Thursday, May 17, 2007

Plagiarism in academics, I'm shocked!

An article title "Strange Tales From the Trenches" in the Chronicle of Higher Education gives one story of copyright violation and one of resume fraud. Of the latter, there was text:

The candidate had fabricated much of his scholarship. Book reviews that appeared on the vitae did not exist, or worse, had been written by others. He had invented conference presentations out of whole cloth, in subdisciplines specific enough that only a specialist would have known they were bogus at first glance. Articles that appeared to be in refereed journals (Studies in X or The Journal of Y) turned out to be merely titles composed for periodicals that had never existed.

There is also text:

The reader might be surprised at our credulity; indeed, we were embarrassed that we had come so close to offering him a job.

IPBiz says "not really." In a world in which the Stanford Law Review passes off Gary Boone as the inventor of the integrated circuit, nothing should be that surprising. IPBiz presented several examples of resume fraud, and mentioned the Eric Poehlman matter, wherein the University of Montreal hired a fraudster. The editors at the University of Tennessee Press couldn't even identify massive plagiarism of a previous book in a very small academic area (the Andersonville prison), so the presence of copyright violations among 3,000 images, graphs, and maps is a walk in the park.

It's only been a few years since Jan-Hendrik Schon and Hwang Woo Suk. Sadly, Brad Miller's subcommittee can't even spell Slutsky's name correctly.

So, to Daniel Ennis and Arne R. Flaten, IPBiz is not surprised.

Of the final words of the article:

We have all talked in the hallways or in the lounge about the slipping ethics of students -- their Napster-driven lack of respect for intellectual property, their cavalier attitude toward plagiarism, their rudimentary ethical training.

Oh, doctor(s), sad to say you must heal yourselves.

Professors Ennis and Flaten ought to take a walk on the wild side, the Harvard Law School. Or, perhaps look at the coverage by the Los Angeles Times of the Cha matter.

In passing a blog entry about Glenn Reynolds contains the text: Lawyers' claims to find a statement shocking often sound a lot like Capt. Renault claiming to be shocked to discover there's gambling in Casablanca. One can substitute the word "academics'" for lawyers'


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