Dugaan Plagiarism Yahya Muhaimin di MIT

Seorang kawan mengirimkan hasil pelacakan terhadap tesis Yahya Muhaimin. Ternyata memang ada memorandum dari para profesor di MIT tentang keabsahan disertasi Yahya.

Sayang, Yahya Muhaimin tidak pernah memberi keterangan ttg hal ini. Namun, seperti yang dicatat Andrew di bawah ini, disertasi itu tetap akan ada di perpustakaan MIT sebagai disertasi bermasalah. Menarik kan? Dan Yahya Muhaimin pernah menjadi Menteri Pendidikan kita.

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From: Drew Warsaw-Meyer (… email deleted)

Salam hormat,

  Saya adalah researcher dalam bidang academic and intelectual life di Southeast Asia. Saya tertarik dalam mengamati curriculum, teaching methods, dan academic ethics. Country specialist saya adalah Indonesia. Saya bekerja memperbandingkan kehidupan university di berbagai negara di Southeast Asia dan mencoba mencari kaitan seberapa jauh academic environment berpengaruh dalam kehidupan sosial di tiap negara, dan proses sebaliknya.

  Saya membaca mass media yang diterbit di Indonesia dan mendapat banyak informasi menarik dalam kaitan dengan pendidikan. Terakhir, saya mendapat informasi sangat penting yang menyangkut pembatalan gelar Doktor Ipong Azhar di University Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta. Pembatalan ini karena polemic tentang
illicit data yang merupakan plagiarism dari sebuah karya mahasiswa di University Airlangga, Surabaya.

  Saat saya berkesempatan mengunjungi Madison University, saya mendapatkan satu buku dalam bahasa Indonesia yang terkarang atas nama Ismet Fanany. Buku tersebut berjudul "Plagiat-Plagiat di MIT" dan diterbit oleh PT Masagung. Ini buku menarik karena ada banyak sisi dari academic ethics yang cukup controversial. Kasus yang serupa beberapa kali terjadi di Indonesia, terutama di University Gadjah Mada. Paling tidak, saya amati, sudah dua kali terjadi polemik plagiarism ini. Menariknya, academic advisor yang terlibat adalah Prof. Afan Gaffar, seorang ilmuwan politik lulusan The Ohio State University. Paling tidak, sebelumnya ada satu dosen di Surabaya dan satu di Hassanudin, kabarnya juga melakukan plagiarism dan gelarnya dicabut. Semuanya dibawah bimbingan Prof. Gaffar.

  Buku Ismet Fanany menarik karena mengupas Thesis dari Yahya Muhaimin yang dipresent di Dept. of Political Science, Massachusetts Instutite of Technology (MIT). Fanany memperkirakan bahwa Yahya telah melakukan plagiarism atas karya-karya beberapa ilmuwan terkenal seperti Richard Robison, yang juga melakukan study yang sama dengan Yahya. Tuduhan Fanany memang sangat tajam dalam dunia akademis, terutama dalam kehidupan akademis di U.S.

  Terlepas dari controversy yang ditimbulkan oleh buku Fanany, saya meneliti lagi tuduhan ini. Lewat seorang kenalan, saya mendapatkan thesis dari Yahya Muhaimin di MIT. Perkembangan semakin menarik karena di dalam thesis tersebut tercantum sebuah memorandum dari para committee professor di Dept. of Political Science di MIT. Nama yang tercantum di dalam Memorandum itu adalah professor terkenal, antara lain Barry Possen (ahli International Relations), Myron Weiner (ahli Comparative Politics), dan Lucien Pye (ahli Southeast Asia yang juga Yahya’s academic advisor). Mereka meneliti kembali Thesis Yahya tersebut. Lebih menarik lagi, ternyata mereka menerapkan criterias yang sangat lunak terhadap penilaian thesis Yahya. Criteria ini sangat lunak dan ringan dalam kategori academics ethics di US, karena bahkan pharaphrasing sekalipun tanpa menyebutkan proper sources akan menjadi kesalahan plagiarism.

  Committee di MIT itu memang menemukan kejanggalan fatal dari thesis Yahya, yakni ada interview yang sama tapi dengan tanggal berbeda dari Yahya dan Robison. Committee meminta tanggapan dari Yahya sebelum mereka memutuskan apakah Yahya melakukan plagiarism atau tidak.

  Namun sayang, setelah itu saya tidak berhasil melacak tanggapan Yahya terhadap memorandum Committee ini.

  Saya ingin membagi keterangan ini dengan para pembaca mass media Indonesia. Kasus Ipong menjadi kesempatan belajar bahwa academics ethic di Indonesia memang memerlukan perbaikan. Para professor harus lebih teliti untuk tidak mengulang kesalahan yang sama. Memang menarik bahwa dalam kasus Ipong, Prof. Gaffar telah mengulangi tiga kali kesalahan. Ini mungkin bisa jadi perhatian.

  Sekarang Prof. Yahya Muhaimin sudah menjadi seorang minister, kalau tidak salah minister of education (Menteri Pengajaran?). Tentu saja, saya mengharap supaya Prof. Yahya mau memberi keterangan atas memorandum ini. Saya berusaha mengkomunikasikan problem ini dengan para profesor di MIT yang menulis memorandum. Tetapi semua mereka sudah retired. Dept. of Political Science tidak mau memberikan keterangan dimana mereka tinggal sekarang ini. Hukum di U.S. memang melarang memberi keterangan tanpa ijin yang bersangkutan.

  Saya attach file dokumen yang saya scanned dari dokumen asli. Saya juga berikan dalam bentuk teks di bawah ini. Kalau Anda menghendaki yang asli, Anda bisa akses di library MIT. Dokumen ini akan tertera selamanya di library. Akibat masalah ini juga, thesis Dr. Yahya tidak bisa ditemukan di University of Microfilm karena terkategori Thesis yang bermasalah.

  Akhirnya, saya mohon maaf kalau bahasa Indonesia saya tidak bagus. Mungkin akan ada salah pengertian. Mudah-mudahan tidak terjadi. Selain itu, saya sangat berharap kalau kejujuran akademis dan intelektual di Indonesia bisa meningkat di masa depan.

 

Salam,

Andrew Warsaw-Meyer

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  MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

  MEMORANDUM

  To: Richard J. Samuels
  Re: Dissertation by Yahya Muhaimin
  From: Barry Posen, Lucian Pye, Myron Weiner
  Date: December 28,1992

  In April we were appointed by Suzanne Berger to review the charges by a Mr.Ismet Fanany, an Indonesian journalist based in the United States, alleging extensive plagiarism in the 1992 dissertation presented by Yahya Muhaimin.
  Mr. Fanany’s charges were made to the Dean of the Graduate School in a letter dated February 25, 1992. Mr. Fanany enclosed a 39 page report identifying sections of the dissertation drawn from the doctoral dissertation of Richard Robison submitted to the University of Sydney, Australia in 1977, and subsequently published in 1986 as a book entitled Indonesia: The Rise of Capital. Frank Perkins. Dean of the Graduate School, acknowledged receipt of Fanany’s letter on March 6th, informing him that the issues he raised would receive careful consideration.
  The charges of plagiarism were raised in the context of the political excitement in Indonesia occasioned by the publication of Dr. Muhaimin’s thesis which provided evidence that prominent Indonesians had corruptly benefited from failed state policies. Because of the reactions of politically powerful figures, the book was withdrawn by the publishers, and Professor Yahya Muhaimin sought to make peace with those he had offended. The academic establishment in Indonesia defended Professor Muhaimin.1
  The charges of plagiarism appear designed to tarnish his academic reputation and ruin his distinguished career. Professor Muhaimin is currently Assistant Dean of the Faculty and Director of the Center for Japanese Studies at Gadjah Mada University in Jogjakarta.
  After some delay we were able to obtain a copy of Mr. Robison’s thesis so as to examine Mr. Fanany’s accusations. Our findings are as follows:

  __________________
  1See enclosed material.

  In reviewing the charges we found it useful to distinguish among three types of transgressions.

  Case I. Instances in which the author cites the source but does not put the materials in quotes when there have been little or no changes in wording.

  Case 2. Instances in which the author cites an original source, but seemslikely to have taken the material from a secondary source not cited.

  Case 3. Instances in which significant materials are taken from a source withoutcitation.

  We compared Yahya Muhaimin’s dissertation with that of the dissertation by Richard Robison as well as to the charges that Muhaimin took from other works as well. We note that Muhaimin liberally cites the Robison thesis, and that he had liberally used Robison’s words, not his ideas. We also note that the thesis is heavily documented, averaging some 100 footnotes per chapter.

  As to Mr. Fanany’s charges, we find as follows:
  1. Muhaimin (pages 203-4), and Robison (page 100). In this discussion of the textile industry Muhaimin cites Robison as a source but does not indicate that most of these two pages (including a quote taken from another author, Palmer and Castles, who are cited) are drawn with little change in wording from Robison. Falls under both Case 1 and 2.

  2. Muhaimin (pages 252-2) and Robison (page 158). On these pages Muhaimin provides a detailed description of a prominent banker as an example of the movement of former officials into business. The information and much of the language is taken from Robison, who is properly cited as the source. Probably falls under Case 1, though there are some changes in language.

  3. Muhaimin (page 280) and Robison (page 301). On this page Muhaimin describes the way in which an Indonesian businessman acquired concessions from government officials. Robison is not cited as a source. An alternative source is provided for one sentence, but clearly the materials on this page (and some of the language) is from Robison. An example of Case 3.

  4. Muhaimin (pages 198-199) and Robison (pages 91-92). These two pages, including the heading ("Bureaucratic Patrons and Client Businessmen") are taken from Robison. Muhaimin cites as his sources Panglaykim, and Castles, both of which are also cited by Robison. Muhaimin does not indicate that he probably took these materials from Robison. Materials from Panglaykim and Castles are in quotes, exactly as found in Robison. An example of Case 2 and Case 3.

  5. Muhaimin (pages 259-260) and Robison (page 160). These pages provide a detailed description of an Indonesian businessman. Muhaimin cites as his source interviews that appeared in two Indonesian journals, and an interview that he conducted in September 1980. Robison is not cited. While there is some overlap in information, Muhaimin provides a far more detailed discussion than is provided by Robison. Does not appear to fall under any of our cases.

  6. Muhaimin (pages 61-62) and Robison (pages 118-120). These two pages, largely a discussion of an Indonesian economist’s views of Boeke’s theory of dualistic economies as applied to Indonesia, are taken almost entirely from Robison without citation. An example of Case 3.

  7. Muhaimin (page 285) and Robison (pages 332-333). This discussion of a businessman’s political associations overlaps slightly with Robison (in one paragraph), but provides far more detail than does Robison, with a detailed footnote as to the Indonesian sources. Does not appear to fall under any of our cases.

  8. Muhaimin (pages 293-294, footnote 2) and Robison (page 152, footnote 3). In this footnote Muhaimin reports from interviews he purportedly conducted with an Indonesian businessman (we are given a pseudonym) from June through August 1980, but the entire footnote is taken from Robison. A serious instance of Case 3. We turn now to the other purported instances of plagiarism involving sources other than Robison. We checked to see whether Muhaimin cited appropriate sources.

  9. Muhaimin (pages 124-125), and Castles (page 35). This discussion of the ways in which government extracted funds from private enterprises apparently uses the information and some of the language from Castles. Where he uses almost the same language as Castles he cites Castles although several sentences appear to have been taken directly from Castles without a citation: other sentences cite other articles, cited by Castles. An example of Case 1 and Case 2.

  10. Muhaimin (page 101) and Glassbumer (page 89). Muhaimin paraphrases and cites Bank Indonesia and Glassburner at the end of the paragraph.

  11. Muhaimin (page 118) and Panglaykim (page 49). Muhaimin paraphrases and sometimes uses the same language, but cites Panglaykim at the end of the paragraph.

  12. Muhaimin (page 113) and Gibson (page 52). In this paragraph Muhaimin paraphrases and cites Gibson.

  13. Muhaimin (page 34 and 35) and Sutler (page 775). In these two paragraphs Muhaimin paraphrases and cites Sutter twice, at the end of each paragraph. Several sentences closely follow Sutter.

  14. Muhaimin (page 189, and footnote 23 on page 235) and Sutter (pages 1049-1050). Some facts in th text are the same as Sutler’s without a citation, but the financial details provided in the footnote are attributed to Sutter.

  Summary and Analysis

  In all Mr. Fanany found 14 purported instances of plagiarism. (The number appears to be greater since Mr. Fanany disassembles paragraphs into their individual sentences, citing each sentence as an instance of plagiarism.) They total approximately 3200 words, or about 13 pages of the 379-page dissertation. The 14 instances can be categorized as follows:

  Case 1. Muhaimin closely uses and sometimes copies the language of another source, but gives a proper citation as to source without using quotation marks. Items 1, 2, 9.

  Case 2. Muhaimin draws materials from another source, but cites an original source rather than the secondary sources from which he apparently took the material. Items 1, 4, 9.

  Case 3. Muhaimin uses the language of another source, but gives no citation, claiming the material as his own. Items 3, 4, 6, 8.

  Items 10 through 14 above were judged to be proper citations of properly paraphrased material. Items 5 and 7 were judged instances where minor materials were used without citation, and thus not worrisome.

  Of these instances. Case 1 can be regarded as inappropriate: Case 2 is technically incorrect though often done by scholars; and Case 3 is plagiarism. Item 8 is particularly serious since Muhaimin reports as his own an interview which seemingly was conducted by another scholar. The two pages cited in Item 6 also seem to be a case of plagiarism, as may be Items 3 and 4.

  We then compared other sections of Muhaimin and Robison’s dissertations to see if there were instances of more borrowings that were not cited by Mr. Fanany. This comparison was not exhaustive or particularly systematic. Nevertheless, we did turn up other questionable instances. We did not check to see if there might have been additional borrowings from the other source material cited by Mr. Fanany.

  Muhaimin, p. 245 vs. Robison. p. 57. Muhaimin draws his argument about the linkage between Asli businessmen and the bureaucracy from Robison, using much the same language. There is one sentence that should have been in quotes and footnoted. An example of Case 3.

  Muhaimin, p. 254 vs. Robison, p. 60. Muhaimin discusses the establishment of Bank Umum Nasional, with considerable details on its financial structure, and these are two sentences drawn from Robison, but citing instead the 1955 study by John Sutter. An example of Case 2.

  Muhaimin. p. 255 vs. Robison, p. 62. The paragraph is, word for word, from Robison, but Muhaimin cites a Comell thesis by Eliseo Rocamora, without attributing his sources to Robison. The Rocamora thesis is not listed in Muhaimin’s bibliography. An example of Case 2 and Case 3.

  Muhaimin, p. 208, an introductory discussion of the economic consequences of the transfer of political power to the military is taken from Robison, p. 112, without citation. An example of Case 2 and Case 3.

  Muhaimin’s chapter 5 shares with Robison’s chapter 7 the argument that Asli businessmen had privileged access to the bureaucracy, but the case examples are almost entirely different.

  Prior to receiving the letter from Mr. Fanany, the Dean. Lucian Pye and Myron Weiner received a letter from Mr. H. Aminuddin. an Indonesian businessman who took objection to Yahya Muhaimin’s statements concerning his connections with the government of Indonesia. These appear on page 275 of Muhaimin’s dissertation. Some of this material is drawn from Robison (who reportedly interviewed Aminuddin), but is fully cited by Muhaimin. Muhaimin also cites interviews
he conducted with an official, colleague and relative, all of whom (understandably) preferred to remain anonymous.

  Finally, we considered the question of whether the overall argument by Muhaimin is derivative. Yahya Muhaimin’s thesis deals with the development of the indigenous (Asli) class of Indonesian entrepreneurs in the post-independence period, and how they developed within a clientalistic framework in which access to government became the key to financial success.

  He is particularly concerned with the ways in which cultural factors play a role in creating a business class that is dependent upon the state. While Muhaimin is concerned with how dependence by entrepreneurs upon the state operates, Robison is concerned with the development of state bureaucratic capitalism within a dependency framework characterized by "feudal modes of production" in the "world capitalist system." There are some similarities in their use of materials – since both deal with the development of indigenous entrepreneurship but their approaches and explanations are quite different.

  The Evidence and MIT Norms

  The MIT "Report of the Committee on Academic Responsibility" (April 15, 1992) recommends that "We define research misconduct as fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism in proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities" (p. 1; see also p. 3. Recommendation 6, and p. 8). The report elaborates. "Fabrication is presenting fictitious data or results: falsification is altering data or results including selective omission of data without scientific or scholarly justifications: and plagiarism is using the words or ideas of others without acknowledgement" (p. 7).

  In general the review committee would be loath to define occasional "Case 1" instances as plagiarism. Occasional failure to place properly footnoted material within quotation marks is sloppy. If it were a constant problem, it would be worrisome. But we do not detect this.

  Instances of Case 2, where footnotes of a secondary source are in effect borrowed, could qualify as plagiarism. It borrows another’s work (although perhaps not words or ideas) and presents it in a way that suggests that the accused did the work. It is a questionable academic practice; the correct practice would be to give the original source and then add. "As cited in…" The transgression is often difficult to judge. First, one cannot always tell from the text whether a cited source was simply lifted from a secondary source (a bad practice) or discovered in the secondary source, read, and then properly footnoted. Second, even where the source was simply lifted from the secondary source, it may simply be to footnote a piece of information from a widely available document in the public record. Most scholars would of necessity use the same source. Sometimes, however, the context of the cite, the use of the cite by the secondary source, and/or
the absence of the footnoted original source from the bibliography (as in one of Muhaimin’s cases) makes one suspect that misconduct has occurred. The instances of Case 2 identified above constitute bad scholarship and improper practices. "

  Finally, all Case 3 instances suggest plagiarism. And, in Item 8 above. Muhaimin appears to have claimed credit for an interview done by another, changed some of the details of the interview subject, and failed to footnote the original source at all. This would appear to be a case of falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism.

  It is necessary to put these instances of misconduct in some kind of perspective. First, we do not believe that the major arguments of Muhaimin are lifted from the sources alleged by the accuser. Professors Pye and Weiner were on the original thesis committee. and they are firmly convinced of this. Professor Posen does not question this judgement. Second, Muhaimin regularly footnotes elsewhere in the document Robison and the sources that he seems to have improperly exploited in the instances noted above. Thus, one suspects that in many of these cases sloppiness rather than malign intent could be the explanation. The issue that emerges as most questionable is Item 8, where no plausible explanation is obvious other than deliberate deception.

  Naturally, we await Mr. Muhaimin’s explanations for all of these issues before final conclusion. And if he cannot himself explain these instances, we still must decide the "magnitude" of the misconduct in order to judge how to proceed.

  We recommend that a copy of this memo be sent to Yahya Muhaimin to enable him to reply to our assessment. After reviewing Muhaimin’s response, we should then consider what action should be taken. In the meantime it would be useful to obtain from the Dean of the Graduate School any appropriate guidelines
as to what our options are. In his letter to Suzanne on March 6, Dean Perkins asked that he be kept informed of the deliberations and conclusions of our review. A copy of this report should be sent to him.

  Barry Posen

  Lucian Pye

  MyronWeiner
  (Chair)

* disarikan dari email Al-Ghozie Usman, 30 Maret 2000

* diposting pada saat kasus plagiarism oleh Prof. Anak Agung Banyu Perwita (UnPar Bandung) merebak, Feb 2010

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