISP PAN proceedings (two in the field of political science and one in law) should be made public in order to verify the thesis whether Jacek Bartosiak claimed authorship of significant fragments of other people's scientific findings and, if so, to what extent.” – wrote Piegzik.

He added that his analyzes were based on evidence provided by Bartosiak himself. “Evidence of attribution of important fragments of other people's scientific findings was provided to me by Jacek Bartosiak himself in an Internet group with over 30,000 members,” Piegzik recalled.

The scientist does not rule out that his percentage calculations regarding plagiarism in Bartosiak's doctoral thesis may be underestimated.

“Although Jacek Bartosiak is left to take his case to court, the evidence presented by me is the result of only three months of work and can be expanded to include further pages of comparative tables with the involvement of other experts. I do not rule out that the percentage of compliance of Jacek Bartosiak's doctoral dissertation with other works scientific results may be even higher than I presented in my conclusions,” Piegzik wrote.

Main photo source: PAP/Kalbar

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