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One New Thing
Monday, November 29, 2004
One New Thing: Plagiarism debates.

Found via the Kept-Up Academic Librarian (this is one of my favourite blogs, by the way) was a story about two Harvard academics: one who in a “rush to meet a final deadline” accidentally plagiarised large chunks of someone else’s work, and one, the article suggests, whose previously published work put under scrutiny after he spoke out in defense of the first professor. The issue is not that plagiarism occurred, (because accidents can happen and it is easy to lose track of sources, particularly if there are multiple people involved in producing a work). The article questions how lenient the college is on students who plagiarise accidentally in their work (rather than deliberately) compared to staff. It’s an interesting question to think about in any university context where teaching staff are publishing. With the introduction of so many plagiarism detection tools to check student’s assignments, shouldn’t the same procedures apply to staff when they submit work for publication? Should the penalties for confirmed plagiarism be similar for both staff and students? And can it really be determined if plagiarism is deliberate or accidental?
The story is online, When Plagiarism's Shadow Falls on Admired Scholars, but is via the NY Times so a login is required.

(By the way, Google Search seems to have stopped wanting to tell me when I have already blogged about a topic before: so please excuse me for any duplication. Normally I do a quick search of the blog before I post, but I’m getting no hits on anything I search for right now.)

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