Fig. – Gregor Aisch visualized Guttenberg‘s dissertation, highlighting the plagiarized portions. The dark red represents complete or masked plagiarism, while the lighter red represents different categories of plagiarism. Longer bars are for normal text, and small bars represent footnote lines.

On Monday, Feb. 28, Germany’s defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, resigned after admitting that he plagiarized his PhD dissertation. It followed an unprecedented outpouring of anger from Germany’s academic community when it was shown that half his doctorate was written by others. Further analysis showed more than half the 475-page paper had long sections lifted from other people’s work. Once touted as a future chancellor, he was variously branded “Baron Cut-and-Paste“, “Zu Copyberg” and “Zu Googleberg” by the German media as the scandal developed. At least 23,000 academics signed an open letter to chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to sack him (source: