Plagiarism

News from the US elections and the findings of the Chilcot Enquiry on Iraq have put the question of plagiarism in focus. Plagiarism may seem to be an issue for universities, but even if you put plagiarism as copyright infringement aside (e.g. cases about people reusing musical themes), it still has an obvious importance outside of academe.

The following sites have basic overviews of some cases and are not the last word on any of them.

The argument about Melissa Trump’s speech (from The New Yorker)

The Iraq DossierOne thing to note here is that paraphrases of the original document were used. There is no problem with doing this once the original is acknowledged.

Anette Schavan, a German education minister has her PhD revoked in 2013.

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has his PhD revoked for plagiarism.

In a long document such as a PhD it would be unusual to have the degree invalidated if someone forgot only one or two references, but, of course, this would still be academic misconduct.

Prof. Raj Persauld, a broadcaster and popular writer on psychiatry resigned his position as a consultant in the NHS in 2008 having has his work scrutinised by the Church of Scientology. This recent article from The Telegraph charts his life since then and his decision to write a psychological novel.

The Volkskrant, one of the largest Dutch newspapers, apologises for plagiarism in 2015.

‘Professor Lewis Wolpert, the eminent developmental biologist and author, has admitted incorporating unattributed text from a variety of sources in his recent popular science books.’ The sources included Wikipedia. See article in The Guardian.

 

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