Romania Minister of Education Resigns After Caught Stealing Israeli's Research

Minister of Education Ioan Mang accused of copying work of researchers from Japan, Taiwan and Israel; Israeli researcher: 'He only changed the authors' names and the title.'

Romanian Minister of Education Ioan Mang was forced to resign his post earlier this week after he was accused of copying the academic work of researches from Japan, Taiwan and Israel.

One of the cases reported involves a word-for-word copy of an article in the field of information technology written by Prof. Eli Biham, Dean of Computer Sciences at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

In a post on his website, published following the scandal in Romania due to the accusations, Biham wrote that not only it was an exact copy of work published by him along with Prof. Natan Keeler from Bar Ilan University, but also chances are Mang never read it, citing errors in its content.

Biham explained that Mang copied an early version of the article that was posted by mistake by a colleague without the authors' approval. For that reason, said Biham, "he couldn't even arrive at the same results by himself," adding that he thinks the disgraced Romanian minister was probably "the first person ever not to immediately notice the mistakes in the plagiarized article."

On Thursday, Biham told Haaretz that this specific article has faulty results due to a mistake they made. "To my discontent, the work was leaked to the internet. This is just one article of seven Mang copied in similar ways."

"He only changed the authors' names and the title," said Biham, "The worst thing is that he sent it for publication, and it was still accepted. In this case, it's really a bad joke. He copied an incorrect article so it's easy to ridicule him use humor, since I don't feel credited for it. But if it would have been my best work, I wouldn't have been so amused."

Days before filling his resignation, Mang claimed that the accusations are politically motivated.

Mang, who published the copied work as faculty member at Ordea University in Romania, is the second Education Minister to leave his position at the Cabinet for plagiarism. On Wednesday Prime Minister Victor Ponta appointed Liviu Pop as new Education Minister.