Thursday, September 14, 2006

More on Ohio University plagiarism: 3 chapters in one thesis copied from a textbook

Further to the Ohio University plagiarism business, the Athens Times noted:

Irwin told the students that in some cases, plagiarism is simply a result of ignorance or sloppiness - putting borrowed material in quotes but neglecting to footnote it, for example. In some cases, however, he said, OU has discovered egregious examples of plagiarism, such as a thesis that contained three chapters copied, uncited, from a textbook.

Jesse Megenhardt, 22, a senior in industrial technology, said he can't comprehend how such a violation could escape notice by professors reading the thesis.

"How does something like that get by?" he demanded. "How does something like that - three chapters, 20 pages - get through?"

Irwin admitted he doesn't know, adding that "a lot of this happened years ago."

Some students expressed concerns that the widely publicized scandal will hurt enrollment, or make Russ College degrees worth less in the job market.

IPBiz suggests a flash forward to the year 2004.

Mark Lemley and Kimberly Moore in footnote 22 of an article in the Boston University Law Review [Ending Abuse of Patent Continuations, 84 B. U. L. Rev. 63 (2004)] asserted that Robert Clarke [in 85 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc'y [JPTOS] 335 (2003)] was guilty of "erroneously assuming that every continuation resulted in a patent and concluding that the grant rate was 75%." Because of this assertion, Lemley and Moore themselves concluded "The 85% number provided in the revised Quillen et al. study is based on actual data about the applications that issue based on continuations, and reflects the best estimate we have of how often applications mature into patents."

Clarke made no assumption anywhere in his paper that "every continuation resulted in a patent" and, as such, the footnote is incorrect and not properly cite-checked.

A note to Jesse Megenhardt at Ohio University: the error in footnote 22, written by two professors, supposedly checked by law student cite checkers at Boston University, and published in 2004, remains uncorrected to this day.


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