Following our recent article on the ghostwritten essay boom, I’d like to share this awesome graphic. It looks like bar codes or a super-expensive area rug, but it’s actually the visualization of completely and secondarily plagiarized text from the body and footnotes of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s doctoral dissertation. In March 2011, Guttenberg resigned as the Defense Minister of Germany due to allegations that he copied passages in his analysis of U.S./E.U. constitutional law at the University of Bayreuth. Although the ex-minister initially claimed the striking resemblance between his paper and others was “unintentional,” a crowd-sourced effort proved him dishonest. Then, visualization architect Gregor Aisch was inspired to create a map showing which parts of his dissertation were lifted. More power to the people!
For the meaning of the colors and numbers above, check out FlowingData.