Annette Schavan, the German minister for education and research, has had her PhD invalidated among allegations of plagiarism, ScienceInsider reports. Schavan's lawyer says that she will be challenging the ruling in court.
Plagiarism concerns first came to light last May when a blogger noted that parts of Schavan's thesis were worded similarly to some of her sources, which were then not properly cited, an earlier ScienceInsider report noted. Then, an investigation, which was leaked in the fall, found that about 60 pages of the 351-page dissertation had such passages, the blog notes.
Schavan "systematically and deliberately claimed as her own intellectual achievements which she had in fact not produced herself," says Bruno Bleckmann, who headed the committee at the University of Dusseldorf that investigated the allegations, in a statement according to the Nature News blog.
The Nature News blog notes that this move will likely have political ramifications as Schavan is the second member of the German cabinet to have a PhD revoked for plagiarism.