Sunday, September 10, 2006

Gallegos apologizes over plagiarism incident

Further to an earlier post, DA Gallegos has issued an apology for his unattributed text in published pieces in My Word of the Times Standard.

An accompanying editorial had the words: As many of us were taught in college, it's not plagiarism if you cite your source, which is just doing your homework -- in a legal case or anywhere else.

A couple of thoughts.

In one of the recent student plagiarism cases, the student argued that it wasn't plagiarism because he cited his source. Trouble was he didn't put quotation marks around the words from his source. A variation of this was involved in the Laurence Tribe matter, because the work of the UVa professor was cited in the Tribe book (the borrowed text, however, wasn't identified).

Separately, what happens when one "cites" the source, but misstates the words of the source? For example, in the brief of petitioners eBay and to the Supreme Court in January 2006, a 2001 paper of Cecil Quillen (and Ogden Webster) was cited for "estimating the rate of patent approvals by the PTO to be 97%."


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