Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Plagiarism problem in Nevada?

In cases involving allegations of plagiarism, one frequently finds a wide range of third party commentary, ranging from "what's the problem" to "off with their heads."  In the past, the Glenn Poshard matter at SIU showed such response, and the current matter in Nevada involving a report by Brookings Mountain West is no different. 

The LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL illustrated differing opinions on the matter held by various members of the state board of regents.

One finds the text

 It’s common knowledge that when copying large sections of language one should use quotation marks. In addition to the plagiarism accusation, the scandal has also been called intellectual property theft and a basic violation of the trust that is essential for vetting academic research. The Brookings report that was copied was an early draft that had been sent out for feedback with a label saying “do not circulate.” Brookings rolled out its final version in November.

somewhat reminiscent of the scandal surrounding Paul Chu's submission to PRL on 1-2-3 superconductors.

From a 2008 IPBiz post:

One IPBiz reader asked about Chu. Back in 1987, the New York Times reported part of the story:

Ytterbium was indeed the element named in the manuscript that had been submitted by Chu's team, relative unknowns at the University of Houston, to Physical Review Letters, the premier journal for reporting breakthroughs in physics. But when the journal appeared on March 2, the final paper named a different element, yttrium.

Chu had pleaded with the journal for special handling, insisting on secrecy, fearful that the editors would leak. ''Which we now know they did - like a sieve,'' says Arthur J. Freeman, a theoretical physicist at Northwestern University. ''Only they leaked ytterbium instead of yttrium. I had heard for weeks that the material was ytterbium, and now I know where it came from.''

There was little doubt that Chu's "ytterbium" idea was stolen through leaks at PRL. Chu however had placed an incorrect idea in the PRL drafts, so the thieves got worthless chaff, but had the audacity to complain about it.

Also in the NYT article:

As news of the yttrium-ytterbium affair spread through the scientific world, the journal's editors denied vehemently that they had divulged the secret. They privately expressed anger at Chu, suspecting an intentional deception on his part to mislead competing researchers. (Chu's friends share the suspicion. They have been retelling the joke about the king who leaves to his favorite knight the key to his queen's chastity belt, only to hear the knight gallop up behind him, shouting angrily, ''It's the wrong key.'')

As an IP footnote, see also


Post a Comment

<< Home